Thrissur, New York, and a few besides

For Jashn-e-Azadi, this week begins with a screening on Feb 24th at Thrissur in Kerala, where it will show at the Vibgyor International Film Festival.

This will be followed by a screening at on Feb 27th at New York University, part of the South Asia Documentary Screening Series curated by NYU Libraries.

This has been a busy month: the last screening, organised by the student group AISA at the Delhi School of Economics, Dept of Sociology turned into an event far outside of itself. From the day it was announced, the screening was under scrutiny by the usual stalwarts of the Right Wing. (And the Deccan Herald began to describe the film as “Symbiosis banned”, whatever that means.) Although the usual suspects showed up to ‘protest’ the event, the picture accompanying the report in The Hindu makes clear that the ABVP (and the unfortunately named Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena) are not yet a major force on the Delhi University campus. (Estimates for that day varied from 15 to 20 youths)

But the reports in the Indian Express and particularly in The Times of India, draw attention to something remarkable that happened that afternoon on campus. Simply put, the Dept of Sociology stood its ground, and insisted upon its right to show such material as was thought appropriate for the students. Dr Nandini Sundar, Head of the department, read out to the students the letter written to the Proctor, which said that

“the film screening in question is a routine matter in our department, and it has never been the practice to take permission for such screenings which pertain to our academic program.”

In the face of this clear and unambiguous position, both the University authorities, and the Delhi Police were forced to support that stance. The Times of India quotes the Dy Commissioner Police (North), I B Rani’s quite significant response:

“Since it was a private screening, there was no need for students to seek permission from us. The film was shown inside the classroom. We had, however, decided to station our officers at the spot after getting intelligence inputs that certain groups might protest in the area.Though some protested outside the venue, we did not need to arrest or detain anyone”.

Later  AISA issued a statement which can be read here on kafila.org

(Not many noticed that the same day as the Dept of Sociology screening, a smaller, more quiet screening was held by the Informal Discussion Group at St Stephen’s College. An excellent discussion followed… Different strokes work for different folks)

Perhaps there is a lesson in this for those at the Symbiosis College in Pune (and the Pune Police) whose reaction was to crawl when they were simply asked to bend. Our previous post has some of the links to that story, but in case you missed those you could start with the excellent coverage in The Hindu. If you want to draw cheer from the sad goings on in Pune, there is an excellent post by a student of Symbiosis, Akshat Jitendranath. We like to think that Akshat had been provoked by a commentary a few days earlier on the same site by the redoubtable Shuddhabrata Sengupta.

Kafila.org also carries an excellent account of a more samizdat screening held last week at Presidency College, Kolkata, posted by one its organisers, Waled Adnan. Apart from an ‘alert’ that appeared in the Indian Express, the coverage in the Kolkata editions of The Hindu, The Hindustan Times, The Telegraph, and the Indian Express do give a sense of the possibilities of student action! All power to students!

Finally, for perspective you could also read Shanta Gokhale’s excellent commentary in Mumbai Mirror, Mayank Shekhar blogging in The Hindustan Times, and Shivam Vij on First Post.

As you can see, a busy week for a 5 year old film!

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Jashn-e-Azadi is available through various online outlets like amazon

You can now buy a DVD of the film, or Download it and watch
More than two years in the making, Jashn-e-azadi [How We Celebrate Freedom], is a feature length documentary by film-maker Sanjay Kak which explores the implications of the struggle for Azadi, for freedom, in the Kashmir valley.

Click here to watch the Trailer

As India celebrates the 60th anniversary of it's Independence, this provocative and quietly disturbing new film raises questions about freedom in Kashmir, and about the degrees of freedom in India.

And here is a short Interview with the film-maker.

This Jashn-e-Azadi blog is an open forum for conversations about the film, about Kashmir, and about Azadi itself.

For more information about screenings, sales and broadcast write to
jashneazadifilmATgmail.com

links

For dispatches from the present

Voices of protest can be found here or call you from here

Stone in my hand

In the season of solutions, the late Eqbal Ahmad's wise words have to be remembered

Kashmir blog has the best one line blog take on Kashmir - they call it paradise, I call it home.

Zarafshan is a Kashmiri blogger whose blog (and blogrolls) are "just ways of dispersing news, views and feelings!"

For a considered discussion on the vexed issue of Pandits in Kashmir see Kasheer. And for more on this Ephemeral Existence

And a discovery called Paradise Lost

RSS Kashmir via Greater Kashmir

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previews

Festival screenings

Thiruvananthapuram
May 26, 2008 / International Video Festival of Kerala
Munich
Apr 28, 2008 / Dok.Fest
Amsterdam
Feb 10, 2008 / Himalaya Film Festival
Amsterdam
Nov 28, 2007 / International Documentary Festival
Kathmandu
Oct 12, 2007 / Film South Asia
Delhi
July 22, 2007 / Osian’s Cinefan film festival

Previous Previews

London
7 Dec 2007 / School of Oriental & African Studies & Sacred Media Cow
Leeds
6 Dec 2007 / Workshop Theatre, School of English, University of Leeds
Egham, Surrey
3 Dec 2007 / Royal Holloway, University of London
New Delhi
26 Nov 2007 / Russian Centre of Science & Culture & Magic Lantern Foundation

New Jersey
Oct 5, 2007 / College of New Jersey
New York City
Oct 4, 2007 / Columbia School of Journalism
Austin
Oct 2, 2007 / University of Texas
Philadelphia
Sep 28, 2007 / Temple University
Philadelphia
Sep 27, 2007 / University of Pennsylvania
New York State
Sep 26, 2007 / Vassar College
New York City
Sep 25, 2007 / New School for Social Research
Boston
Sep 23, 2007 @ MIT
Toronto
Sep 22, 2007 / SALDA
Toronto
Sep 21, 2007 / University of Toronto
New Haven
Sep 20, 2007 / Yale University
Minneapolis
Sep 18, 2007 / University of Minnesota

Hyderabad
Aug 10, 2007 / Pure Docs, Prasad Preview, Banjara Hills

interrupted previews!! [[ MUMBAI ...
July 27, 2007 (Fri)
Vikalp: Films for Freedom @ Bhupesh Gupta Bhawan, 85 Sayani Road, Prabhadevi
July 30, 2007 (Mon)
Vikalp: Films for Freedom @ Prithvi House, Juhu...]]

Bangalore
July 14, 2007 / Institute of Agrl. Technologies, Queens Road
Bangalore
July 13, 2007 / Centre for Film & Drama, Millers Road
Nashik
June 13, 2007, Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar Hall
Pune
June 12, 2007, National Film Archive of India Auditorium
Guwahati
May 29, 2007, Blue Moon Hotel
Shillong
May 26, 2007, Assam Club, Laban
Patna
May 12, 2007, Hindi Bhavan Hall
Srinagar
March 31, 2007, Tagore Hall
New Delhi
March 23, 2007, Sarai-CSDS
New Delhi
March 13, 2007, India Habitat Center

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