PM Modi documentary: Gujarat assembly passes resolution against BBC, requests Centre to take action
A resolution was passed, Friday, in the Gujarat Assembly requesting the Central government to take “strict action” against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for attempts to tarnish the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by releasing the controversial documentary India: The Modi Question back in January.
Gujarat Minister Harsh Sanghavi said that the BBC documentary—which questions Narendra Modi’s role in the infamous 2002 Godhra riots—was not only targeting the country’s PM but also the 135 crore citizens of India.
Sanghavi stressed that PM Modi dedicated his entire life in serving the country and putting India on the global stage, used development as a weapon and thwarted anti-national elements.
In January, UK national broadcaster BBC released the contentious two-part documentary which questioned the role of Narendra Modi—then the Chief Minister of Gujarat—in the infamous 2002 Godhra riots. The second part of the series seemed to suggest that PM Modi and BJP rise to power was the reason behind the surging militant Hindu nationalism in the country.
The Ministry of External Affairs had termed it a ‘propaganda piece’, saying it reflected a ‘colonial mindset.” The documentary has been banned by the Centre YouTube and other social media platforms and posts containing any links to the series on social media are actively being taken down.
Opposition parties, led by the Congress, have condemned the ban, dubbing as an attack on free press and free speech.
In February, the Income Tax department conducted “survey exercises” at the Delhi and Mumbai offices of UK national broadcaster in what was seen as a backlash to the BBC’s airing of the documentary.
According to reports, the taxmen scrutinized documents related to the broadcaster’s day-to-day business operations of the company and those related to its Indian arm during the three-day long survey which ended late on February 16.
In an official release, the Income Tax Department had clarified that these exercises were classified as surveys and not raids as earlier reports had suggested, adding that as part of a survey, the department only covers the business premises of a company and does not raid residences and other locations of its promoters or directors.
Earlier, reports had said that the IT department sleuths seized the mobile phones of the BBC employees in the morning and asked them to go home, while employees scheduled for afternoon shift at BBC’s Delhi office were told to work from home.
The Supreme has junked several petitions demanding a blanket ban on the BBC.