Published On: Fri, Jan 20th, 2023

Rigorously researched: BBC defends documentary on PM Modi

New Delhi: The BBC defended its documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “rigorously researched”, which sought to highlight important issues. This comes a day after India criticized the programme as a “propaganda piece” lacking objectivity.

The documentary was rigorously researched according to the highest editorial standards

“The documentary was rigorously researched according to the highest editorial standards,” a BBC spokesperson said in a statement, reported news agency PTI.

While making the series, the UK’s national broadcaster approached a range of voices, the statement added.

“A wide range of voices, witnesses and experts were approached, and we have featured a range of opinions. This includes responses from people in the BJP. We offered the Indian government a right to reply to the matters raised in the series. It declined to respond,” it further said.

The BBC said it was committed to highlighting important issues from around the world and the documentary series examines the “tensions between India’s Hindu majority and Muslim minority and explores the politics of India’s PM Narendra Modi in relation to those tensions”.

The statement comes a day after UK PM Rishi Sunak came out in defence of PM Modi, shutting down Pakistani-origin Labour MP Imran Hussain, who asked if the British premier agreed with the claims made by the BBC programme that some UK Foreign Office diplomats believed that “Modi was directly responsible (for the Gujarat riots)”.

“The UK government’s position on that is clear and long-standing, and it has not changed,” Sunak said. “Of course, we do not tolerate persecution anywhere, but I am not sure that I agree at all with the characterisation that the honorable gentleman has put forward,” the British prime minister said.

India condemned the BBC Panorama programme, which has not been screened in India, and dismissed it as a propaganda piece with a questionable agenda behind it.

“We think that this is a propaganda piece, designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias, lack of objectivity and continuing colonial mindset is blatantly visible,” foreign office spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters during a press briefing in New Delhi on Thursday when asked about the controversial series.


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