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Criticism of the BBC biased against Narendra Modi

3rd June 2014


The BBC has come under fire after it allowed a programme unairly biased against Narendra Modi. More Members of Parliament have joined in the protest and written to the BBC.


Click Letter by Bob Blackman MP to the BBC



E-Mail By Priti Patel MP to BBC Director Tony Hall: Click

Priti Patel MP Letter to Tony - Hall BBC

Letter by Keith Vaz, MP



Message from British Hindu Voice


E-mail sent to the following leaders by British Hindu Voice:


"Rt. Hon. Keith Vaz" <>,
 Jon Ashworth MP HOC <>,
 "" <>

Rashmikant Joshi <>,
 Manjula Sood <>,
 Harshad Bhavsar <>,
 Veejay Patel <>,
 Deepak Bajaj <>,,
 Cllr Rita Patel <>,,,
 Piara SinghClair


Dear Keith, Dear Jon, Dear Liz

As all three of you represent Leicester parliamentary constituencies (East,South, West) that has a significant number of constituents who originate directly or indirectly from India, I would like to bring to your attention the 'bias' (and hurtful to many British Indians) presentation of the above programme broadcast on 16th may 2014.

The presenter was Yalda Hakim.We have received many concerns from may people  on the imbalance of this programme which instead of focusing on the Indian election and the positive aspects as well as challenging aspects, it subjectively targeted Shree Narebdra Modi.

I attach a copy of the letter of complaint to Lord Tony Hall , Director General BBC sent by Priti Patel Conservative MP (Witham Constituency) which is self explanatory. I hope considering the number of British Indian constituents you represent and bearing in mind your participation in celebrating MR Modi's and his party's outstanding performance in the Indian election, you would write a similar letter of complaint to BBC.

In addition to the points raised in Ms Priti Patel’s letter, we would request you to note and take up the following points. The views expressed by William Dalrymple  in the programme  need further scrutiny as we believe this was not done in an unbiased journalistic manner. As a British historian, Indologist and writer, art historian and curator, as well as a prominent broadcaster and critic, his implied comment that Modi still has a case to answer is not acceptable or reasonable. Dalrymple says this despite knowing, as a close observer of India, that several investigations have cleared Modi. Let us note further that Shree Narendra Modi was cleared by a judicial bench which it has been said was hardly sympathetic to him.We know a lot more about the facts of 2002 today. Yet it seems that  the participants in the BBC Newsnight programme continue to parrot out a line which completely ignores them and this is not challenged by the Newsnight anchor.


My purpose in writing to you is to urge you to watch this Programme and send a letter of complaint  BBC.

Ethnic, especially Guajarati newspapers have reported that Keith Vaz has attended BJP's  (Shree Narendra Modi's) election victory celebrations so I hope you will not hesitate to pick up your constituents concerns about this biased programme and complain to BBC.

If you have already complained, may I please have a copy of your Letter?

This is urgent so please a quick response would be appreciated.


Mukesh Naker

Communications Officer


E-Mail By Priti Patel MP to BBC Director Tony Hall: Click

Priti Patel MP Letter to Tony - Hall BBC


E-mail sent to BBC Director and Priti Patel by British Hindu Voice

Mr Tony Hall
Director General and Editor in Chief,BBC
Telephone 020 8743 8000


Dear Lord Tony Hall,

I am writing to you on behalf of the British Hindu Voice based in Leicester.

We write in response to the BBC 2 Newsnight programme broadcast on 16 May 2014 featuring coverage of the election victory by Narendra Modi, who is now the Prime Minister of India. You will have received a letter of complaint, copy attached herewith, sent by Priti Patel, Conservative MP (Witham). We agree with that letter and endorse the sentiments expressed about the bias in the programme. The programme was clearly skewed to adopt a critical position against Modi and made allegations against him which are either unsubstantiated or are against the grain of the evidence.


The programme’s featuring of Anish Kapoor (  calling Modi  a mass murderer as an authoritative commentator on Indian affairs requires serious investigation. We understand that Anish Kapoor is a strong supporter of India's Congress Party (which lost the election heavily).  It does not be hove the BBC to enable such a diatribe of anti-Modi and India hating rhetoric to be broadcast in this manner without seriously questioning/investigating  it.


India has carried out world’s largest democratic elections and the BBC’s choice of participants in the programme clearly reveals to us the hateful attitude of the BBC towards Modi, India, its people and culture. If this were not so it would not have arranged the programme in the particular manner that it did and would have treated India, its recent elections, and their outcome with a modicum of seriousness.

After all India is already,  a major trading partner for the UK and the EU as a whole. It will play a major role in world affairs in the years to come. The broadcast is completely silent on these issues of major global importance.


In addition to the points raised in Ms Priti Patel’s letter, we would like you to note the following. The role of William Dalrymple in the programme in particular is both questionable and reprehensible. As a British historian, as well as a prominent broadcaster and critic, his implied comments that Modi still has a case to answer for the events of 2002 is not acceptable or reasonable. Dalrymple alleges this despite knowing, or as a close observer of India he is someone who should know, that several legal investigations and court judgements have cleared Modi. Would he or BBC say a similar thing about anyone who has been cleared by courts in this country?

Modi has in fact been cleared by a judicial bench which it has been said was hardly sympathetic to him. This happened when the Congress Party was in Government in India.


We know a lot more about the facts of 2002 today. For instance, Dalrymple seems to ignore the fact that in the aftermath of the events of 2002, Modi had asked for help from the Indian states neighbouring Gujarat and those states responded late and did nothing to help restore the law and order situation. It is well known that the ‘secular’ Indian intellectuals and the paid media in India have tended to parrot out the kind of diatribes that the BBC is now broadcasting when it comes to coverage of Modi.  Dalrymple here is perhaps no exception since he too adopts a line which completely ignores the factual background of the subject he refers to. Dalrymple also makes sure that he brings in the point that Modi has not apologised. For what exactly should Modi apologise?


Unless one is also alleging that the senior Indian judiciary is incompetent then the BBC should drop this line of portraying Modi as a ‘controversial’ (mass murderer) figure and if it is very concerned about the events in 2002, it should broadcast the full facts about the matter rather than allow such a propagandist coverage of Modi and of India more generally.


In this context Swapan Dasgupta commendably tried to respond in an appropriate way keeping his cool although the way the programme was set up should have infuriated him. When trying to clarify that Modi’s interview remarks, about puppies allegedly being compared to riot victims, has been taken out of context and that was admitted and confirmed by the Reuter’s interviewer, he was shouted down by the host and by Darlymple!


This either indicates the incompetence of the editor and host, or it was the BBC’s attempt to calculatedly ensure that the programme portray a negative image of Modi against the facts.


There a number of other issues with this broadcast and for the sake of clarity and accuracy, we would appreciate a full transcript of this coverage so that we can study it in detail and follow up with further questions and issues.


We hope that the BBC which is already perceived by many as India-Phobic (Hindu phobic) is prepared to improve its coverage of India. BBC should not continue to act as if Indians and British Indians in particular are morons and that they will not question or assert their concerns on  what they see as unnecessary poisonous reporting on India related stories.


Yours sincerely,

Mukesh Naker

Communications Officer

British Hindu voice