When the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been vehemently attacked by the BJP and right-wing people after publishing a documentary 'India: The Modi Question' in which it directly held Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the 2002 Gujarat riots where thousands of Muslims were killed by the Hindutva devouts, a video clip that is now doing rounds on social media has come as a major disruptor for the BJP's campaign against the BBC.
When Modi's admirers and followers attack the BBC for its documentary, a throwback video brings back Modi's speech to a limelight as in his speech, Modi praises BBC for being credible than Indian media. He made this speech when he was Gujarat's Chief Minister, the same period which now BBC has delved into for the communal riots that happened under his direct watch in 2002.
In their counter-attack to the BJP, the activists who back the BBC documentary have shared Modi's speech about BBC years back. According to reports, Modi made this speech of praising BBC in 2013 when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister. Prashant Bhushan, who is a renowned Indian lawyer, shared this video on Twitter and wrote, "When Modi found the BBC more credible than all Indian media, especially the govt owned media."
In the video, Modi says, "This is our media world. As long as we had Akashwani, Doordarshan, and limited number of newspapers, what was the talk among the common man? They used to say 'I heard it on BBC'. They had no faith in Akashwani, they had no faith in Doordarshan. Newspapers were published at huge costs, yet they used say, 'No buddy, I heard it on BBC'. This credibility...the loss of credibility of the government, I believe, is a great danger. And when faith in the system is lost, then a person stars looking for alternate options."
This video is getting shared widely at a high time when the second part of BBC documentary about Modi was released on Tuesday in the UK, a week after the first one was published. While the first part of the documentary deals with the 2002 Gujarat riots, Modi's role in it, and the inquiry done by the UK's Foreign Office, the second part covers Modi's days as Prime Minister and his controversial drive against the Indian Muslim people.
When the first part was released, it sparked turmoil across the country as it directly accused Narendra Modi in the riots. Before the first part had a wider reach, the BJP-led Indian government promptly used its emergency powers to block the links to the documentary. The links that were pervasive on social media including Twitter and YouTube were taken down by the government.
Though the Modi government played a clampdown against the documentary, several universities and leftist groups have screened the documentary and such events have sparked a new round of friction. Several opposition leaders have slammed the Modi regime for its censorship against the documentary. Earlier, while commenting about the first part of the documentary, the official spokesperson of External Affairs Ministry, Arindam Bagchi said that the documentary is a propaganda piece, designed to push a particular discredited narrative.