‘Let them not preach us on rule of law’: BJP slams BBC, Opp members

23 January, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

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Multiple YouTube videos containing the first episode of the BBC documentary 'India: The Modi Question' were blocked by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Saturday.

The BJP reacted on Sunday to opposition members who shared excerpts of the BBC’s controversial documentary series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on their social media accounts, saying it was an attempt to politicise the 2002 Gujarat riots.

They attempted to remind the Opposition leaders that PM Modi had already been given the all-clear in the case by the Supreme Court and that the public had overwhelmingly affirmed his innocence.

Speaking to ANI, BJP leader Amit Malviya said, “In the last several years, the Opposition parties, especially the Congress, have tried to politicise the unfortunate Gujarat riots. However, despite all their attempts to extract political mileage out of the rots, Prime Minister Modi stands vindicated in the Supreme Court and the court of the people.”

He added, “Why should it matter what an external agency (BBC) has to say about an issue which has been settled at the highest court on our land? It (the documentary series) is a flawed and biased commentary of our country and people by a past coloniser, which has forgotten its own chequered history. They, of all people, should not be preaching us about the rule of law and human rights.”

The British Broadcasting Corporation produced a two-part documentary series critical of Prime Government Modi’s stint as Gujarat chief minister, particularly in relation to the 2002 post-Godhra riots. Even in the United Kingdom, the documentary series generated indignation and derision. It was also deleted from a number of Indian social media networks.

Multiple YouTube videos containing the first episode of the BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ were blocked by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Saturday, according to a report.

Hitting out at the BJP-led Centre for blocking YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the controversial documentary series, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moita shared an archived link of the documentary, saying the “courtiers of the world’s largest democracy are insecure”.

Taking to Twitter, she said, “Government on war footing to ensure no one in India can watch a mere BBC show. Shame that the emperor and courtiers of the world’s largest democracy are so insecure.”

“Sorry, Haven’t been elected to represent the world’s largest democracy to accept censorship. Here’s the link. Watch it while you can,” she said in another tweet.

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, too, posted a video clip of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee talking about ‘Rajdharma’ (administrative responsibility) in the presence of then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, in the aftermath of the 2002 riots.

Meanwhile, in a strong response to the BBC documentary series, more than 300 eminent Indians, including retired judges, bureaucrats, and armed forces veterans signed a statement slamming the British national broadcaster for showing “unrelenting prejudice” towards India and its leader.

Earlier on Thursday, India denounced the controversial BBC series, describing it as a ‘propaganda piece’ designed to push a discredited narrative.

“We think this is a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias and lack of objectivity and frankly continuing colonial mindset are blatantly visible,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said earlier, during a weekly media briefing.

According to the MEA spokeswoman, the documentary is a reflection of those who are peddling this story once more.

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