‘Govt can’t suppress freedom of speech’: Congress leader on conducting screening of BBC documentary in Kerala | India News


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (Kerala): The members of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) on Thursday organized a statewide screening of the controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Republic Day.
Vice President of Congress Kerala unit VT Balram on Thursday said that the statewide screening of the documentary was in the wake of the Centre’s attempt to suppress the freedom of speech and expression.
“The Congress party in Kerala has decided to conduct a statewide screening of the BBC documentary because we believe that the government has no right legitimately and constitutionally to suppress the freedom of speech and freedom of expression,” KPCC Vice President VT Balram, who was present in the screening of the documentary at Shankhamukham Beach here, told ANI.
“You can’t dispute the contents of the documentary, but you can put forward the counter-arguments and it is noway agreeable when a government comes up and bans a documentary,” he added.
“We from the Congress party do believe that the people of this country have every right to discuss these political and social matters in detail from various angles, so we have decided to conduct a widespread screening of this documentary,” VT Balaram said.
“So we have started this in Trivandrum on Republic day at the Shankhamukham beach side so that thousands of ordinary people can turn up here in this screening,” he added.
Earlier on Thursday, police registered a case against BJP and youth Congress after a scuffle broke down between them during the screening of the documentary in Pothencode.
According to the bystanders, while the youth congress was screening the BBC documentary in Pothencode last evening, a BJP worker tried to tear the screen, this led to a scuffle between him and the youth congress workers.
The BBC documentary has created a fresh row in the country after the government, earlier this month, denounced it and described it as a “propaganda piece” that is designed to push a discredited narrative. The government also pulled down the BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ from various social media platforms including Twitter and Youtube.
The row further deepened after JNUSU members allegedly faced a “deliberate” power outage, while they were screening the impugned BBC documentary at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus in the national capital.
The documentary leads to opposition attacking the government on freedom of speech despite the government terming it as a ‘propaganda piece’.
In another episode, Anil Antony, the son of former Kerala Chief Minister AK Antony, on Wednesday resigned from all posts of KPCC, a day after he criticized the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He alleged that he had received threat calls and hate messages “through the night”.
While posting about his resignation on Twitter, Antony mocked the Congress party by saying that he received intolerant calls to retract a tweet by those “fighting for free speech”.
“I have resigned from my roles in @incindia, @INCKerala. Intolerant calls to retract a tweet, by those fighting for free speech. I refused. @facebook wall of hate/abuses by ones supporting a trek to promote love! Hypocrisy thy name is! Life goes on,” Anil K Antony said in a tweet.

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