Indian Diaspora in UK to Protest Outside BBC HQ in London Over "Anti-India" Documentary on PM Modi
The Indian diaspora in the United Kingdom will be staging a protest outside the BBC headquarters in London on January 29th to raise awareness about the "nefarious anti-India reportage" in the broadcaster's recent documentary on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two-part documentary, titled "India: The Modi Question," has been banned in India and removed from YouTube and Twitter following orders from the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The Indian diaspora in Britain has called for others to join them in the demonstration at 12 pm GMT (1:30 pm IST) to "demonstrate the dissatisfaction against their (BBC's) biased reportage." The first episode of the documentary was aired on January 17th, but was removed from YouTube the following day. The second part of the series is set to be broadcast on January 24th.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has slammed the BBC for the documentary, calling it a "propaganda piece" and criticizing its lack of objectivity and "colonial mindset." MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "The bias, lack of objectivity and continuing colonial mindset is blatantly visible."
The documentary reportedly takes a critical look at the Indian Prime Minister, holding him responsible for the 2002 Gujarat riots. The Indian government used emergency powers under the Information Technology Rules, 2021 to order YouTube and Twitter to take down links sharing the documentary. The order was passed for allegedly casting "aspersions on the authority and credibility of the Supreme Court of India, sowing divisions among various communities, and making unsubstantiated allegations regarding actions of foreign governments in India."
Senior Indian government officials have also condemned the documentary, with some calling it "anti-India garbage." The protest by the Indian diaspora in the UK is a clear indication of the dissatisfaction and disappointment with the BBC's coverage of Indian politics and the portrayal of Prime Minister Modi.
What Happened in 2002 Gujarat Riots?
The 2002 Gujarat riots were a series of communal riots that occurred in the Indian state of Gujarat, in which Hindu and Muslim communities were targeted. The violence, which lasted for several months, resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 people, most of whom were Muslims.
The riots began on February 27, 2002, after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was set on fire in the town of Godhra, killing 59 people. The incident was blamed on a Muslim mob and sparked widespread violence against the Muslim community in Gujarat. The violence was characterized by widespread looting, arson, and killings, and was marked by acts of extreme brutality, including rape, mutilation, and mass murder.
The Gujarat government, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was criticized for its handling of the riots. Many accused the government of failing to intervene to stop the violence, and of providing support and protection to Hindu mobs. There were also accusations of police collusion and participation in the violence against Muslims.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India, and several other human rights organizations, conducted investigations into the riots and found evidence of state involvement and collusion. The NHRC report found that the state government had failed to protect citizens, and that the police had been complicit in the violence.
The Gujarat riots had a profound impact on the lives of those affected by it, and on the communal relations in the state. The violence displaced thousands of people, and many continue to live in fear and insecurity. The riots also had a significant impact on the Indian political landscape, with the BJP and its leader, Narendra Modi, who was the chief minister of Gujarat during the riots, facing widespread condemnation and criticism.
The Gujarat riots continue to be a contentious and polarizing issue in India, with many calling for justice for the victims and accountability for those responsible for the violence. In recent years, there have been several convictions and sentences for those involved in the violence, but many believe that justice has yet to be fully served.