External Affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday that the release of the BBC documentary a year before the 2024 elections is not an accident but “politics by another means.”
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Earlier, this month, the Ministry of External Affairs called the BBC documentary a “propaganda piece” designed to tell the narrative in a certain way on February 19th.
While addressing a news channel recently, Jaishankar questioned the timings of the release of the BBC documentary and said, “There’s a phrase- War by other means- if you think of it carefully, this is politics by other means. You can see the sudden revelations of several documentaries, reports and views coming up just a year before the elections. Will none of these things happen again?”
When asked if banning a documentary is a solution? the EAM moved away from the question cross-questioned the interviewer and claimed that the entire documentary was biased. He continued to say “ you do a hatchet job and decide to do a quest, in search of truth 20 years later?” “ Don’t know if election season has started in India but it has for sure started in the UK and New York.”
He also stated that this is politics played by the people who do not have the courage to come into field politics and they use Teflon covering. They are playing Politics.
Jaishankar stated, “You’ll say something about the eco-chamber outside. People take politics abroad in today’s globalised world. Politics in India sometimes come from outside our borders rather than within. Outside sources provide ideas and agendas.” He also slammed Rahul Gnadhi and the opposition for questioning the India-China Policy saying that it wasn’t Rahul Gandhi who sent the troops to LOC but it was Narendra Modi who did so.
What is the BBC documentary about?
The two-part BBC documentary on the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi was released on 17 and 24 January 2023. The documentary is not about the 2002 riots but the irreversible actions of a certain individual that still cannot be justified. The BJP ministers call it a “piece of propaganda” and henceforth the documentary was banned in India soon after it was broadcasted in the UK.
The documentary also portrays the rising tension between the Indian Prime Minister and the minority Muslims. Although the centre banned the documentary and on January 21st ordered all the social media authorities to not display the “propaganda” and block the links to the documentary, it was publicly broadcasted in Kerala.
Why is there an outcry from the Indian government?
For India, the whole documentary is highly sensitive to the place that it holds at the international level. It is well known that India is hosting the G20 this time and has portrayed itself as the “mother of democracy.” India is at the second highest when it comes to economy and the international prominence of the Indian Prime Minister is at its peak.
Although the BBC documentary is presenting the past atrocities and ongoing discrimination against minorities, the UK, the US and Europe are being blamed for showing a blind eye to the issues. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak defended the Indian Prime Minister and has distanced himself from the BBC documentary saying that he doesn’t conform to the characterisation of his Indian counterpart.