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PM Modi's suppressed BBC as retaliatory action continues after broadcaster exposed his alleged role in Gujarat massacre 

PM Modi's suppressed BBC as retaliatory action continues after broadcaster exposed his alleged role in Gujarat massacre 

By The South Asia Times

 

NEW DELHI - Indian government actions against BBC continue for consecutive third day, apparently a move to silence the British broadcaster after exposing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's alleged role in the 2002 Gujrat massacre. 

 

Indian tax officials continued their search of the BBC’s offices in New Delhi and Mumbai for the third consecutive day, CCN reported from its local sources.

The Indian authorities launched their retaliatory actions weeks after BBC released its documentary, “India: The Modi Question.”

BBC in its documentary exposed the PM Modi's role in the 2002 Gujrat massacre and his association with the right-wing Hindu organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist and militant organization which is believed to be the parent group of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

 

Indian government was immediately banned theThe documentary screening in the country including in the education institutions as its showed the real backgrounding of Modi and his role in the killing of over 1,000 people mostly Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat riots in 2002. 

 

It also showed how Modi was promoted from RSS to BJP and became Chief Minister of Gujarat. 

 

During the 2002 riots, over 1,000 people were killed, the majority of whom were Muslims. Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat, a western state in India, from 2001 to 2014.

 

The Gujarat riots were triggered after Muslims were blamed for train burning in Godhra on Feb. 27, 2002, in which 59 people were killed, mostly Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya.

 

BBC accused Modi  that he was not doing enough to stop the most heinous violence in India against minorities especially Muslims.

 

According to the broadcaster, the second episode – of approximately 60 minutes – examines the track record of Modi’s government following his re-election in 2019, according to Anadolu.

 

A series of controversial policies, including the removal of Kashmir’s special status guaranteed under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and a citizenship law that many said treated Muslims unfairly, have been accompanied by reports of violent attacks on Muslims by Hindus, it said.

 

Shortly after the first part aired in the UK last month, the documentary series evoked a strong response from New Delhi, as Modi trying to hide his reality and role in the killing of innocent Muslims in the Hindu-majority South Asian country.

 

”We think this is a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias, lack of objectivity, and continuing colonial mindset are blatantly visible," said Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Arindam Bagchi.

 

To save PM Modi of exposing his real face, Indian government ordered to block of YouTube videos and tweets sharing the first episode of the documentary.

 

While New Delhi also ordered the blocking of social media content related to the documentary, opposition party leaders in the country criticized the government for "imposing censorship,” according to the agency

 

Later several people including parliamentarians from opposition parties and rights activists approached the country's top court and requested to set aside the government orders.

 

The Supreme Court issued a notice to the government and called up the government to respond at the next hearing in April.

 

However, now the Indian tax authorities searching the BBC offices in the country, a move to pressurize the broadcaster and save their premier from exposing him before the country young generation. 

 

  • World reaction against India actions 

Several organizations including Human Rights Watch strongly reacted to Modi’s government's actions and called it a tactic of harassment.

“The Modi government had blocked the BBC documentary in India using emergency powers under the Information Technology Rules and compelled social media companies to take them down. The film highlighted Modi’s failure to protect Muslims and the discriminatory laws and policies adopted by his government,” said HRW.

The Indian government holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20) this year and will be holding the summit in Delhi in September. Modi has called the G20 an opportunity for world to know India, “the mother of democracy, with its diversity and courage.”

“These words ring hollow when weighed against the government’s actions. World leaders, including members of the G20, should press India to meet its pledges in international meetings on human rights, including to protect the right of people to exercise peaceful dissent,” HRW said. 

 

Committee to Protect Journalists in its statement urged India to refrain from harassment of journalists who are doing their jobs,” 

““Government officials entering a newsroom and spending...48 hours [in a raid] disrupts journalism. It’s a method of harassment and intimidation,” said the CPJ India representative. 

A renowned journalist and human rights activist Ashok Swain criticized the UK government for their silence and didn’t take any action against India so far.

 

"Rishi Sunak still silent on Modi's raid on BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai. Is he really the PM of the UK?,” Ashok tweeted. 

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