NEW DELHI (AA) – The Indian government has blocked all social media content related to the first episode of the BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question.”
The documentary pertains to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership as chief minister of western Gujarat state during the 2002 riots that killed close to 2000 people, most of them Muslims.
Due to his failure to put an end to a series of deadly riots in the state, the US government in 2005 and later the UK barred Modi from traveling to their countries.
Modi was Gujarat’s chief minister from 2001 to 2014.
The Gujarat riots were triggered by an incident of train burning in Godhra on Feb. 27, 2002, in which Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya were killed. Muslims were blamed for the fire, but later it turned out to be accidental in an inquiry.
Invoking emergency powers under the new Information Technology (IT) rules, the federal government ordered the blocking of YouTube videos and tweets sharing the first episode of the BBC documentary on Saturday.
The documentary has yet to be officially released in India.
Kanchan Gupta, senior advisor to the government, in a series of tweets said on Saturday that the “Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has issued directions for blocking multiple YouTube videos of first episode of BBC’s hateful propaganda. Orders were also issued to Twitter for blocking over 50 tweets with links to these videos.”
“The directions to block content from BBC were issued by secretary, Information and Broadcasting on Friday by using the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021. Both YouTube and Twitter have complied with the directions,” he added.
On Friday, the country’s Ministry of External Affairs described the documentary as a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative.