oppn parties Government Ban Has Kept The BBC Documentary On Gujarat Riots In The Limelight

News Snippets

  • Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, referring to a spate of FIRs for putting up posters in Delhi which said "Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao", said that even the British did not act in such manner
  • The 2023-24 Appropriation BIll, which allows the government to spend Rs 45 lakh crore in the fiscal, was passed by Lok Sabha in 9 minutes without any discussion
  • Sources say that Amritpal Singh fled to Haryana and may now be in Uttarakhand
  • Experts say that Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from Parliament will kick in immediately as the conviction has not been stayed
  • Tatas to invest $2bn in super app Tata Neu
  • Chief Economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran has said that inflation will drop as commodity and food prices have fallen
  • Government will define quality norms to ensure better 5G service
  • Stocks tumble again on Thursday after two sessions of recovery: Sensex loses 289 points to 57925 and Nifty goes down by 75 points to 17076
  • Amicus curiae and senior advocate K V Vishwanathan has told the Supreme Court that the changes made in law and three extensions given to the present director of Enforcement Directorate are illegal and will imperil the integrity of the agency
  • Supreme Court says it cannot judicially direct the government to acquire land or buildings near the court for advocates' chambers
  • ISSF Cup shooting: Indian pair of Rhythm Sangwan and Varun Tomar win silver in 10m sir rifle mixed team event
  • WPL: UP Warriorz take on Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator today. The winner will play Delhi Capitals in the finals
  • World Boxing: Four Indians - Nikhat Zareen, Nitu Ghanghas, Lovelina Borgohain and Saweety Boora - enter the frinals in their respective category
  • Bombay HC imposes costs and dismisses a petition by a housing society that sought to have a community-wise cap on residents
  • Delhi Police files 159 FIRs for defacement of public property and 49 for posters saying 'Modi Hatao Desh Bachao'
Rahul Gandhi disqualified from Parliament, Wayanad Lok Sabha seat declared vacant
oppn parties
Government Ban Has Kept The BBC Documentary On Gujarat Riots In The Limelight

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2023-01-31 06:12:16

Banning something from being aired, viewed or distributed in India in the age of internet is largely symbolic, as the Centre is finding to its discomfort now after banning the BBC documentary on the Gujarat riots and Prime Minister Modi's alleged role in them. Although the documentary is banned, it is being screened all over India or is being viewed online. Hence, the ban serves no purpose other than showing that the government is unable to stomach criticism or an alternate view, however unpalatable and against the decision of the highest court in India.

The ban has been challenged in the Supreme Court by lawyer Prashant Bhushan, journalist N Ram and TMC MP Mohua Moitra and the court will hear the plea on February 6. Law minister Kiren Rijiju has slammed the petitioners and said that they were wasting the court's precious time. But the matter is not so simple. It is true that the Supreme Court had absolved Prime Minister Modi of all charges of complicity or dereliction of duty during the riots and had also dismissed the charge of a larger conspiracy after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed specially for the purpose by the court submitted its report, it is still open to others to put forward their point of view and it should not be banned in a democracy.

Instead of banning the documentary, the government should have screened it on Doordarshan and asked other channels to screen it too with a point-by-point rebuttal with reference to the report of the SIT and the Supreme Court judgment. The people are smart enough to understand that the findings and decision of the highest court in India hold much more weight than any investigation by a foreign government or news agency or allegations by others. There will always be a section which will disregard the Supreme Court judgment and believe what the BBC says. The government can do nothing about it. But if it had allowed the documentary to be screened with a point-by-point rebuttal, it could have exposed the BBC which is, in effect, trying to say that the Supreme Court was wrong.