Indian diaspora across Britain stage protests against controversial BBC documentary
Image courtesy by INSIGHT UK – North West
Several members of the Indian diaspora representing various organisations gathered in front of the BBC’s headquarters in central London on Sunday. They came together to protest against the broadcaster’s recent controversial documentary based on India’s prime minister Narendra Modi.
The protesters branded the series as “fake news” and held the “Chalo BBC” protests which were coordinated across BBC’s offices in the country. Similar demonstrations were seen in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Newcastle.
Several groups such as Indian Diaspora UK (IDUK), Friends of India Society International (FISI) UK, Insight UK and Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB), among others, raised their voice against the documentary which has left many Indians across the world furious.
Jayu Shah from FISI UK, who was one of the protesters in London said, “The documentary on Prime Minister Modi was very biased given that he was completely cleared by the Indian judiciary, and yet the BBC decides to become judge and jury.
“The BBC needs to be investigated internationally and the directors of the board of the BBC should be investigated for failing in their duty as a public broadcaster.”
The protesters were seen holding placards which read “British Bias Corporation”, “Boycott BBC” and “Stop the Hinduphobic Narrative”. They also chanted slogans such as “Shame on BBC” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.
Many have felt that the BBC has tried to spread anti-India propaganda through the documentary. One user shared an image of the protests in London and wrote, “BBC shoddy documentary against @narendramodi is a farce and unreliable piece of frivolous journalism.”
Image Courtesy by INSIGHT UK
Another user wrote, “Haven’t seen the #BBGdocumentry, but friends in the UK who’ve watched tell me that it’s not only a propaganda piece against the Prime Minister but also full of anti-Hindu bigotry and misinformation aimed at demeaning India.”
The documentary – ‘India: The Modi Question’ is a two-part series, which has claimed to have conducted research on the 2002 Gujarat riots, which occurred when Modi was the state’s chief minister. India’s Ministry of External Affairs has said that it is a “propaganda piece” and reflects a “colonial mindset” with a lack of objectivity.
However, the BBC has defended the series and claimed that it was “rigorously researched according to the highest editorial standards”.
British prime minister Rishi Sunak has expressed his solidarity and strong relations with PM Modi adding that he “didn’t agree with the characterisation” of him in the broadcaster’s documentary.