Home / News / India /  BBC documentary on PM Modi reflective of agency, ‘propaganda’, says MEA

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of Indian Government has said that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)'s documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, questioning the latter's leadership when he was the chief minister of Gujarat in 2002, is ‘propaganda’. 

"If anything, this film or documentary is a reflection on the agency and individuals that are peddling this narrative again. It makes us wonder about the purpose of this exercise and the agenda behind it. Frankly, we don't wish to dignify such efforts," spokesperson of MEA Arindam Bagchi said.

BBC released a documentary called India: The Modi Question. The first episode of the docu-series was aired on Tuesday and was removed from YouTube on Wednesday. 

The second part of the series is scheduled to be broadcast on January 24. The series looks into Narendra Modi's time as the chief minister of Gujarat.

According to the BBC, the documentary will examine how "Narendra Modi's premiership has been dogged by persistent allegations about the attitude of his government towards India's Muslim population".

The docu-series is not being aired in India. 

Former UK foreign secretary Jack Straw has made an appearance in the first part of the documentary and talked about his "concerns". He said there was an inquiry into what happened in Godhra in 2002.

Bagchi replied to Jack Staw's comments and said, "He (Jack Straw) seems to be referring to some internal UK report. How do I have access to that? It's a 20-year-old report. Why would we jump on it now? Just because Jack says it how do they lend it that much legitimacy."

"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.

Narendra Modi was at the helm of the Gujarat ministry during the communal riots in Gujarat. The riots left more than 1,000 people dead, most of them Muslim, according to Reuters

The violence triggered after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims caught fire, killing 59.

PM Modi has been repeatedly accused of failing to stop the rioting. Narendra Modi denied the accusations and was exonerated in 2012 following an inquiry by India's top court. Another petition questioning his exoneration was dismissed last year.

Terming the BBC documentary a "propaganda piece" meant to push a "discredited narrative", foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said a "bias", "lack of objectivity", and "continuing colonial mindset" is "blatantly visible" in it.

"It makes us wonder about the purpose of this exercise and the agenda behind it, and we do not wish to dignify such efforts," he told a news conference.

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