PM Modi defended by Rishi Sunak In the British Parliament; ignores the Pakistani-born MP
The two-part BBC series about the riots in Gujarat in 2002 has been pulled from some platforms due to outrage.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that he disagreed “with the characterization” of his Indian counterpart in the BBC documentary series on the 2002 Gujarat riots when defending Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the House of Commons.
The BBC’s two-part series on the riots has sparked outrage since it was released, prompting India to take swift action. Narendra Modi, then-Gujarat chief minister, is questioned in the documentary for his role in the riots between the communities.
Answering Hussain’s question, Sunak said, “The UK government’s position on this has been clear and long-standing and hasn’t changed, of course, we don’t tolerate persecution where it appears anywhere but I am not sure I agree at all with the characterization that the honourable gentleman has put forward to.”
Many prominent Indian-origin UK citizens have condemned the series. Popular UK businessman Lord Rami Ranger said the “BBC caused a great deal of hurt to over a billion Indians”.
Rami tweeted, “@BBCNews You have caused a great deal of hurt to over a billion Indians It insults a democratically elected@PMOIndia Indian Police & the Indian judiciary. We condemn the riots and loss of life & also condemn your biased reporting.” Ministry of External Affairs also reacted to the BBC report and said that this is a completely biased copy.
In the meantime, Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of Affairs, characterized the documentary as a “propaganda piece” created to promote a particular “discredited narrative.”
Bagchi stated, “We think this is a propaganda piece,” during a weekly briefing in New Delhi. This is not unbiased. This is unfair. Please be aware that this has not been evaluated in India. We don’t want to provide any additional information on this so that it doesn’t lose much dignity. Even “the purpose of the exercise and the agenda behind it” was the subject of his inquiries.
“The documentary is a reflection of the agency and individuals that are peddling this narrative again. It makes us wonder about the purpose of the exercise and the agenda behind it; frankly, we do wish to dignify these efforts,” Bagchi added.
Bagchi stated, “He (Jack Straw) seems to be referring to some internal UK report,” referring to the remarks made by the former UK Secretary in the documentary series. How do I get my hands on that? It’s a report from 20 years ago. We shouldn’t take it now, right? How can they give it that much credence if Jack says it?
“I heard words like inquiry and investigations. There is a reason why we use the colonial mindset. We don’t use words loosely. What inquiry they were diplomats there…investigation, are they ruling the country?” Bagchi asked.