A British parliamentarian has termed the controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “propaganda video” and a “disgraceful piece of shoddy journalism.”
In an interview with news agency ANI, UK Member of Parliament, Bob Blackman said the contentious documentary should never have been released as it ignored the “all-important fact” that India’s Supreme Court had already investigated the accusation against PM Modi in connection with the 2002 riots and didn’t find a shred of evidence.
Bob Blackman, a member of the ruling Conservative and MP for Harrow East, asserted that as Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi did his best to appeal for peace and calm the tempers during the infamous 2002 Godhra riots.
The politician accused the two-part documentary of slander which regrettably makes it seem as if the BBC had some agenda to India-UK ties. He said that the United Kingdom regards India as a strong friend and ally and the two countries were negotiating a landmark free trade deal and anything that disrupts the process is extremely regrettable. Blackman also lauded PM Modi for the radical transformation of India’s economy.
The British parliamentarian said BBC piece on PM Modi was merely overseen by the broadcaster but produced by an external organization and as such was “full of innuendos” adding that the two-part series was more on the lines of a propaganda video and a “disgraceful piece of shoddy journalism” targeting Narendra Modi, first as a Chief Minister of Gujarat and then as India’s duly elected Prime Minister.
Blackman said that the BBC should never have released the documentary as the British broadcaster has a worldwide reputation and people might think that all these things were true because the BBC broadcasted it. But, said Blackman, the documentary, produced by an external organization and overseen by the BBC is “far from the truth” as it failed to delve into the cause of the 2002 Gujarat riots and also ignored the fact these allegations have been thoroughly investigated by the Supreme Court which found “all the claims against Narendra Modi and found that not a shred of evidence to support them.”
Blackman said Narendra Modi, as then chief minister of Gujarat, had sought additional police resources within Gujarat and beyond and eventually called in the army to help quell the riots.
In his critique of the BBC documentary, Blackman said that it showed Modi making appeals for calm and urging people to not riot and then put contradicted that with a whole another series of different montages together with different people, adding that the people involved in the making of the film, clearly have an axe to grind against Narendra Modi.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs had termed the documentary a “propaganda piece”, saying it reflected a “colonial mindset”, while the Centre has issued directions for blocking YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the controversial piece.
BBC tax survey
Regarding the tax surveys conducted Indian tax authorities at British Broadcasting Corporation’s offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, Blackman said the review of the broadcaster’s tax affairs is “nothing new” and “has been and has been going on for quite some time, adding that there have been prior discussions between India’s taxmen and the BBC and the UK national broadcaster is bound to follow the relevant rules and regulations.
Blackman said its BBC’s job to ensure they are caught with the rules and regulations while operating in the country and while some may view it as an attack on media, that’s not an accurate assessment of the situation.
The MP said that it was merely a review and no suggestions of charges or anything along those lines have been made by the Indian authorities.
On a question asking if BBC film on PM Modi reflects the view of the British government, Blackman dismissed such suggestion and said the BBC is not an arm of the British government and is frequently critical of the UK regime… “and that’s their job, their job is to ask questions, to look for evidence. But the key here is you can ask questions but when there is evidence to the contrary and it’s quite clearly not the case, then you shouldn’t be casting aspersions. I think that is the difference here, which I think it is extremely regrettable because it would seem as if there was some sort of agenda of the BBC to disrupt UK-India relations.”
Blackman hoped that the film would not impact India-UK relations, adding that he, however, agreed to one thing in the BBC documentary which said that Narendra Modi and the BJP government will probably be re-elected next time and the time after.
The British MP said that PM Modi and the BJP deserve it as they done “a remarkable job” in steering India towards becoming the world’s fifth biggest economy now in the world.
UP student slapping row: State should take responsibility of incident, says Supreme Court
The bench underlined that if this incident has happened, then it should shake the conscience of the state. It’s a serious issue, the bench noted.
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a teacher at a school in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar who instructed her students to slap a classmate, targeted one community and that the state must take responsibility for the incident.
Hearing a petition that raised concerns over the incident of school children taking turns to slap a muslim student on order of their teacher, a bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal made the aforesaid verbal observation. The video of the incident went viral across social media platforms last month.
The incident sparked widespread outrage, consequently a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the teacher. While hearing the plea on Monday, the top court bench noted that it had serious objections to the way Uttar Pradesh police handled the matter.
