With India’s independent judicial system having found Narendra Modi to be innocent, it must be questioned why the BBC now produced a documentary with the intentions of smearing him nearly two decades later. Writes Ahmed Adel
A BBC documentary about the 2002 Gujarat riots is a desperate attempt by the British establishment to instigate communal violence between Hindus and Muslims in India because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s refusal to impose sanctions on Russia.
Communal violence broke out in India when 58 Hindu pilgrims were burnt to death when their train carriage went up in flames at Godhra railway station in Panchmahal district on February 27, 2002. “India: The Modi on the Gujarat riots of 2002” is about the social unrest in Modi’s home state when he served as chief minister and local Muslims were blamed for the crime.
As per official figures, about 1,100 people died and another 2,500 were injured in violence that lasted three days. Western-funded human rights activists and opposition leaders accused the now prime minister of tacitly supporting Hindu mobs, something rubbished by Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In addition, Modi was found by the courts, including India’s Supreme Court and special investigation teams following years-long probes to not have been culpable in any crimes.
The documentary was banned in India on January 22. However, its content, including short video excerpts, has been circulating on social media and causing an outroar in the South Asian country.
“The bias and lack of objectivity and frankly continuing colonial mindset are blatantly visible,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said. “A propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative.”
He added that the BBC documentary is a “propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias, the lack of objectivity, and frankly a continuing colonial mindset, is blatantly visible.”
On January 23 a joint statement by more than 300 former judges, bureaucrats, and prominent figures from India issued a joint statement against the BBC for pushing British imperialism and “setting itself up as both judge and jury to resurrect Hindu-Muslim tensions.”
“When India’s Hindu and Muslim have accepted the wound of the 2002 riot, what’s the business of the BBC to rake up communal issue out of nowhere?” the statement added.
With India’s independent judicial system having found Modi to be innocent, it must be questioned why the BBC now produced a documentary with the intentions of smearing him nearly two decades later. It is not lost that India overtook the UK as the world’s fifth-largest economy in 2022, is presiding over the G20 in 2023, and important state elections will be held in nine states with the general election scheduled for 2024.
The documentary is an indirect way for the British establishment to pressure its former colony on certain issues, including Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. It has immensely frustrated London that India has taken a neutral stand on Russia’s military operations and refuses to impose sanctions on Moscow whilst also deepening economic and security ties.
India’s defence strategy and foreign policy is now geared towards serving the country’s best interests. It was assumed that because India joined QUAD with the US, Australia and Japan in the attempt to contain China, it lost its independence and joined Washington’s orbit. However, the war in Ukraine quickly dispelled this belief.
India has become the largest seaborne importer of Russian oil since the EU imposed embargoes and the G7 placed a price cap on exports.
According to Poten & Partners, a global brokerage and energy consulting firm, exports to India increased from virtually nothing prior to the Russian military operation to 1.2 million barrels per day in November last year.
Citing data from industry sources, Reuters reported that Russia became the third-largest oil supplier to India in 2022, making up about 15% of total purchases, dragging down OPEC’s share to the lowest in more than a decade.
“India’s oil imports from Russia would continue to rise this year as well, mainly because of discounts and if there are no further stringent actions by the Western countries targeting Russian oil,” said an official at an Indian refiner who declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
India not only seeks the best oil deal it can find, but is also trying to reduce its dependency on the Gulf region considering geopolitical sensitivities and Pakistan’s traditionally close relations with the regions Islamic countries. Russia fulfils this as it supplies India with cheap oil and is obviously an alternative source for energy.
Although Russia’s coffers undoubtedly received a huge blow when crude could no longer be directly exported to EU countries and the UK, India has quickly filled the void and has been rewarded by receiving discounts. This fact immensely angers the British establishment and it is for this reason that they are now resorting to cheap media propaganda to instigate communal violence in India and attack Modi.
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