Indian diaspora protests against BBC documentary at their HQ in Portland Place

30 January, 2023 | Pragati Singh

bbc National

The Indian diaspora protested the premiere of a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at their headquarters in Portland Place on Sunday.

The Indian diaspora protested the premiere of a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi at their headquarters in Portland Place on Sunday.

“It has been said in the documentary that there is a discrimination against the Muslim community in India under PM Modi which is completely false. PM Modi has done so much for Muslims which no other leader has done,” said a member of the Indian diaspora. He said that the propaganda against PM Modi is based on a “total lie” and gave examples of various programmes and schemes of the government which benefitted the Muslims.

“Triple Talaq was ended for Muslim women, free LPG cylinders were given under the Ujjwala scheme, bank accounts were opened under the Jan Dhan scheme and provided with the ownership of their houses. There is no discrimination against any community under PM Modi’s rule,” he said.

He also mentioned Prof Tariq Mansoor, Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, who recently authored an opinion letter in which he criticised the BBC series “The Modi Question” for attempting to promote “false and illogical discourse.”

“Indians Muslims want to move out from the past. We don’t live there anymore. The BBC has assembled 20 years of biased reportage, peppered with outdated condiments and garnished it with lots of misplaced victimhood. The BBC will be wiser if they control their urge to perpetuate victimhood among Muslims. Our community under false pretense were merely used to build their brand,” he added.

Another Indian protestor said, “The BBC documentary on PM Modi is totally false and untrue.”
Notably, the Indian diaspora also demonstrated against the BBC documentary series in Fremont, California, in the San Francisco Bay area.

About 50 people marched through the streets of Fremont in the San Francisco area of the United States, chanting slogans and claiming that they “reject BBC’s sinister and biassed documentary.” People shouted chants like “Biased BBC” and “racist BBC.” while rallying in Fremont.

While protesting at Fremont, people carried banners which said, “BBC IS A BOGUS Broadcasting Corporation” and “Indian Diaspora rejects BBC’s Sinister and Biased Documentary against Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” “BBC Documentary spreading fake propaganda,” “BBC is a fake news peddler.”

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 series was denounced by prominent Indian-origin UK individuals. Lord Rami Ranger, a prominent UK citizen, stated that the “BBC caused a great deal of hurt to over a billion Indians.”

About January 19, India condemned the BBC documentary series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling it a “propaganda piece” aimed to promote a discredited narrative.

Arindam Bagchi, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson, said this documentary presentation, based on an internal UK report, demonstrates the colonial mindset. The documentary provoked uproar and was pulled from a number of platforms.

“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 blatantly visible,” Bagchi said in response to the question on the PM documentary series.

According to a MEA representative, the documentary reflects the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and individuals who are pushing this story once more. He even questioned “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 wish to dignify these efforts,” he added.