New Delhi: Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, who had criticised those behind a recent flashpoint event at JNU, on Friday alleged that the university has refused to screen his film "Buddha in a traffic" even as varsity authorities denied having received any such request.
Accusing the university of "stifling freedom of speech and expression", Kher said that he was told that the university cannot allow the film to be screened owing to the present atmosphere at the campus.
"Why are only certain people allowed to exercise their freedom of expression at JNU? They should practice what they are preaching. If they're talking about freedom of speech and expression, then they should follow it also," he said.
The university officials refuted the allegations saying no request from Kher has been received by them for screening of any film.
"We have not received any verbal or written request from Anupam Kher for screening of the film so there is no question of we having denied it," a senior university official told PTI, adding, "I am not sure if he had sent any request to any specific school but nothing has come to the administration".
The students' union of the university which organises film screenings frequently also denied having being approached by Kher. The controversial film 'Aligarh' was also screened at the varsity recently.
Directed by Vivek Agnihotri, the 2014 film called "Buddha Stuck In A Traffic Jam" also stars Arunoday Singh, Mahi Gill, Pallavi Joshi, besides Kher. Kher, a Padmabhushan awardee, made the comments after the film's director Vivek Agnihotri took to Twitter saying that the varsity did not give permission to screen the film.
The veteran actor said he plays a professor who transforms the minds of students and incites them to become the change. He said it talks about the relationship between students and the teacher and the politics within.
Kher said that the film, which was made two years ago and was waiting for producers, depicts the atmosphere that is prevalent in JNU on Friday.
"All kind of films are shown in JNU, it's a film which is very relevant considering what is happening in JNU since a month. I am sure there are many students who would like to see it... it is not a controversial film," Kher said.
"The filmmakers didn't have the budget of Rs 5-6 crore to market the film so they decided to take the film across institutions and organisations to raise an awareness," he said.
At a recent event in Kolkata, Kher had attacked JNU and its students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar for allegedly raising "anti-national" slogans at an event on February 9 to mark the hanging of Parliament attacks convict Afzal Guru.