New Delhi: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has come under fire over its new two-part series named India: The Modi Question. The documentary reportedly portrays the journey of Narendra Modi’s political journey & life and in particular, his government’s alleged role in Gujarat riots 2002.
The documentary apparently captures the tenure of Narendra Modi as Gujarat CM, BJP govt’s failure or rather complacency, as it claims, in the dreaded 2002 riots, resulting in death of more than 1,000 Muslims.
The BBC documentary, aimed at bringing bad press to Narendra Modi after so many years of Gujarat riots, despite the then BJP government getting clean chit from courts, has ignited series of angry retorts from UK parliamentarians as well as eminent citizens back home.
The ‘biased’ coverage of the state-sponsored channel has drawn angry reactions from Indian government, its own MP Lord Rami Ranger and many more. People of Indian origin are furious and netizens are slamming the BBC for spreading ‘canard & propaganda’ about Narendra Modi.
MEA tears into BBC documentary
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) expressed strong objection to BBC documentary on PM Modi and termed it an attempt to peddle fake narrative.
“We think this is a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias and the lack of objectivity and frankly continuing colonial mindset are belatedly visible,” MEA said in a searing statement, in response to the new series by UK’s govt-run channel.
Do note that this has not been screened in India…We think that this is a propaganda piece, designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias, lack of objectivity & continuing colonial mindset is blatantly visible: MEA on the BBC documentary on PM Narendra Modi pic.twitter.com/BImPzX9LUX
— ANI (@ANI) January 19, 2023
UK MP disapproves of BBC series, calls it motivated
The agenda-based documentary also received brickbats from own British MP Lord Rami Ranger.The member of House of Lords tore into the new series and said it was a calibrated attempt to discredit a democratically elected PM and someone with huge public support.
ANI founder calls out BBC’s bluff
Prem Prakash, the founder of India’s leading agency Asian News International (ANI) took potshots at the documentary and called out the news broadcaster’s bluff.
Poking fun at its biased reporting, he said that the BBC projects itself as an independent media channel but in reality, it remains controlled & supervised by British government.
Prem Prakash, considered as India’s 1st private entrepreneur in field of visual news-gathering, also shared a cartoon lampooning the state broadcaster.
This is perfect description of BBC , a media Channel claiming to be independent in fact controlled by the government. pic.twitter.com/gdoTjjsvga
— Prem Prakash (@pp1931) January 19, 2023
The satirical cartoon read, “If you don’t stop lying, you will grow up to be a BBC reporter.”
Furious netizens blast BBC
The BBC documentary, which has been taken down by YouTube after much public outcry, elicited strong reactions from people of Indian origin in UK as well as those on social media.
Many called it a blatant attempt by Britain to further its colonial mindset while some asked it to look within before questioning India.
Some asked BBC to prepare a series on 1943 Bengal famine, which led to death of almost 30 lakh people and also suggesting its title as ‘UK: The Churchill Question’. It may be noted that during famine crisis, then UK PM Churchill diverted the food from India to its stockpiles in Britain & Europe thus leaving Indians to die of malnutrition & starvation.
Some Twitter users asked BBC to develop features & programs on its internal chaos & economic distress, as it has fallen behind India not just in fastest growing economy but also on many parameters.
Why the controversy over BBC series
It was because of the content of documentary that it is drawing wrath of people.
In a statement, the BBC said, “the series will examine how Narendra Modi’s premiership was dogged by persistent allegations about the attitude of his government towards India’s Muslim population” and “a series of controversial policies” implemented by Modi following his 2019 re-election, including the removal of Kashmir’s special status guaranteed under Article 370 and “a citizenship law that many said treated Muslims unfairly.
Modi baiters urged people to watch documentary
Though, the documentary received quick backlash & public anger, there were some Modi baiters who urged people to watch the documentary before it’s taken down by the YouTube. The documentary was reportedly uploaded by a pirated YouTube account.
Watch quickly before it is taken down from YouTube!
BBC documentary on Modi, particularly on his role in the 2002 ethnic cleansing pogrom in Gujarat https://t.co/m8CzuqgpTb
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) January 19, 2023
Available again. WATCH IMMEDIATELY or download now this chilling, deeply researched @BBC documentary (Part One) before it is removed from @YouTube @narendramodi’s HATE FOR MINORITIES, the cynical ‘Gujarat Model’ (sic) from two decades ago https://t.co/0ctQHSnGCC
— Derek O’Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) January 19, 2023