There was a violent protest in the Jadavpur University campus when Vivek Agnihotri's film Buddha In A Traffic Jam, starring Anupam Kher was screened on the campus on Friday. The Triguna Sen auditorium inside the campus was booked for the screening, but later cancelled by the Jadavpur University alumni association.
"I regret to inform you that due to model code of conduct prevailing due to state election we are unable to allow you to screen the movie 'Buddha in a traffic jam'. Please bear with us," alumni association's Sipra Patra said in a letter to the organisers.
However, that did not stop Agnihotri from screening his film.
(The picture in the above tweet says, " Bharat Mata Ki Jai, we are with you #IamBuddha)
"The students want to see the film and they want it to be screened. So they have said they will arrange for its screening in the open air. I'll fight for it because this is a matter of my freedom of speech and expression," the filmmaker told PTI.
He also questioned why people were afraid of screening the film which he described as "the boldest political film ever made in India". The film, which stars Anupam Kher and Arunoday Singh in major roles, has so far been screened in a number of educational institutes throughout the country.
While Indian media reported on the protest at Jadavpur University, the director took to Twitter to present his own version of the incident:
When suddenly the screening got cancelled he tweeted:
He pleaded for support:
I reached Kolkata in the morning for the screening of #BuddhaInATrafficJam at Jadavpur Univ but they cancelled it. Pl support our FoE.— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) May 6, 2016
When a violent protest began despite the peaceful screening:
Massive protest against me and the film. They are breaking the car apart. Help needed. pic.twitter.com/Q6lwWRvZG9— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) May 6, 2016
The registrar came and stopped the peaceful screening of #BuddhaInATrafficJam massive chaos and sloganeering.— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) May 6, 2016
Attack me. Break my car. How will you break my spirit? #BuddhaAtJU— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) May 6, 2016
Mayhem at Jadavpur Univ due to a small film. Broke my shoulder. But screened the film. Victory of FoE.— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) May 6, 2016
Only they don't have a right to break my car and shoulder. Also registrar doesn't have a right to stop midway. https://t.co/KM96EQ0Pst— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) May 6, 2016
According to the director this is why the violence began:
And early on Saturday morning he assured his followers that nothing would break him:
Good morning from Kolkata. I am alive. It's been a long time since I saw such violence. What you'll hear in media is all half truth.— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) May 7, 2016
And claimed the morning papers were biased against him:
Today's HT & TOI, Kolkata. Half truths. Lots of bias. pic.twitter.com/FOGMskyvsE— Vivek Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) May 7, 2016