Shashi Tharoor, a Congress leader and former Minister of State for External Affairs, has spoken out against the decision of the Indian government to ban a BBC documentary on the Gujarat riots of 2002. In his statement, he questioned the logic behind the ban and argued that it is an overreaction and unnecessary. He said “How can a (BBC) documentary affect the sovereignty of our nation? The ban is an overreaction & unnecessary by Centre. We’re a strong country, we could’ve ignored this.”
He further added that the country’s sovereignty and national security are not something that can be easily affected by a documentary. He suggested that instead of banning the documentary, the government could have ignored it or offered a counter-narrative to provide a different perspective on the events depicted in the documentary. He also stated that India is a democracy, and the freedom of speech and expression should be protected, and the decision to ban the documentary is a violation of those rights.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has released a two-part series entitled India: The Modi Question, which has sparked controversy. According to reports, the documentary examines the political and personal life of Narendra Modi, specifically focusing on the Gujarat government’s suspected involvement in the Gujarat riots of 2002.
The documentary centers around Modi’s tenure as chief minister of Gujarat and the BJP government’s perceived inaction or indifference during the 2002 riots, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 Muslims.
Critics argue that the BBC documentary, which aims to tarnish Modi’s image despite the fact that the then-BJP administration was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Supreme courts, has sparked a strong reaction from UK MPs and Indian citizens.
Previously, Anil Antony, the son of former defence minister and senior Congress politician AK Antony, resigned from the Congress party due to pressure from the party after he defended Prime Minister Modi’s decision to ban a BBC documentary in India.