By Heba Ahmed
A recently made short film, “Where is Najeeb?” has shown the entire chain of events of Najeeb’s disappearance in very bad taste. As per the film’s narrative, Najeeb is fatherless; he is shown to be politically active in student elections; he has a younger sister called Sadaf, and he is obsessed about getting her “nikaah” done very soon; he is portrayed to have been attacked and forcibly disappeared from his hometown itself. The facts of Najeeb’s life are the exact opposite. Najeeb’s father, Nafees Ahmad, still waits for his son’s return. Najeeb was NOT politically active in JNU, therefore, one cannot dismissively “explain” the violence perpetrated on him as a fall-out of campus politics. Most importantly, Najeeb disappeared from JNU campus itself, after getting viciously attacked by ABVP members; this implicates the JNU VC, the JNU administration and the JNU ABVP unit, along with the Delhi police for its acts of omission.
If the intention of this film was to help the cause of Justice for Najeeb, then it does not have much promise. The film professes a very wrong narrative of a chain of events: events which have already been twisted and disputed in the public realm. Rumours, misinformation and falsity about Najeeb are already present on social media and have gained much credibility and traction. If the intention of the film was to fictionalise the narratives of Najeeb, his mother and his sister Sadaf Api, it has done a great injustice in using their names but without remaining true to the incidents which they have witnessed. Moreover, as Sadaf Api has herself told me, the filmmaker did not even show her the entire contents of the film before releasing it for screening.
We owe atleast one responsibility to Najeeb and his family: that the exact account of what has happened to them is not lost, that the facts of Najeeb’s disappearance are not misperceived. By those standards therefore, “Where is Najeeb?” is an irresponsible film.
(This article is reproduced from her facebook post.)