Sangh Parivar Goons Threaten Witnesses Of VIBGYOR Film Collective In Court Premises
25 November, 2015
The Sangh Parivar goons threatened witnesses who were coming out of Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, in Thrissur, Kerala after giving their statement before the magistrate in the case filed by VIBGYOR Film Collective against vandalism committed by the Sangh Parivar activists in an effort to stop the screening of the film “Ocean of Tears” by Kashmiri film maker Bilal A. Jan. About 25 Sangh Parivar goons led by BJP leader Advocate Goplakrishnan surrounded famous Malayalm poet Anwar Ali and the then VIBGYOR Film Collective Secretary Sarath Cheloor in the court premises and threatened of grave consequences if they did not withdraw their testimony. They even tried to manhandle them.
Threatening witnesses is a grave crime in Indian criminal justice system. The threat happened in the court premises itself raises the graveness of the crime. The gang who threatened the witnesses included at least three advocates is even more serious crime.
In the last edition of the VIBGYOR film festival, on 14 February, 2014 Sangh Parivar goons tried to disrupt the screening of “Ocean of Tears” by barging into the venue and damaging the office of VIBYOR. They tried to man handle viewers present. But people resolutely resisted the fascist forces by shouting slogans “Fascist Go Back”. Saddest part was that police allowed the miscreants to go scot-free. None of them were arrested, nor any cases charged against them. It was the VIGBYOR film collective that later filed a case against the miscreants. Later, the screening of the film went ahead as planned.
Earlier a local leader of the BJP had served notice to the organisers not to go ahead with the screening. The organizers sought police protection as they deemed it as a violation of the fundamental right to free expression and creative freedom. The notice alleged that the film showed Kashmir in bad light.
The film details atrocities against Kashmiri women by the security forces and militants, with testimony from victims of molestation, widows of the deceased and disappeared, and dependants of missing persons. According to the film maker the film was made “to create awareness among the public about the humanrights violations against Kashmiri women.”
The film was produced by Public Service Broadcasting Trust of Government of India and is also U certified by the Censor Board of India on August 3, 2012. Sangh Parivar elements had blocked the screening of the film at Kashmir University and Aligharh Muslim University.
VIBGYOR is the largest alternative film festival in South Asia.
Join the resistance by joining #ResistIntolerance #SupportViBGYOR campaign
How to do it. 1. Write - Resist Intolerance Support ViBGYOR on a paper. 2. Take a photo of you holding the poster 3. Send it to email@example.com with your name and a solidarity message or Post it on your Facebook or Twitter account with the hash tags #ResistIntolerance #SupportViBGYOR
"Resist the Sangh Parivar threat to poet Anvar Ali and Sarath Cheloor" - Anand Patwardhan, Film Maker
"Why my film"Ocean of Tears" is prevented from screening in India? The film details atrocities against Kashmiri women by the security forces and militants, with testimonies from victims of molestation, widows of the deceased and disappeared, and dependants of missing persons. The film has been passed by the Censor Board Of India with a "U" certificate. The film was produced by Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) of Government of India. Why the discrimination? Please allow the voice of Kashmir be heard throughout India. Don't I have freedom of expression? Don't Kashmiris have freedom of expression? " - Bilal A Jan, Director of "Ocean of Tears"
"The threat to poet Anvar Ali and Sarath Cheloor is an evidence that the growing intolerance of fascist forces is raising its head in Kerala. We have to resist it by all means" - Rajeev Ravi, Film Maker
I am #HappyToBleed, but unhappy to be bled by the intolerant forces - Nikita Azad, initiator and organiser of #HappyToBleed
"It is not mere intolerance. It is Hindutva terror. Resist Fascism" - Arundhati B
