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We are with you Priti Patel MP
In last week’s Asian Voice readers will no doubt have noticed that a whole page was dedicated to the campaign that Conservative MP Priti Patel has started to seek justice and redress from what appears to be blatant anti-modi bashing by the BBC. Events came to a head when on the BBC flagship programme, ‘Newsnight’; a very slanted narrative was underpinned with an interview from Anish Kapoor. Anish who you might ask? Well this is Anish Kapoor who charged millions to build a piece of scaffolding during the 2012 Olympics. Anyway, Anish is of course meant to be an artist therefore what a surprise that the BBC made him out to be an expert on Indian affairs. Anish went on to make some wild unsubstantiated allegations against PM Narendra Modi. For many Indians in the UK that was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. Community leaders in Birmingham informed Priti Patel about their horror of how the BBC was behaving and the total disregard for balance and just reporting. I must therefore commend Priti Patel who immediately took the task of reviewing the whole programme and wrote a letter of complaint to the Director General of the BBC, Mr Andrew Hall. If you have not read the letter then I would recommend that you find last week’s Asian Voice and steer straight for page 8.
My own investigations have horrified me even more. Since 2002 it seems the underlying narrative of anything and everything related to Shri Narendrabhai Modi has been put into a negative context. Therefore the question arising is, has this been by design or was it unwitting negligence on part of the BBC editorial team?
It is not so surprising that they allowed Anish Kapoor, a long standing supporter and money donor to the Labour Party, to come on ‘Newsnight’ and vent his vile to the public. After all Anish Kapoor attended the anti-Modi event that was hosted by Labour MPs in the House of Commons on 1/5/2014.
It is now time that a full investigation took place dating back to 2002 to see how news and information related to Shri Narendrabhai Modi has been reported on the BBC. I would go further and would want to ensure that the investigation considers not just domestic TV, but all international services, radio services as well as web based services. The BBC has rightly earned a reputation of providing factual news to the world. However it seems over the past decade there have been some changes to the editorial line, especially when it relates to India and Shri Narendrabhai Modi. It is therefore important that as a nation we ensure that this public service paid from licence fee payers is not abused by individuals or groups who might be linked to extremist organisations.
It is equally important that we as a community register our protest. Many national, regional and local organisations have already done this. Gujarat Samachar and Asian Voice are opening the opportunity for each of you to register your protest by signing our petition.
You can also write to Lord Tony Hall the Director General of the BBC at: BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
When you write please indicate that you have read the letter of complaint from Priti Patel MP and that you are supporting her in getting a full investigation to ascertain if there is such bias against the Prime Minister of India – Shri Narendrabhai Modi.