The Supreme Court bench further observed that the teacher is targeting one community and that they will go deep into the matter. The bench questioned whether this was the way teachers teach students and whether this is this quality education.
The bench added that the state must take responsibility for this incident, questioning if the school appointed some counselor for the child? The bench underlined that if this incident has happened, then it should shake the conscience of the state. It’s a serious issue, the bench noted.
The apex court bench also mentioned that at first impression, it was a case of failure on the part of the Uttar Pradesh government to comply with the provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which prohibits physical and mental harassment of students and their discrimination on the basis of religion and caste. There cannot be any quality education if a student is sought to be penalised only on the grounds that he belongs to a particular community, it added.
The bench further ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to appoint an expert child counselor and provide counseling to the victim so that he can overcome his trauma. It also ordered that a senior IPS officer be appointed to supervise the investigation and submit a report to the court within three weeks.
Bhopal: PM Modi addresses Karyakarta Mahakumbh
PM Modi said every nation wants to collaborate with India. He said investors are looking to invest in India. He said for a developed India a developed Madhya Pradesh was needed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Madhya Pradesh on Monday. He addressed the Bhartiya Janata Party workers at the Karyakarta Mahakumbh at the Jamboree Maidan in Bhopal. PM Modi said Congress has lost its will power. The grassroots leaders of Congress have been sitting with their mouth locked. PM Modi said first Congress got ruined. Then it became bankrupt. Now the Congress has given its contract to someone else. The party is no longer being run by its leaders. Now it is outsourcing everything from policies to slogans.
PM Modi said every nation wants to collaborate with India. He said investors are looking to invest in India. He said for a developed India a developed Madhya Pradesh was needed. PM Modi said this is the primary reason the BJP government will come to power in Madhya Pradesh.
He said the country is working hard towards prosperity but the Congress wants to take the country back to the 20th Century. PM Modi added nothing is more important than India and its people. PM Modi said the leaders of Congress are born with a silver spoon, how will the Congress feel the pain of the poor.
PM Modi slammed the Congress saying for all the years they ruled they did not provide any assistance to women. PM Modi said Congress did not want to work for women. The prime minister said the Congress has flaws in their intentions. He appealed to the women to stay united and not to fall prey to politics of Congress.
PM Modi slammed Congress for questioning the women’s quota bill. He said the Congress started the Garibi Hatao slogan fifty years ago but the poverty actually increased under its rule. PM Modi said about 13.5 crore citizens came out of poverty level. He said Modi means every guarantee will be fulfilled. He reminded the women of Madhya Pradesh that the guarantee Modi gave of women’s reservation bill has been successful.
Asaduddin Owaisi says day is not far when there will be mob lynching of a Muslim in Parliament
Owaisi slammed PM Modi and talked about the absence of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. He asked why was PM silent now?
The All India Majlis e Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief, Asaduddin Owaisi said the day is not far when there will be a mob lynching of a Muslim in Parliament. His comments come at the time of an ongoing controversy over Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ramesh Bhidhuri’s objectionable comments against a Muslim MP in the Lok Sabha.
Owaisi said everybody saw a BJP MP abuse a Muslim MP in the parliament. He said people are saying he should not have said all this in the parliament. AIMIM chief said everybody is saying his tongue is bad. He said this is the representation of the people have voted. Owaisi said the day is not far when a Muslim will be lynched by the mob in the parliament of the India.
Owaisi slammed PM Modi and talked about the absence of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. He asked why was PM silent now? Ramesh Bidhuri, a BJP MP had started a controversy by making derogatory remarks against BSP leader Kunwar Danish Ali in the Lok Sabha on Friday. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla warned Bidhuri who was also served a show cause notice by BJP. His comments have been removed from the proceedings of the Parliament. BSP MP Danish Ali said he would give up his Lok Sabha membership if strict action was not taken against Ramesh Bidhuri at the earliest.
The opposition parties are also pressurizing Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla for suspension of Ramesh Bidhuri. Speaking to the media Bidhuri said he did not want to comment on what had happened in the parliament. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed his regret in the Lok Sabha over the objectionalble remarks made against Ali by Bhidhuri. The Opposition members appreciated his gesture by thumping their desks. Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra requested Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to take action against Bhidhuri