LONDON: Large crowds of the Indian diaspora in Britain held protests outside the BBC HQ in London and its regional offices on Sunday against the broadcaster’s controversial two-part documentary on PM Narendra Modi that the Indian government has blocked and banned people from screening it or sharing clips on social media.
The protesters asked BBC to stop broadcasting the documentary “India: The Modi Question” in the UK. They held placards carrying slogans like “Boycott BBC”, “British Bias Corporation” and “BBC: you don’t deserve public money”. They waved the Indian flag and were heard shouting slogans – outside the Oxford Circus BBC HQ – like “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Shame on BBC”.
Protester Vandana Sharma, 40, who runs a construction company, said the BBC documentary had “spread lies about the Indian PM based on false propaganda”. She said the BBC had cut interviews it conducted and “just showed what suited their agenda”.
“They have done this to spread a false narrative in India to provoke violence between Hindus and Muslims. Who are they to question our Supreme Court? I am boycotting BBC. Why are they showing this now? There are so many powers working behind the scene to stop PM Modi in 2024 but I think he will still win,” she said.
Vishwa Singh, 48, an IT consultant, was another protester who questioned BBC’s intention. “The SC spent 10 years investigating these riots and Modi was not implicated in anything. Yet BBC keeps harping on about it. BBC has no right to meddle in the affairs of another country. Why does the BBC not investigate grooming gangs in the UK? Have they done a documentary on the misery caused by British imperialism?”
Protester Pradeep Rajput asked why BBC has never shown anything about Hindu girls being abducted in Pakistan and omitted Kashmir from its maps of India in the past. According to the protesters, the documentary doesn’t tell the entire story, including the genesis of the riots.
“They have not interviewed a single family of the Hindus killed in the train (in Godhra),” said Yash Nooka, 32, a software engineer. Raj Agrawal, 40, echoed similar views, saying: “Their agenda is pro-Islamist and anti-India and anti-Hindu. They don’t portray the other side. They run an agenda which is to malign Modi and India.”