Mahua Moitra calls Centre ‘insecure’ on blocking PM Modi’s BBC documentary

Trinamool Congress’s Mahua Moitra has called the Centre ‘insecure’ on blocking PM Modi’s BBC documentary.

In her tweet, Mahua Moitra wrote, “Govt on war footing to ensure no one in India can watch a mere @BBC show. Shame that the emperor & courtiers of the world’s largest democracy are so insecure.”

Moitra further went and shared the archived link of the BBC documentary, saying that “haven’t been elected to represent world’s largest democracy to accept censorship.”

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 examines how “Narendra Modi’s premiership has been dogged by persistent allegations about the attitude of his government towards India’s Muslim population”.

This comes as the Centre on 21 January, directed the officials to block multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question”, sources said as quoted by news agency PTI. Sources also informed that the directions were reportedly issued by the Secretary of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Apurva Chandra on Friday using the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021.

Speaking to PTI, sources also stated that the documentary was also found to be undermining the sovereignty and integrity of India, and having the potential to adversely impact friendly relations with foreign states as also public order within the country.

Prior to this, TMC MP Derek O’Brien had also claimed that Twitter removed his tweet on a BBC documentary that claimed “exposed” PM Modi’s stance on minorities. O’Brien had called it “censorship” and shared the screenshot of an email from Twitter stating that his message was removed at the request of the Indian government for violating Indian law.

was among the many opposition leaders who lashed out at the government amid reports that the central government had ordered YouTube and Twitter to take down posts relating to the BBC’s two-part documentary – “India: The Modi Question”.

Her party colleague and MP Derek O’Brien had earlier on Saturday alleged censorship, saying that one of his tweets in this regard was deleted.

Earlier on Thursday, India denounced the controversial BBC documentary series on the prime minister and described it as a “propaganda piece” that is designed to push a discredited narrative.

While addressing a weekly media briefing External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi said, “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.”

The MEA spokesperson said the documentary is a reflection of the BBC and individuals that are peddling this narrative again. The Congress claimed that Modi was still afraid of the truth about the 2002 riots coming out and that “blocking” the documentary was “cowardly and undemocratic”.

(With inputs from agencies)

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