Documentary on PM Modi evidence of BBC ‘waging information war’: Russia
31 January, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
The prohibited BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to Moscow, is yet another example of the BBC fighting an information war on several front.
The prohibited BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to Moscow, is yet another example of the BBC fighting an information war on several fronts, and it turns out that the BBC is battling even within the British establishment.
At the Russian Foreign Ministry’s monthly news briefing in Moscow, Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova remarked on the BBC programme, claiming that the BBC is warring even within the British establishment, serving as a weapon of some factions against others.
During the weekly press briefing, Zakharov said, “I’m not sure if that is a question for us. First of all, it should be commented on in Delhi. Our Indian friends have already made a comment on this situation. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that it is yet another evidence of the BBC waging an information war on different fronts – not only against Russia, but also against other global centres of power pursuing an independent policy.”
After a certain number of years, it becomes clear that the BBC is fighting even within the British establishment, acting as a tool of some factions against others. She added that it should be handled as such in response to a media question about how the BBC implicated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the 2002 Gujarat riots in its documentary.
The Russian MFA Spokeswoman went on to mock the British broadcaster, claiming that it is a dependent rather than an autonomous television and radio organisation. According to Zakharova, it frequently disregards the fundamental standards of the journalism profession.
Last Monday, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price responded on the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Modi, which has caused debate since its broadcast.
He stated that while he is familiar with the shared ideals that define the United States and India as two strong and dynamic democracies, he is unfamiliar with the documentary.
Price stated during a news conference on Monday (local time) that there are various components that strengthen the US’ global strategic partnership with India, including political, economic, and particularly strong people-to-people ties.
“I’m not familiar with the documentary you’re referring to. I am very familiar with the shared values that enact the United States and India as two thriving, vibrant democracies. When we have concerns about actions that are taken in India, we’ve voiced those we’ve had an occasion to do that,” he said.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak defended Prime Minister Narendra Modi and distanced himself from the BBC documentary series, saying he “doesn’t agree with the characterisation” of his Indian counterpart.
Sunak made these remarks on the controversial documentary that was raised in the British Parliament by Pakistan-origin MP Imran Hussain.
“The UK government’s position on this has been clear and longstanding and hasn’t changed, of course, we don’t tolerate persecution where it appears anywhere but I am not sure I agree at all with the characterisation that the honourable gentleman has put forward to,” Sunak said while responding to Hussain’s question on the BBC report.
The BBC’s national broadcaster in the United Kingdom ran a two-part programme criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister during the 2002 Gujarat riots. The documentary provoked uproar and was pulled from a number of platforms. In response to the BBC story, the Ministry of External Affairs claimed that it was completely biased.
While addressing a weekly presser in New Delhi, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We think this is a propaganda piece. This has no objectivity. This is biased. Do note that this hasn’t been screened in India. We don’t want to answer more on this so that this doesn’t get much dignity.” He even raised questions on “the purpose of the exercise and the agenda behind it.”
“The documentary is a reflection of the agency and individuals that are peddling this narrative again. It makes us wonder about the purpose of the exercise and the agenda behind it; frankly, we do not wish to dignify these efforts,” Bagchi added.