Thursday, February 22, 2024

BBC documentary critical of Modi screened in Hyderabad, Kerala

BBC’s recent documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his role in anti-Muslim violence in India, including the Gujarat Muslim genocide 2002 ‘India:The Modi Question’, was screened on the University of Hyderabad campus by the students’ organization Fraternity Movement and in Kerala by a youth organization, Solidarity Youth Movement on Saturday.

The documentary was screened on the day, India blocked the airing of the documentary, saying that even sharing of any clips via social media is barred. Multiple YouTube videos of the first episode of the BBC documentary, India: The Modi Question, and more than 50 tweets with links to the YouTube videos were ordered to be taken down, Kanchan Gupta, senior adviser at Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, tweeted on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad University unit of ABVP, the student body of Hindutva militant group RSS, staged a protest and lodged a complaint with the University registrar and at the Gachibowli police station, Siasat Daily reported.

Dozens of students joined the screening on Hyderabad University on Saturday while many activists and youth leaders participated in screening held in Kerala’s Kozhikode district.

Fraternity Movement is a youth and student wing Welfare Party of India and Solidarity Youth Movement is a part of Jamaate Islami Hind in Kerala.

The first episode of the two-part series documentary, which aired on 17 January, tracked Narendra Modi’s early years as a Hindutva politician and his rise through the ranks of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat when it was gripped by Muslim genocide that left more than 2,000 Muslims dead. The anti-Muslim violence erupted after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire, killing 59.

The documentary revealed for the first time a UK government report into the deadly 2002 genocide. The UK report said the events had “all the hallmarks of an ethnic cleansing”, the documentary showed.

The second episode will be aired on January 24.

India’s foreign ministry on Thursday dismissed the documentary as a “propaganda piece”. Foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the film was meant to push a “discredited narrative”. He added that a “bias”, “lack of objectivity”, and “continuing colonial mindset” is “blatantly visible” in it.


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