The Center has reportedly issued instructions to block YouTube videos sharing the first episode of the BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’. Besides the YouTube videos, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting also ordered Twitter to block more than 50 tweets containing links to the affected YouTube videos.
The instructions were reportedly issued on Friday by Apurva Chandra, secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, using emergency powers under the 2021 IT rules.
Meanwhile, a co-signed statement was released on Saturday by retired judges, bureaucrats and veterans of the armed forces refuting the controversial BBC documentary slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “freaks of Britain’s imperial resurrection”.
Government blocks access to BBC documentary
According to sources, senior officials from several ministries, including external affairs, interior, information and broadcasting, reviewed the documentary and concluded that it was an attempt to discredit the government. authority and credibility of the Supreme Court, to sow division among various Indian communities and make unsubstantiated allegations regarding the actions of foreign governments in India.
They said the documentary undermined the sovereignty and integrity of India and could negatively impact friendly relations with foreign states as well as public order in the country.
Orders were also issued to Twitter to block more than 50 tweets containing links to the affected YouTube videos, they said, adding that the social media platforms complied with the instructions.
Reliable sources have confirmed that senior officials from several government departments, including the MEA, MHA and MIB, reviewed the documentary and concluded that it was an attempt to disparage the authority and credibility of the Supreme Court of India, to sow division among various Indian communities, and to make unsubstantiated allegations regarding the actions of foreign governments in India.
The documentary was therefore found to undermine the sovereignty and integrity of India and may adversely impact India’s friendly relations with foreign states as well as public order. in the country.
Government calls BBC documentary a ‘piece of propaganda’
The External Affairs Department previously described the BBC documentary as a “piece of propaganda” which lacked objectivity and reflected a colonial mindset. the state premier.
“Let me make it very clear that we believe this is a propaganda piece designed to promote a particular discredited narrative. Bias, lack of objectivity and, frankly, a colonial mindset persistent are clearly visible,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said Thursday in response to questions about the documentary.
Regarding former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw’s comments on the riots, Bagchi said he appeared to be referring to an internal British government report.
“How can I access it? It’s a 20-year-old report. Why would I jump on it now? Just because Jack Straw says so, how do they give him so much legitimacy?” he wondered.
“Delusions of British Imperial Resurrection”
The letter, signed by more than 300 senior civil servants, judges and veterans, called the controversial BBC documentary “a delusion of British imperial resurrection”.
“Not only is the BBC series – judging from what we’ve seen of it so far – based on raving reporting, it claims to challenge the very basis of the 75-year-old edifice of existence of India as an independent and democratic nation which functions according to the will of the Indian people,” the signatories said.
He further called the documentary “basic, wool-dyed negativity and the BBC’s relentless prejudice towards India”.
The letter further states that although the BBC says its series has been “rigorously researched to the highest editorial standards”, and “examines the tensions between India’s Hindu majority and Muslim minority”.
However, there are “glaring factual errors aside, the series – which uses the words ‘allegedly’ and ‘allegedly’ repeatedly (not ‘factually’) – exudes a reasoned distortion that is as unfounded as it is infamous. . »
“This is demonstrated most strikingly by its complete dismissal of the fundamental fact: that India’s supreme judicial institution, the Supreme Court of India, has unambiguously excluded any role of the Prime Minister Modi in the 2002 Gujarat violence, while strongly rejecting allegations of complicity and inaction by the Gujarat state government then headed by Chief Minister Modi,” the signatories said, accusing the BBC of “ naturally thrive on sensationalism, however false its basis”.
“This alone exposes the wrongdoings of the BBC and raises questions about the motives behind this series,” the letter adds.
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