BBC Modi Series Row: AK Antony`s son Backs BJP, Says 'Don't let Foreign Agencies Create Divisions in India'

January 25,2023

At a time when the controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the 2002 Gujarat Riots has triggered a bitter political debate among the Opposition and the ruling party, the BJP has found unexpected support from former Kerala chief minister and Congress veteran AK Antony’s son Anil Antony over the issue. Anil Antony has said that no matter what, political leaders should not let internal differences be exploited by foreign entities and external agencies to create divisions in this country. In a tweet, Antony said, "Despite large differences with BJP, I think those in placing views of BBC, a state-sponsored channel with a long history of prejudices and of Jack Straw, the brain behind the Iraq war, over institutions is setting a dangerous precedence will undermine our sovereignty."

Anil Antony, while maintaining that the Gujarat riots are one of the darkest chapters that has happened in this country`s history, said, "Whatever I had said, as far as the big picture is concerned there is nothing that is different from anything the Congress party is saying. I am a Congressman, my father is still in the party for the last 6 decades and there is no difference in anything the Congress party has said. The Gujarat riots happened almost 20 years back and it happened when I was a child, so don`t even know what happened but I can confidentially say that it is one of the darkest chapters that has happened in this country`s history." 

Speaking to the news agency ANI over Centre’s ban on the BBC documentary, the Congress leader said that the internal strife could be misused by people from outside to create divisions and that people should not let history repeat itself.

It may be recalled that the Centre recently banned the BBC documentary on PM Modi describing it as a `propaganda piece` designed to push a discredited narrative. 

Speaking on the ban of the documentary, he said He further said that because of internal differences, India was under colonial rule. "If you go back in time almost 300 years back it was our internal difference that actually led to the East India Company actually establishing the early parts of the colonial rule in India and 75 years from Independence this is actually proudly the year where we have surpassed Britain as the 5th largest economy in the world," said Antony.

On Tuesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the Centre over the BBC documentary and said that banning the Press cannot "suppress" the truth from coming out.

"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," Gandhi said.

The two-part BBC documentary, which claims it investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots, has been trashed by the Ministry of External Affairs as a "propaganda piece" that lacked objectivity and reflected a "colonial mindset". The Centre had last week directed the blocking of multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the documentary.

"We think this is a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias, lack of objectivity, and frankly continuing colonial mindset are blatantly visible," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a weekly media briefing on January 19. The MEA spokesperson added that the documentary is a reflection of individuals who are peddling this narrative again.