Commenting on the BBC documentary series that portrayed the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “doesn’t agree with the characterization” while defending his Indian counterpart.
Sunak made such comments on the controversial documentary that was raised in the British Parliament by Pakistani MP Imran Hussain.
The British government today strongly condemned a BBC series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the 2002 Gujarat riots as a “propaganda piece designed to push a discredited narrative” that shouldn’t be “dignified” with a response.
Sunak responded to Hussain’s inquiry regarding the BBC report with, “The UK government’s position on this has been clear and long-standing and hasn’t changed, of course, we don’t tolerate persecution where it appears anywhere, but I am not sure I agree at all with the characterization that the honourable gentleman has put forward to.
During the Gujarat riots of 2002, the national broadcaster of the UK, BBC, aired a two-part series criticising PM Narendra Modi’s time in office as Gujarat’s chief minister. Following backlash, some platforms pulled the documentary.
Condemning the biased reporting of BBC, Rami tweeted, “@BBCNews You have caused a great deal of hurt to over a billion Indians It insults a democratically elected@PMOIndia Indian Police & the Indian judiciary. We condemn the riots and loss of life & also condemn your biased reporting.”
The Ministry of External Affairs responded to the BBC story by claiming that it was entirely biased.
MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a weekly briefing in New Delhi: “We believe that this is propaganda. This is not impartial. That’s prejudiced. Be aware that India has not yet seen a screening of this. We don’t want to elaborate further so that this issue doesn’t gain much respect.”
A BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the 2002 Gujarat riots was harshly criticised today by the government as “propaganda piece aimed to peddle a discredited narrative” that shouldn’t be “dignified” with a response.
@BBCNews You have caused a great deal of hurt to over a billion Indians🇮🇳 It insults a democratically elected @PMOIndia Indian Police & the Indian judiciary. We condemn the riots and loss of life & also condemn your biased reporting https://t.co/n38CTu07Il
— Lord Rami Ranger CBE (@RamiRanger) January 18, 2023
“Do note that this has not been screened in India. So, I am only going to comment in the context of what I have heard about it and what my colleagues have seen. Let me just make it very clear that we think this is a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias, the lack of objectivity, and frankly a continuing colonial mindset, is blatantly visible,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
I honour & respect the clarity of thinking of our PM @RishiSunak & his swift response to the characterisation of Sri @narendramodi ji done in the parliament. #DefundtheBBC @VDoraiswami @reachind_uk @amarprasadreddy @KirenRijiju pic.twitter.com/JXpht87VDw
— Gayatri 🇬🇧🇮🇳(BharatKiBeti) (@changu311) January 18, 2023
“If anything, this film or documentary is a reflection on the agency and individuals that are peddling this narrative again. It makes us wonder about the purpose of this exercise and the agenda behind it and frankly we do not wish to dignify such efforts,” he stressed.
The two-part “India: The Modi Question” series from the BBC has drawn vehement criticism. A look at the tensions between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India’s Muslim minority is described in the series description as “investigating charges concerning his role in the 2002 riots that left over a thousand dead.”
In response to an inquiry on the series from a British MP of Pakistani descent, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that he “doesn’t agree with the characterization” of Prime Minister Modi.