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EditorialBBC banned in India

BBC banned in India

The Modi government has banned a BBC documentary because it plainly depicts Modi’s role as Gujarat’s chief minister overlooking ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population under his watch. India’s numerous minorities, totalling over 200 million people, live in fear. It is a mockery of justice that the Indian Muslims who suffered at the hands of Modi in 2002 continue to suffer in silence from even more heinous atrocities just because of Modi.

During the 2002 riots, almost a thousand people, predominantly Muslims, were killed. The fact was brought to the light as a reminder by a BBC documentary which the Indian government has banned. The response to the BBC broadcast demonstrates how the Modi dictatorship does not want its own citizenry and the world to recognise a truth that the rest of the world has known for more than two decades. The way the BJP government has restricted foreign content because it reveals Modi’s true colours also demonstrates the rising censorship culture in Indian media.

Now, the BBC is the target of Hindutva movement, which is opposing the documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’. Facts are not new but the documentary follows how Modi treats Muslim minority, as well as the Gujarat pogrom in 2002, which was Modi’s creation and for which he had earned a poor reputation long before when he was a CM. In 2021, Narendra Modi was added to the list of 37 heads of state or government labelled as ‘predators of press freedom’. There is no outcry from both YouTube and Twitter, which were banned from broadcasting the documentary, for monetary reasons, as according to the Indian government, both platforms have complied with the request to suppress this documentary. The documentary was rigorously researched, as the Indian government has not found any flaws in facts, and the work meets the highest editorial standards. It draws attention to a previously unreleased assessment obtained by the BBC from the British Foreign Office, in which the British Foreign Office voiced worries about Modi’s conduct and indicated that Modi was responsible for the 2002 riots.

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