New Delhi: Multiple YouTube videos sharing the first episode of the BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ have been blocked as per the directions issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, ANI reported on Saturday. Along with YouTube videos, the Centre has also directed Twitter to block over 50 tweets containing links to the concerned YouTube videos.
Both YouTube and Twitter complied with the government after directions were reportedly issued by Secretary, Information and Broadcasting on Friday using the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021. UK’s National broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) aired a two-part series attacking PM Modi’s tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister during the Gujarat riots of 2002. The documentary sparked outrage and was removed from select platforms.
On Thursday, India denounced the controversial BBC documentary series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and described it as a ‘propaganda piece’ that is designed to push a discredited narrative. ‘We think this is a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias and the lack of objectivity and frankly continuing colonial mindset are blatantly visible’, said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi during a weekly media briefing. ‘Even though the documentary was not made available in India by BBC in India, some YouTube channels appear to have uploaded it to promote an anti-India agenda’, he said.
The report said that YouTube has also been instructed to block the video if it is again uploaded on its platform. They added Twitter has also been directed to identify and block the tweets containing the link to the video on other platforms. This decision was made after top government officials from across several ministries examined the documentary and found it to be an attempt to cast aspersions on the authority and credibility of the Supreme Court of India and sow divisions among various Indian communities. They added that the documentary was accordingly found to be undermining sovereignty and integrity of India, and having the potential to adversely impact India’s friendly relations with foreign States.