20 January 2023: The BBC documentary "India: The Modi Question" has caused controversy in India and the UK over its accusation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The Hindutva government in India has called the documentary "propaganda", while in the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak came with indirect support of Modi in the parliament.
The documentary cites a UK government inquiry report that says Modi is "directly responsible" for the violence, which left over a thousand dead.
BBC has defended the documentary, saying it met the highest editorial standards and that the Indian government declined to respond to the issues raised in the documentary.
The documentary looks at the tensions between Modi and India's Muslim minority, as well as investigating claims of his role in the large-scale communal violence that erupted in Gujarat in 2002.
In response to the documentary, British MP Imran Hussain brought up the issue to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Hussain asked Sunak if he agreed with his diplomat in the foreign office that Modi was directly responsible for the violence and what more the foreign office knows of Modi's involvement in the riots.
Sunak appeared to defend Modi in his reply, stating that the UK government's position on this has been clear and long-standing and doesn't tolerate persecution, at the same time Sunak is not ready to agree with the accusations on Modi.
The Indian government has criticized the documentary, with foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stating that it is a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative.
But the BBC has stood by the documentary, noting that it met the highest editorial standards and featured a range of opinions from a variety of voices, witnesses, and experts.
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Source: The Wire | Times of India