"I have associated with the ViBGYOR Documentary Film Festival for the last couple of years. The activists who are in charge of it are indeed engaged in a path breaking initiatives of engaging with the youth, in creating a rational atmosphere through alternate Music, Culture and Films thus challenging the hitherto entrenched SAVARNA notions. Be it the support to Chengara Struggle or to Save Maudani campaign, firm stand against Death Penalty and support to Nationality struggles or for that matter unapologetic support to the LGBTQ struggles, the ViBGYOR has stood in the fore front of what is just in accordance with the wishes of the oppressed. This is the issue that has angered not only the Capitalist state but the Brahminical forces behind the Hindutva hooligans, hence all those genuinely Democratic & Radical forces who wish and strive for a Socialist change should stand in solidarity with ViBGYOR and activists like Anvar Ali & Sarat Cheloor. " Jagadish G Chandra, Organiser: New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India), Bangalore
Why do I stand in solidarity with ViBGYOR? Samar Anarya, Programme Coordinator, Asian Human Right Commission, Hongkong
"Does one really need a reason other than being a 'citizen' to stand up and be counted for freedom of speech, for right to dissent in the face of increasing authoritarian assault, for the right of the people at the margins to speak and to be heard? Does one really need a reason other than the quest of an Adivasi friend from Bastar to tell her story- a story full of deceits from those supposed to protect her- a story none in corporate media would tell? Does one really need a reason to join hands with those documenting the 'suicides', in fact murders by means of absolutely 'non violent' harassment of scores of bright Dalit students in IITs of the 'republic'?
I stand in solidarity with the ViBGYOR because but for them, and their and therefore my comrades, I would not have known much about the valiant Chengara Struggle, or of Save Maudani campaign, exactly what those attacking them wanted of me. I stand by them for being the linkage, like many others, that put all of us together with all our battles- both of personal/collective survival and political convictions. I stand with them for their conscientious and fearless positions for the wretched of the earth, be them any where. I stand in solidarity with them for their courage, the courage of putting them at risk in Kerala for the tears of a Kashmiri eye.
I stand by them because not standing by them is not a choice in the face of the Hindutva Fanatic assault on my country. I stand by them for I don't want my country to become a Islamic State, albeit of Hindutva Fascist variant.
Stand up, be counted, keeping quiet is not a choice left anymore.
Stand in solidarity with ViBGYOR and activists like Anvar Ali & Sarat Cheloor." Samar Anarya, Programme Coordinator, Asian Human Right Commission, Hong Kong
" Resist the Sangh Parivar threat to ViBGYOR, the largest alternative film festival of South Asia and Kerala's beloved poet Anvar Ali and Sarath Cheloor." - Ajithkumar B, Multiple National and State Award winner in Film Editing
"We stand in solidarity with ViBGYOR and condemn the Sangh Parivar threat to Poet Anvar Ali & Sarath Cheloor" - Deepu, jisha, Vineeth (Pedestrian Pictures Bangalore)
"I stand in solidarity with ViBGYOR and condemn the Sangh Parivar threat to Poet Anvar Ali & Sarath Cheloor" - Parul Verma activist and writer
I am a regular participant in ViBGYOR Film festivals. I witnessed how Sangh Parivar goons tried to disrupt the screening and damaged the office of ViBGYOR.This kind of fascist attacks needs to be condemned by one and all.In solidarity with Anwar ali, Sarath Cheloor and all other Friends who supports ViBGYOR- Sreemith, Film Maker
" I condemn the threat against Kerala's beloved poet Anvar Ali and activist Sharth Cheloor and stand in solidarity with ViBGYOR" - Madhu Neelakandan, Award winning Cinematographer
I stand against the Sangh Parivar threat to poet Anvar Ali and Sarth Cheloor and stand in solidarity with ViBGYOR - John P Varkey, Music Director
"I strongly condemn the threat to poet Anvar Ali and Sarath Cheloor"
In solidarity with Anwar ali, Sarath Cheloor- Shahinaz Bint A Samad
In solidarity with Anwar ali, Sarath Cheloor -Nikhil Karali