Earlier this year BBC released a documentary titled "The Modi Question" but it was soon blocked from streaming platforms in India. The film is a two-part series that explores the rise of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government's controversial policies.
The documentary features interviews with academics, journalists, and activists who provide critical analysis of Modi's governance, particularly on issues such as religious intolerance, censorship, and human rights violations. The film also touches upon the 2002 Gujarat riots, which occurred when Modi was the Chief Minister of the state, and resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 people, primarily minorities.
Despite its critical subject matter, "The Modi Question" was well-received at several international film festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.
However, upon its release in India, the documentary faced immediate backlash from the government and its supporters. Several political leaders from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the filmmakers of spreading false propaganda and trying to tarnish the image of Modi and his government. They also alleged that the documentary was funded by anti-India forces, without providing any evidence to support their claims.
In response to the controversy, several streaming platforms decided to withdraw the film from their libraries in India. The decision sparked a debate about censorship and freedom of speech in the country, with many critics arguing that the move was an infringement of the right to free expression.
Based on my research, the blocking of "The Modi Question" is not an isolated incident in India. In recent years, the government has been accused of stifling dissent and censoring voices critical of its policies. Several journalists, activists, and artists have been arrested or faced legal action and threats for speaking out against the government.
The controversy surrounding "The Modi Question" highlights the importance of independent media and free expression in a democracy. Documentaries and other forms of media that offer critical perspectives on those in power play a crucial role in holding governments accountable and promoting transparency.
The Modi Question is a thought-provoking documentary that raises important questions about the state of democracy in India. The decision to block the film from streaming platforms is a troubling development that underscores the need for greater protection of free expression and independent media in the country.