THIS is with reference to the article “Indian response to BBC’s Modi documentary ‘not a good look’” (Jan 22). The ones at the helm of affairs in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India are acting foolishly for criticising the BBC documentary, India: The Modi Question, as a “piece of propaganda”, although the whole documentary is based on archival footage of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi’s background, his association with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for decades, his tenure as chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat when horrific massacre of Muslims took place, and his extremist views as a hardcore nationalist leader, are all known to the world.
The Wall Street Journal carried an article back in 2014 and reported that the US Commission on International Religious Freedom had said that Modi should be denied entry. The State Department agreed. Modi already held a tourist visa, but the State Department revoked it, citing the 1998 law on violations of religious freedom as he was responsible for the performance of state institutions at the time of the 2002 Gujarat riots, the article had said.
The Western powers accepted Modi only when he rose to power as the prime minister of India, but his background cannot be denied. India, which has recently crossed China as the most populous country of the world, happens to be an extremely intolerant nation under Modi with grave concerns for the minorities, especially for the Muslim community.
The BBC documentary serves to refresh memories of world leaders about the genocide and ethnic cleansing for which Modi was directly responsible. His extremist stance should be a matter of great concern for the world at large.
Sheikh Taimur Nawaz
Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2023
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