‘Buddha In A Traffic Jam’ Exposes Left Fascism on University Campuses

A campus screening of director Vivek Agnihotri’s ‘Buddha In A Traffic Jam’ at Jadavpur University, West Bengal, was disrupted due to protests and violence by leftist student groups. This comes after the film was earlier denied permission to be screened by JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) faculty, but students screened it in an open arena of the university on March 18th 2016. Both incidents combined demonstrate the choke hold that the left/psuedo-secular forces have on the academic space in this country, and the intellectual tyranny which non-left creative minds regularly face.

Inspired by Agnihotri’s own life, “Buddha In A Traffic Jam” deals with corruption and Maoism in a business school. The film features actors Anupam Kher, Mahie Gill, Aanchal Dwivedi, Pallavi Joshi, Arunoday Singh and Vivek Vaswani. In the words of the director – “The film probes and exposes Naxal-NGO-Academia nexus and delves deep into the theme of ‘intellectual terrorism’ which I believe is a developing threat to our great country.  This film gives a solution – how we can find real “azaadi” from the middlemen and hence corruption.”

Students affiliated to Left-leaning organisation FETSU resorted to sloganeering and brandished posters saying “ABVP go back”, “RSS go back”, “Down with Fascism”, “Say No to Brahmanism” as Agnihotri’s vehicle approached the Jadavpur University campus for the screening.

Jadavpur Protests
Banner by leftists students claiming ‘Buddha In A Traffic Jam’ promotes “Brahmanism”

These are a few tweets put out by Vivek Agnihotri during the mayhem unleashed by leftist students. Agnihotri’s shoulder was injured, and students from the film organizing team were assaulted –

As per this news report –

“The screening, organised by a group backed by the RSS student wing ABVP, was scheduled at the varsity’s Triguna Sen auditorium, but the university’s alumni association cancelled the screening on Friday morning citing poll code violation. Despite the protests and cancellation, an open-air screening was held in the varsity’s football grounds close to the auditorium. However, the varsity’s assistant registrar came and requested the showing be stopped, said Agnihotri.

“We started the screening and I asked the leader of the protest to have a cup of tea with me. Then the assistant registrar came from somewhere and asked us to stop the screening. I don’t know what kind of a university it is, they can’t even decide whether the film can be shown or not shown,” Agnihotri told IANS.

Asked on why there were protests against his film, he said: “Because for the first time in 70 years somebody has dared to expose the Naxal-academia-intellectuals-media nexus.”

But the protesting students said: “Preaching divisiveness and Hindu fundamentalism should not be allowed on the campus.”

Accusing some of the organisers of molesting female students, the FETSU members allegedly beat up some ABVP supporters and confined four of them to the administrative building.

Later, BJP’s actress-turned-leader Rupa Ganguly filed a complaint at the Jadavpur police station that four of those invited for the screening of the award-winning film were beaten up and wrongly confined on a false accusation.

Bharatiya Janata Party leaders staged a demonstration at the police station and then rushed to the university.

“We have come to take the four of our invitees safely home. They have been beaten up. They are in a bad condition. We will wait for ten minutes. And then our people will take one minute to climb the gates and enter the campus,” said BJP leader Debasree Chowdhury.”

Another piece by Sreemoy Talukdar explains why this film is being protested so vehemently by the illiberal forces which have ruled the roost over Bharat’s academic spaces since Independence –

“There are two parts to the development that took place in Kolkata’s Jadavpur University on Friday over the screening of Vivek Agnihotri’s film Buddha In A Traffic Jam.

One, it is the regressive Left’s one of the most blatant displays of intellectual tyranny. Two, it is also a manifestation of the turf war that is taking place right now between the Right, which has political power but lacks the intellectual heft and Left, which shall not cede an inch of space from the last vestiges of its still considerable power — the citadels of illiberalism that our Universities have become.

Both are inextricably linked but I shall come to the second point in a bit.

