• Friday, February 03, 2023

HEADLINE STORY

Modi government blocks social media posts sharing BBC documentary critical Indian PM: sources

Indian PM Narendra Modi in 2014 (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

The Narendra Modi government has asked Twitter and YouTube to take down links of a BBC documentary on the riots in the western Indian state of Gujarat in 2002 and Modi, who was the chief minister of the state then, reports have said quoting informed sources.

A number of tweets and YouTube videos of the controversial documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ do not appear on the popular social media platforms anymore.

India’s information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry ordered the two big websites to block the documentary’s first episode, the sources added. The development came a day after Modi’s British counterpart Rishi Sunak spoke against the documentary saying he “doesn’t agree with characterisation” of Modi in the UK parliament by Pakistani-origin parliamentarian Imran Hussain.

The ministry reportedly asked Twitter to remove more than 50 posts on the documentary by the UK’s national broadcasters, the sources added.

Derek O’Brien, an opposition parliamentarian in India from the Trinamool Congress, was among some of the leaders whose tweet on the documentary was allegedly removed by the microblogging site.

“Censorship. Twitter has taken down my tweet of the BBC documentary. It received lakhs of views. The one-hour BBC documentary exposes how PM hates minorities,” O’Brien alleged.

It was reported that the I&B ministry gave the instructions to take down the links using emergency powers under the Information Technology Rules, 2021, and both Twitter and YouTube and Twitter agreed, the sources said.

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