Rajat Sharma

BBC documentary: Know the real motive of those trying to defame India

AKBThe attempts by pro-Left activists to screen the BBC documentary on Gujarat riots titled ‘The Modi Question’ in Jamia Millia and JNU campuses are nothing but reflective of their mindset to bring infamy to our country on the eve of 74th Republic Day.

Activists of CPI-M student wing Students’ Federation of India had asked students to attend the screening in Jamia Milla on Wednesday, after which police was deployed. The university administration refused to give permission for screening. The university was turned into a fortress and finally the screening was called off, and 13 students were detained by police.

On Tuesday night, pro-Left activists in Jawaharlal Nehru University tried to screen the documentary inside the campus, but the administration disconnected power and internet was snapped. There were reports of stone pelting, and SFI activists blamed ABVP, the RSS students’ wing.

The motive was clear: to create public ‘hungama’ instead of screening the documentary. There was political objective behind it. The objective was to embarrass the government during the visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. JNU is considered a stronghold of pro-Left students, who are stridently anti-Modi. Even the late PM Indira Gandhi had to take action against JNU activists during her rule and the campus had to be closed down for some time.

During Dr Manmohan Singh’s rule too, there were anti-government protests, and ‘mushaira’ was organized in support of Pakistan. This was the campus where the martyrdom of our CRPF jawans at the hands of Maoists was celebrated.

Anti-Indian slogans like ‘Bharat Tere Tukde Honge, Inshallah, Inshallah’ were chanted during the third anniversary of the execution of Parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru. There is nothing new if an anti-Modi documentary is sought to be screened.

In CPI(M)-ruled Kerala, the BBC documentary was extensively screened by pro-Left groups in several districts and university campuses on Wednesday. In Thiruvananthapuram, BJP supporters were prevented by police by erecting barricades, when DYFI activists screened the documentary. Police had to use water cannons to disperse BJP supporters.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan said, “the documentary has been made by people from a nation which ruled us for 200 years. These were the people who were claiming that Indians were not fit for democracy, and if the British left, India will be broken into several pieces. These were the people who had predicted that India’s freedom and democracy will not remain intact. Today they find India strong, independent and democratic, and India is regarded as one of the leading countries in world forums.”

Khan said, “I am surprised that there are Indians who give importance to the opinion of such people. These were the people who had made India their colony to exploit. The Supreme Court’s opinion is being given less weightage compared to the opinion expressed by foreigners in their documentary. I think such an issue need not be given much importance.”

On Wednesday, Anil Antony, son of senior Congress leader A K Antony resigned from all posts in the party after he was heckled and abused by party supporters for opposing the documentary. Anil Antony had described the BBC documentary as “an infringement of India’s sovereignty.” He had tweeted on Tuesday that placing the views of BBC over Indian institutions will undermine the sovereignty of the nation. While resigning, he cited “intolerant calls and abuses” over the matter. The Congress had directed Anil Antony to delete his tweet, which he refused to do so.

After resigning, Anil Antony said, “I oppose BJP on several issues. I have opposed BJP till now, but when national interest, sovereignty and national security and strategic interests are concerned, I think we should not play into the hands of such people. That is why I said there could be an agenda behind the BBC documentary, and we in the Congress need to be alert.”

Anil’s father A K Antony has been in the Congress for more than six decades. He was Kerala chief minister, India’s Defence Minister, and a loyalist of Nehru-Gandhi family. If his son resigns, the party needs to rethink. On Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi said, “truth will always come out, even if you ban it. Our Upanishads and Bhagwad Gita say, truth always comes out, it cannnot be hidden. You can control institutions, you can misuse CBI, ED, but truth is after all, truth. Truth always shines and it has the natural tendency to come it.”

The question is not about Modi. It is about the judgement of our Supreme Court. It relates to India’s self-esteem. The riots took place 20 years ago. Those in the BBC who made the documentary, were outsiders. The matter was heard right from the lower courts till the apex court. Those featured in the BBC documentary, have been heard from the lower courts to the Supreme Court. Their views have also changed now.

Times have changed. The matter is at rest, but there are people who do not wish to see the truth. Such people do not wish to obey the verdict of the apex court. Nothing can be done about such people. Those who failed to defeat Modi in elections, are at least having the consolation of trying to defame him.

The people who are trying to screen the BBC documentary are those, who instigated the protests against Citizenship Amendment Act. These were the people who had instigated the farmers to sit on dharna for more than a year. They have their own eco-system. Their voices can be heard from JNU campus till Jadavpur University campus in Bengal. There are many outside India who support such people.

One should look at the timing of such screenings. India has taken over as the chairman of G-20 group. Republic Day was observed with fanfare across the country. The President of Egypt was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade. These were the reasons why the screening of the controversial BBC documentary was sought to be done. This is only the beginning. More is to follow.

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