First let us focus attention on the neat way in which the totalitarian Left has managed to sell itself as the “liberal voice” in India. It has done so by appropriating the century-old struggle of liberal thinking and exploiting that for the political purpose of stifling criticism of its fascist ways. The Left has successfully turned the rules of liberal thinking over its head.

This seems almost a Houdini act. How did the Left get away by such blatant subversion? This became possible because it tightly controls the supply line of thought.

Economist Sanjeev Sanyal has written in a recent column: “Ethnic cleansing of all non-Left thinkers since the 1950s…the result of the systematic cleansing was that there were no non-Left academics remaining in the social sciences field in India by the early 1990s.”

So the rules of the game are clear. The Left can stop screening of movies, label false charges, censure thoughts, ban books, kick authors out of India and yet if anyone accuses them of intolerance, the accusers are charged with intolerance instead.

In the political sphere, the Left has inflicted blood-curdling violence on its opposition. In West Bengal alone, political murders when it was at the helm for over three decades run well over 55000.

The Left can call for an Afzal Guru to emerge from every home, but Baba Ramdev has no right to address students in JNU. The Left can screen Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai, but when Buddha In A Traffic Jam is sought to be screened (with due permission, mind you) the movie is first denied consent and then even the unofficial screening is disrupted.

“We feel if such propaganda is allowed there will be fascist mobilisation within the campus,” said a protester at JU.

So a film (It is doubtful whether they have even bothered to watch it) becomes a propaganda when it fails to conform with the Left’s doctrine. And how to prevent a movie from triggering ‘fascist mobilization within campus’? By denying it permission, taking away its director Vivek Agnihotri’s freedom of expression. But for this skullduggery, the Left won’t be called fascists though. No sir! They are living embodiments of free-thinking in India.”

Over the last 18 months, events at different universities and colleges across the nation like JNU, FTII, Hyderabad Central University, IIT-Chennai, TISS, Jadavpur University etc have shown how the social sciences & arts space in Bharat has been completely captured by the left-secular nexus, who are extremely intolerant of any opposing view. And now that students opposed to their ideology are asking for an equal opportunity to express their views, the leftists are screaming ‘Intolerance Rising’, ‘Militarization of Campuses’ and what not. As the earlier piece says –

“It can be safely said that this won’t be the last time such turf wars in our Universities shall take place. And it also won’t be the last time that our social commentators and civil society shall indulge in selective applications of their principles of free speech.”

Incidentally, Jadavpur University had earlier witnessed ‘protest marches‘ in solidarity with JNU students (Kanhaiya Kumar and others) accused of sedition charges. These marches had seen demands such as freedom for Kashmir, Manipur and Nagaland, and supporting Afzal Guru, the Hurriyat Conference and the extremist SAR Geelani.

Listen here to the hard-hitting speech delivered by Vivek Agnihotri before screening of his film ‘Buddha In A Traffic Jam’ at JNU. The film releases on 13 May 2016.

  • RamRani Yvette Rosser

    In India, the terms Liberal and Conservative are backwards, opposite of the classical French 18th century source of framing politics with the Left and Right dichotomy. The wannabe Indian Leftists are so far to the right that they have erased the scale. The so-called “Leftists” in India, who by the way are the very same people who before 1989 and the fall of the Berlin wall, called themselves Marxists, and we know the level of totalitarianism in Marxist systems. These former Marxists now call themselves “Progressives”, but to what are they progressing? Their stagnant nature is more like regressing. These scholars stand united against any research that examines the links and contributions of ancient India’s culture and consciousness with contemporary India. So-called Indian Leftists actually function like Fascists and the term illiberal fits them more aptly than Liberal. Illiberal is right on target because these Indian scholars who previous identified as Marxist but then when Marxism breathed its last, became Liberals do not represent what Liberal is suppose to mean: “willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas”. These gradually diminishing Indian “Leftists” are so totally caste-centric that they cannot see India except through a broken (or dalit) lens. This warps everything and changes the meanings of the names they are given by others, based on their ideology and methodology which through the decades of institutional hegemony in independent Bharat, from progressives to regressives and liberals to fascists.

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