Pune: Miscreants disrupt film screening at NFAI over portrayal of Indian Army

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Members of a right-wing organisation stormed into the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) in Pune to protest the screening of a docudrama that they believed portrayed the Indian Army negatively. The event happened during a showing of `I Am Not The River Jhelum` as part of a film festival hosted by the Pune International Centre and the International Federation of Film Critics-India Chapter, reported PTI. 

The news agency`s report further stated that the demonstrators, identified as members of the Samast Hindu Bandhav Sanghatana, disrupted the screening by shouting slogans and demanding an immediate halt. They were subsequently held and freed after receiving notices under the Maharashtra Police Act of 1951.

Ravindra Padwal, president of the right-wing organisation, indicated that their objection arose from alleged scenes depicting the Indian Army in a poor light, notably in Kashmir. Padwal claimed that they wanted clarification from the director about the problematic portions but were instead led to a police station by officers, the PTI report added. 

Padwal expressed dissatisfaction with the image of the Indian Army, claiming that any unfavourable depiction constituted sedition and advocated for legal action against the director. He stressed the need of honouring and honouring the Indian Army, despite ideological differences.

“Some people who were in the audience informed us about such a portrayal of the Army in the film. By the time we reached there, the movie was about to get over. We objected to the scenes and raised slogans in support of the Army,” said Padwal, per PTI report. 

He added, “Even if people follow a certain ideology, be it progressive or regressive, they should be proud of the Indian Army. If the director has projected the Indian Army in a bad light, it amounts to sedition and an offence should be registered against him.”

Padwal added that they were demanding the director show them the docudrama and explain his vision and amid discussion with the organisers, the cops came and took them to a police station.

The film festival, which took place from February 9 to 11, featured a diverse selection of award-winning films in Indian languages such as Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Manipuri-Tangkhul, Rajasthani-Hindi, and Khasi-Jaintia–Garo.

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