Reflecting the deepseated anti-India bias of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), its documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ has demolished its credibility and evoked a worldwide outrage.
India’s External Affairs Ministry dubbed it a “propaganda piece” designed to peddle a “discredited narrative” and wondered “about purpose of this exercise and agenda behind it”.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the British Parliament that he didn’t “agree with the characterisation” of the Indian Prime Minister in the BBC series. In fact, he snubbed Pakistan-origin MP Imran Hussain when the latter raked up the issue of the documentary.
Documentary on PM Modi evokes worldwide outrage
Lord Rami Ranger, a prominent member of the House of Lords of the UK Parliament, slammed the national broadcaster for “biased” reporting and charged it with malice. In a letter to BBC Director-General Tim Davie, he questioned the timing of the documentary and sought to know if the BBC’s Pakistaniorigin staff was behind the “nonsense” series.
In a rare gesture of unanimity, 156 retired senior judges, bureaucrats and diplomats in India said the BBC series reeked of motivated distortion that is “as mind-numbingly unsubstantiated as it is nefarious.”
The All India Bar Association demanded a 360-degree probe into the “international conspiracy”, while welcoming the Government of India’s move to ban the “venomous documentary” and block the YouTube channels and Twitter handles.
The unanimous expression of disbelief and shock in India and abroad made it clear that the BBC’s design to demonise PM Modi has failed miserably. Instead of lowering the image of the Indian Prime Minister, unarguably the world’s most popular leader, the documentary has put the BBC in the dock. Several outraged critics have challenged the BBC to make a documentary on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in which hundreds of innocents were gunned down by British General Dyer.
One Twitter user wanted the BBC to bring out a series on the 1943 Bengal famine that resulted in around three million people dying due to malnutrition or disease. Another suggested that it should name the series ‘UK: The Churchill Question’. Some users advised the BBC to focus on the UK’s issues, with the country now trailing India in the list of the largest economies of the world.
Almost everyone in India and other democracies of the world acknowledged that ‘The Modi Question” was based on allegations that were dismissed by multiple levels of the judicial system in India for over a decade, and that too when the Congress Party was in power at the Centre and Narendra Modi was an opposition Chief Minister in Gujarat.
In fact, even after the Gujarat riots of 2002 – for which the BBC sought to demonise him – Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat for 13 long years and is currently the Prime Minister of India for the second consecutive term.
There have been several attempts to tarnish PM Modi’s image, yet the public support for him has grown. The Bharatiya Janata Party under his leadership has become the principal political force in the country and India has emerged as the world’s fifthlargest economy, pushing back the UK.
Today, PM Modi enjoys the highest popularity rating among the world leaders and India’s clout is acknowledged even by global powers that oppose each other. The year 2023 is the year of India’s presidency of G20, the grouping of the world’s top 20 economies.