India asks YouTube, Twitter to dam hyperlinks of BBC movie on Modi | Information


The Indian authorities has directed Twitter and YouTube to dam hyperlinks sharing a BBC documentary, which takes a essential have a look at the position of Prime Minister Narendra Modi within the lethal 2002 Gujarat riots, in keeping with native media and an adviser to the Ministry of Data and Broadcasting.

A number of YouTube movies of the primary episode of the BBC documentary, India: The Modi Query, and greater than 50 tweets with hyperlinks to the YouTube movies had been ordered to be taken down, Kanchan Gupta, senior adviser at Ministry of Data and Broadcasting, tweeted on Saturday.

He stated that the content material was blocked utilizing the emergency powers below the IT Guidelines, 2021. “Each @YouTube and @Twitter have complied with the instructions,” he tweeted.

The primary episode of the two-part collection documentary, which aired on January 17, tracked Modi’s early years as a politician and his rise via the ranks of the governing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Celebration (BJP).

Modi was the chief minister of the western state of Gujarat when it was gripped by communal riots that left greater than 1,000 individuals lifeless – most of them Muslims. The violence erupted after a practice carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fireplace, killing 59.

The documentary revealed for the primary time a United Kingdom authorities report into the lethal 2002 non secular riots. The UK report stated the occasions had “all of the hallmarks of an ethnic cleaning”, the documentary confirmed.

Bilkis Bano, who’s now in her forties, was 5 months pregnant when she was brutally gangraped in communal violence in 2002. Her rapists had been launched by the BJP authorities in Gujarat state. [File; Ajit Solanki/AP Photo]

Jack Straw, who was the UK’s international secretary on the time of the violence, was additionally interviewed within the documentary and stated allegations towards Modi undermined his fame.

“These had been very severe claims – that Chief Minister Modi had performed a reasonably energetic half in pulling again the police and in tacitly encouraging the Hindu extremists,” Straw stated. “That was a very egregious instance.”

“What we did was set up an inquiry and have a crew go to Gujarat and discover out for themselves what had occurred. And so they produced a really thorough report,” he added.

The report additionally claimed there was widespread rape of Muslim ladies through the 2002 violence. It added that the riots’ goal was to “purge Muslims from Hindu areas” – one thing critics as we speak have stated has turn into state coverage below the BJP’s Hindu nationalist agenda.

In 2013, the UK ended a 10-year boycott of Modi over the 2002 riots that killed three British residents.

‘Propaganda piece’

The documentary was not made obtainable in India, nevertheless it was uploaded on a number of YouTube channels and shared broadly on Twitter, with plenty of hashtags trending akin to #BBCDocumentary #BBCQuitIndia and #GujaratRiots amongst others. The second episode can be aired on January 24.

India’s international ministry on Thursday dismissed the documentary as a “propaganda piece”.

International ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated the movie was meant to push a “discredited narrative”. He added {that a} “bias”, “lack of objectivity”, and “persevering with colonial mindset” is “blatantly seen” in it.

“It makes us surprise in regards to the goal of this train and the agenda behind it, and we don’t want to dignify such efforts,” he advised a information convention in New Delhi.

The BBC, the UK state broadcaster, stated its documentary on Modi was “rigorously researched”.

“The documentary was rigorously researched in keeping with highest editorial requirements,” the BBC stated in a press release.

“A variety of voices, witnesses and specialists had been approached, and now we have featured a spread of opinions – this consists of responses from individuals within the BJP. We provided the Indian Authorities a proper to answer to the issues raised within the collection – it declined to reply.”

The UK international workplace has not commented on the problem to date. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated on Thursday that he didn’t agree with the characterisation of Modi in reply to a query within the parliament.

Narendra Modi greets his cabinet colleagues.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a polarising determine. [File: Manish Swarup/AP Photo]

Accused of failing to cease the rioting, Modi denied the accusations and was exonerated in 2012 following an inquiry by India’s prime court docket. One other petition questioning his exoneration was dismissed final 12 months.

Modi has defended his dealing with of the worst non secular violence in post-independent India and has refused to apologise. Within the documentary, he advised the BBC journalist that the police below him did “wonderful work” to manage the violence in 2002.

Jill McGivering, who interviewed Modi in 2002 for the BBC, recalled within the documentary: “He [Modi] struck me as a really charismatic, very highly effective and fairly menacing determine.”

A number of Gujarat BJP leaders and their supporters had been handed prolonged jail phrases for his or her involvement within the violence however lots of them at the moment are out on bail and 11 males accused of gang rape had been launched by Modi’s governing BJP social gathering final 12 months.

Rights campaigners and officers who helped combat justice for the riot victims have had circumstances slapped towards them, a few of them jailed.

Since Modi turned prime minister in 2014, the nation has seen elevated assaults towards Muslims, who kind 15 p.c of India’s 1.four billion inhabitants.

Supporters and activists shout slogans against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Activists shout slogans towards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi throughout a protest towards the arrest of Indian activist Teesta Setalvad in Mumbai. Setalvad has since been launched on bail. [Rafiq Maqbool/AP Photo]

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