The Gujarat Assembly approved a motion on Friday urging that the Union take strong measures against the BBC for harming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image with its documentary on the 2002 Godhra riots.
“The documentary was not just against PM Modi but against 135 crore citizens of the country,” said minister Harsh Sanghavi. “PM Modi dedicated his entire life to the service of the nation, weaponised the instrument of development and gave a befitting reply to anti-national elements. He worked hard to put India on the global stage,” he said.
The BBC had in January this year released the documentary film titled ‘India: The Modi Question,” which features the Gujarat riots of 2002. The film caused controversy for alluding to the leadership of Modi as chief minister during the riots while disregarding the clean chit given by the Supreme Court.
The Ministry of External Affairs had termed it a “propaganda piece”, saying it reflected a “colonial mindset”.
On a visit to India, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly stated that at a bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, the topic of raids on BBC premises in India was discussed.
Cleverly told ANI in an exclusive interview that the BBC is an independent organisation apart from the UK government.
“I didn’t see the documentary but I’ve seen reactions in UK and India. BBC is an independent organisation and separate from the government. I enjoy a strong personal relationship with Dr Jaishankar…relationship between UK-India growing stronger by the day,” said Cleverly when asked about the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In February this year, Income Tax authorities conducted searches at the offices of the British broadcaster in New Delhi and Mumbai. The central government, in January, issued directions for blocking YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the controversial BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’.