BBC Documentary Row LIVE Updates: Power Cut, ‘Stone Pelting’ Mar Screening at JNU, Students Switch to Phones; US Reacts to Series on PM Modi


BBC Documentary Row LIVE Updates: The documentary by BBC on Prime Minister Narendra Modi has divided people with some sharing links and screening it despite central government trashed it as a “propaganda piece” that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset and some slamming the UK’s national broadcaster and those supporting the documentary for being victims of “colonial intoxication”.

The row over the documentary titled “India: The Modi Question” snowballed on Tuesday with students of Hyderabad University screening it at campus and the students union of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) also planning a screening, which did not happen as planned as the students’ outfit alleged that the varsity administration snapped power and internet connections at the union’s office.

Meanwhile, the documentary was screened across Kerala on Tuesday by various political organisations including the pro-Left Students Federation of India (SFI), as the BJP youth wing went up in arms protesting against the screening.

Latest Updates in BBC Documentary Row:

ABVP’s JNU President Denies Stone Pelting Claim

The head of ABVP said the charge against them is a propaganda and a blame game started by the left. The leader said ABVP students had strict instructions to not interfere in the issue. “Neither me nor any of our members are involved in this incident,” says JNU ABVP head Rohit.

JNUSU President Qasim, however, told CNN-News18 that the stone pelting happened when the documentary was being screened. “When we started marching towards the North Gate of JNU, ABVP surrounded us and another round of stone pelting happened again. The police is taking no action. We will head to the police to lodge a complaint. We have caught and grounded the culprits who were pelting stones.”

-JNU Students Allege Stone Pelting By Cops

Students of JNU alleged being attacked with stones in a bid to stopped from watching the BBC documentary. The students were watching the documentary on their mobile phones after they alleged the university administration snapped off electricity supply to block the screening of the controversial documentary.

However, the Delhi Police denied reports of stone pelting from the campus. “I repeat again, no such incident has been reported to us so far”, Manoj C, DCP (South West) said.

-JNU Admin Snaps Power Supply, Internet as Students Plan Screening of Documentary

Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) had scheduled a screening of the controversial documentary at the campus on Tuesday, however, students alleged that the varsity administration snapped power and internet connections at the union’s office. There was no immediate response from the JNU administration to the allegation.

Students, however, downloaded the documentary on their mobile phones through an online application to watch and share it, All India Students Association (AISA) national president N Sai Balaji claimed.

-Students Group Screens BBC Documentary on PM Modi at Hyderabad Varsity, Report Sought

A students group at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) organised screening of the controversial BBC documentary on its campus without a prior notice or permission, prompting the University authorities to seek a report on the event for taking necessary action.

The Fraternity Movement in UoH campus, a students’ group, organised the screening of the BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question” on January 21 at the shopping complex, in the North Campus of the University without prior notice or permission, UoH Registrar Devesh Nigam said in a release.

As per the prescribed procedure, any student organisation desiring to hold an event in the University Campus is required to obtain prior permission from the authority through the Dean, Students’ Welfare.

However, in this case, no prior permission was obtained which is a violation of the existing norms. Though the event passed off peacefully, the University has asked for the report from the Security wing on the event for taking further necessary action, the Registrar said.

-Documentary Screened in Several Parts of Kerala

The BBC documentary on PM Modi was screened across Kerala on Tuesday by various political organisations including the pro-Left Students Federation of India (SFI), as the BJP youth wing went up in arms protesting against the screening.

BBC’s “India: The Modi Question” was screened in several parts of the state on Tuesday, prompting protest marches by the BJP’s Yuva Morcha against the same.

Some areas of Kerala including the state capital remained tensed. In Thiruvananthapuram, police reportedly had to use water cannons and tear gas to disperse Yuva Morcha protestors.

Yuva Morcha activists also gathered at Poojappura in Thiruvananthapuram where the documentary was screened. More screenings took place in some colleges in Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday evening.

However, support came in for the BJP from unexpected quarters as senior Congress leader and former Kerala CM AK Antony’s son, Anil, voiced displeasure against the documentary.

-‘Truth Always Comes Out’: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi over BBC documentary on PM Modi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is in the last leg of his Bharat Jodo Yatra, held a press conference on Tuesday and reacted to the controversy over the BBC documentary on PM Modi.

“The truth always comes out. No amount of banning the press and using institutions like ED and CBI against people can suppress the truth from coming out,” Rahul Gandhi said.

-TMC’s Mahua Moitra Shares Link Again

TMC MP Mahua Moitra shared link to the documentary again on Tuesday after the previous link shared by her stopped working. Moitra had on Sunday shared link from archive.org, which has taken down the documentary.

Sharing a fresh link on Tuesday, Mahua Moitra said, “Here’s a new link that works. Good, bad, or ugly – we decide. Govt doesn’t tell us what to watch”.

On Sunday, she shared a link in a tweet and said, “Sorry, Haven’t been elected to represent world’s largest democracy to accept censorship. Here’s the link. Watch it while you can.

-Internet Archive Takes Down BBC’s Documentary on PM Modi

The Internet Archive, a US-based non-profit library, removed the first part of the controversial BBC documentary The Modi Question. This comes after Union government asked Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites to take down the documentary, terming the documentary as an “anti-India garbage” and a “propaganda piece”.

The Internet Archive previously contained several uploads of the BBC’s The Modi Question but, on opening the link to the documentary now, a message on the page read: “This item is no longer available. Items may be taken down for various reasons, including by decision of the uploader or due to a violation of our Terms of Use”.

-Centre Reacts Sharply to BBC Documentary, BJP Says White Rulers Are Still Masters for Some

The central government has reacted sharply to the BBC documentary which questioned PM Modi’s leadership during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Centre has slammed the UK broadcaster for documenting “lies” in a “propaganda piece”, with a crackdown on YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links of the documentary.

Union law minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday hit out at those supporting the documentary and said that for some people “the white rulers are still the masters whose decision on India is final and not the decision of the Supreme Court of India or the will of the people” of the country.

The Union minister had on Sunday also attacked thos in India who “still haven’t gotten over the colonial intoxication”.

“They consider BBC above the Supreme Court of India and lower the country’s dignity and image to any extent to please their moral masters,” Rijiju had said in a tweet.

The two-part BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question” claims it investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots when Modi was the chief minister of the state. The documentary has not been screened in India.

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