When the BBC broadcasted the two-part documentary India: The Modi Question on January 17, it ignited controversy. The documentary examined Modi’s actions during the 2002 Gujarat riots after the Godhra train burning.
The Indian government reacted angrily, ordering social media platforms to block the documentary. However, the ban was short-lived. People were still able to access the documentary using peer-to-peer sharing and copyright takedown notices.
Overview Of The Documentary
The bbc documentary on modi focuses on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in anti-Muslim violence that broke out in his home state of Gujarat in 2002, leaving more than 1,000 people dead. It cites a British Foreign Office report from the time that held Modi “directly responsible for the climate of impunity enabling the violence.” It also interviews former UK Prime Minister Jack Straw, who described Modi as a dangerous man.
The two-part documentary, which was not aired in India, sparked controversy over its allegation that Modi failed to prevent the violence, despite being the chief minister of the state at the time. The government branded the film as propaganda and accused the BBC of seeking to damage India’s reputation abroad. It invoked emergency powers to block links and clips of the film online, which YouTube and Twitter complied with. The issue has also sparked a row between the two countries at the diplomatic level.
While the allegations in the documentary are not new and were widely reported in Indian media at the time, it is one of the first to revisit this dark chapter in the history of India’s current leadership. Moreover, it has given an opportunity for those outside of India to gain insight into how this alleged incident has shaped the country’s current politics.
Amid the controversy, the BBC was accused of being biased and having a colonial mindset for airing it. Some prominent members of parliament, including Conservative MP Bob Blackman and Labour peer Rami Ranger, urged the BBC to apologize for the documentary. The British High Commission in Delhi rebuffed the calls, saying it was important for the BBC to be free to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by any government.
On Tuesday, students at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University gathered in defiance of a ban by the university to watch the documentary on a giant screen. The students were barred from entering the campus and unable to get through security, but they refused to stop screening the film. They were later attacked by masked men throwing stones. The BBC defended its reporting, noting that it had access to a confidential UK government report and that it did not have an agenda.
The documentary has sparked a major controversy in India, where the government has tried to block people from watching it. The two-part series aired in January and looked at the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Gujarat riots of 2002 when he was state chief minister. The film alleges that he failed to do enough to prevent the violence and is accused of using Hindu nationalism as a tool to gain power in the country. The Indian government has slammed the documentary as “hostile propaganda” that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset.
The riots left more than 1,000 people – mostly Muslims – dead in the state of Gujarat, which is led by Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. Mr Modi has rejected the accusations of involvement in the riots and has dismissed a Supreme Court investigation that gave him a clean chit. He has also been accused of trying to suppress the documentary by banning it from showing in India and forcing social media platforms like YouTube to remove it.
Despite the government’s attempts to block access to the documentary, it has sparked new interest and drawn attention to a dark chapter in Mr Modi’s political career. Activists have set up screenings around the country, despite being threatened with arrests and attacks by rightwing groups. They have fought back by setting up their own Telegram groups where they can share links to watch the video.
Many of the people interviewed in the documentary have faced imprisonment or death threats over the film. The BBC has defended the documentary, saying it was a serious piece of investigative journalism that met the highest editorial standards. The programme took into account “a wide range of voices, witnesses and experts – including responses from people within the BJP”, it said.
The two-part documentary, India: The Modi Question, also alleges that police in Gujarat acted with impunity during the riots. It points to testimony from the head of police intelligence RB Sreekumar and another Gujarat police officer, Sanjiv Bhatt, who have maintained that Mr Modi gave them orders not to intervene, but witnesses in court have denied this claim.
The second part of the documentary series India: The Modi Question, aired last night in the UK. The documentary explores the troubled relationship between Prime Minister Modi and India’s Muslim minority. The documentary also looks at incidents that have happened to Muslims under the Modi government.
The first episode of the documentary, which aired in the UK last week, made headlines for bringing out chilling details from a UK government report that held Prime Minister Modi directly responsible for the 2002 Gujarat riots. The Indian government denounced the documentary, saying that it lacked objectivity and reflected a “continuing colonial mindset”.
Despite the controversy surrounding the documentary, the BBC stands behind it and says that it has been rigorously researched according to the highest editorial standards. The BBC has also said that it will continue to be critical of the Indian government’s treatment of its Muslim citizens. However, the BBC has received criticism for airing the documentary from pro-government media outlets and rightwing social media accounts.
India: The Modi Question examines several controversial issues that have occurred under Modi’s rule, including the dilution of Article 370 in Kashmir and the Citizenship Amendment Act. The documentary also focuses on the case of four Muslims who were arrested for participating in protests against these policies. The documentary also includes graphic images and videos of lynchings that have taken place in recent years.
The documentary’s depiction of the current state of the relationship between Modi and the country’s Muslim population has led to an outcry from the government, which has banned the broadcast and imposed censorship on social media sites that share links to the program. The documentary has also been blocked in many cities, and students who have tried to organize screenings have faced violence from the ruling BJP party.
In a two-part documentary, the BBC examined Modi’s role in anti-Muslim violence in his home state of Gujarat in 2002. More than 1,000 people were killed in the riots, which started the day after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was set on fire. The documentary cites an unpublished British Foreign Office report that holds Modi “directly responsible” for the climate of impunity that enabled the violence. The BBC aired the first part of the documentary last week, with the second part scheduled to air Tuesday. The documentary was met with intense criticism from the Indian government, which has banned its broadcast in India and forced social media platforms to remove clips of it using emergency powers. The BBC’s Delhi offices were also raided by tax authorities.
The documentary’s sources include interviews with witnesses and experts, including a former aide to the prime minister who said that Modi was personally involved in planning the riots. It also aired an interview with Jack Straw, the UK foreign secretary at the time, who said that Modi had been “directly responsible” for a number of decisions during the riots. Several other politicians and journalists were interviewed for the documentary, including the Indian journalist Prashant Bhatt and the author of a book on the riots, Aseem Chhabra.
India’s government has slammed the documentary, with a foreign ministry spokesperson accusing it of being “propaganda.” Arindam Bagchi called it a “discredited narrative.” The first episode of the series aired in Britain on January 17, and the second will air on Tuesday.
The film explores how the riots helped Modi gain power and become the leader of a nation where 80% of the population is Hindu. It also explores how his Bharatiya Janata Party, Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and other Hindutva leaders used the riots to promote their cause. It shows how the riots gave Modi and his BJP an opportunity to promote their vision of an India for the future that would be dominated by Hindutva values. It was this narrative that helped them win the 2014 elections, even though they had no real mandate in Gujarat at that time.
- What is the primary focus of the BBC documentary on Modi? The primary focus of the BBC documentary on Modi is to provide an in-depth and comprehensive exploration of Narendra Modi’s life, political career, and governance as the Prime Minister of India. It aims to present a balanced view, highlighting both his achievements and the controversies surrounding his leadership.
- How does the documentary approach the controversies surrounding Modi’s governance? The documentary takes an investigative approach to the controversies surrounding Modi’s governance. It features interviews with experts, political analysts, and individuals impacted by his policies to offer diverse perspectives. By presenting evidence and contrasting viewpoints, the film allows viewers to form their own informed opinions on the contentious aspects of Modi’s leadership.