January 29, 2023

Govt censors tweets of critical BBC documentary on Modi

“Govt censors tweets of critical BBC documentary on Modi relating to 2002 Gujarat riots”

bbc documentary on modi

The Indian government has asked Twitter and YouTube to take down links to a BBC documentary that covers the 2002 Gujarat riots and the role of the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the events. This means that the tweets and videos of the documentary titled “India: The Modi Question” can no longer be seen on those platforms. This request was made by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, as per sources familiar with the matter. This move came a day after the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak distanced himself from the documentary series and said that he does not agree with the way the Indian Prime Minister was portrayed in the show by Pakistan-origin MP Imran Hussain in the UK’s parliament.

Who asked to remove the documentary?

The Indian government’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry has asked Twitter to remove tweets about the documentary made by the British broadcaster. Over 50 tweets were removed, sources said. Some opposition leaders, like Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien, had their tweets removed as well. O’Brien alleged that censorship was taking place and that his tweet which had received many views was removed. The government used emergency powers under the new Information Technology Rules to order the removal of the links, and both YouTube and Twitter have agreed to comply with the order, according to those familiar with the matter.

What has Central said about the BBC documentary on Modi ?

gujarat riots

The Indian government has called the BBC documentary a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and has a colonial perspective. They have also told Twitter and YouTube to take down any new links of the documentary if they are shared again. The government has also examined the documentary and found it to be an attempt to question the authority of the Supreme Court, create divisions among communities in India, and make unverified allegations against foreign governments in India, as per sources with direct knowledge. 

The Supreme Court-appointed investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing by Prime Minister Modi, who was the Chief Minister of Gujarat during the 2002 riots. Yesterday, the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, while responding to the Pakistan-origin MP who raised the documentary in the British parliament, said that the UK government’s position on this issue has been clear and long-standing, and that the UK does not tolerate persecution anywhere. He also stated that he does not agree with the characterization of the Indian Prime Minister in the documentary.

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