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Students expelled for making film on homosexuality

Students expelled for making film on homosexuality

Author: R Gopakumar
Publication: Deccan Herald
Date: April 28, 2007
URL: http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/apr282007/national222552007427.asp

A Catholic Church-run mass communications college in Kottayam has stirred a hornet's nest by expelling five students for making a film on homosexuality.

The students are all fourth semester BA (multimedia) students of the St Joseph's College of Communications at Changanassery.

The incident brings alive the raging worldwide debate on homosexuality to the church circles in Kerala.

Neither the expelled students nor the authorities were readily willing to comment. Prathyush, one of the expelled students, told Deccan Herald that four of them had acted in the five-minute short film titled Secret Minds.

The film depicting homosexuality was directed by an MA (film and TV) student Jeo Baby. He claimed that it was mainly intended for an inter-collegiate film festival here.

The college management, however, felt that the film had transgressed the limits of decency and moral values that the college stood for and would have misled youths. The college authorities further said that the students misused the campus and college hostel premises for making the film and had also acted entirely nude in it. The management made clear its stand in the showcause notice issued to the students. The students were first served a showcause notice on March 23 and 27 and later expelled on April 2 on finding that their replies were unsatisfactory.

However, Prathyush who was the only student willing to speak denied these allegations and said that they had exercised only their freedom of expression. The film was also well within the confines of the course to which they were admitted. Also, they had acted only partially nude as required by the script.

"In any case, the film was not for public viewing but for a specific festival audience. They are just creating unnecessary fuss," he said.

The students registered a complaint against the college with the Mahatma Gandhi University's grievance cell and also forwarded the notice which contained the charges against them.

When contacted, college director Fr Sebastian refused to comment saying the issue was not over and was "undergoing certain processes".

However, experts see the incident as an offshoot of the lack of theological guidance in the Church on the issue of homosexuality.


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