Sat, 21 Jan 2023 06:47 PM IST
AMID the ongoing row over the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a group of 302 former judges, ex-bureaucrats have lashed out at the BBC and termed it a "motivated charge sheet against our leader, a fellow Indian and a patriot" and a reflection of its "dyed-in-the-wool negativity and unrelenting prejudice".
They have claimed it as the archetype of British imperialism in India, setting itself up as both judge and jury to rekindle the Hindu-Muslim tensions that were the creation of the British Raj policy of "Divide and Rule."
"India: The Modi Question" is a two-part BBC documentary which claims that it investigated certain aspects of the 2002 Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Modi was the Chief Minister of the state.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued instructions for blocking videos and Twitter posts that link to the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Modi.
According to the news agency PTI, a statement was signed by 13 former judges, 133 ex-bureaucrats, including diplomats, and 156 veterans, which claims that the documentary is not a neutral critic.
"Not only is the BBC series, judging from what we have seen of it so far, based on delusional and evidently lopsided reporting, but it presumes to question the very basis of the 75-year-old edifice of India's existence as an independent, democratic nation, a nation which functions according to the will of the people of India," it said, as quoted by news agency PTI.
Among the signatories are the former Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court, Anil Deo Singh; former Foreign Secretary, Shashank; and former Home Secretary, L C Goyal.
"BBC's 'India: The Modi Question': Delusions of British Imperial Resurrection? Not this time. Not with our leader. Not with India. Never on our watch," they said.
Their statement added, "Regardless of whom you, as an individual Indian, might have voted for, the Prime Minister of India is the Prime Minister of your country, our country. We cannot allow just about anyone to run amok with their deliberate bias, their vacuous reasoning....," the statement added.
According to the statement, the documentary has sidelined the core fact that the Supreme Court of India has ruled out any role of Narendra Modi in the riots that happened in Gujarat in 2022. It has denied accusations of complicity and inaction by the then-state government led by Prime Minister Modi.
Years after the investigation, the top court upheld the closure report filed by the Special Investigations Team it appointed.
The statement also said that BBC should begin by questioning its own bias rather than PM Modi.
"Inclusion is inherent in India. Instead of making a documentary titled, 'India: The Modi Question', the BBC should begin by questioning their own bias against Prime Minister Modi and make a documentary called, 'BBC: The Ethical Question'."