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Kerala political groups to screen BBC doc; BJP seeks CM's intervention

CPI(M)'s youth wing, DYFI, kicked off the political storm in the state over the documentary by announcing on its Facebook page that it would be shown in the state

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Press Trust of India Thiruvananthapuram
Various political groups in Kerala on Tuesday announced they would screen the controversial BBC documentary "India: The Modi Question" in the state, prompting the BJP to urge Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to intervene and put a stop to such endeavours.
CPI(M)'s youth wing, DYFI, kicked off the political storm in the state over the documentary by announcing on its Facebook page that it would be shown in the state.
Following that, similar announcements were made by the SFI -- a left-wing student organisation allied with CPI(M) -- and various wings of Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), including the Youth Congress.
The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee's (KPCC) minority cell also said that the documentary would be screened in all district headquarters of the state on Republic Day.
BJP termed such move as "treasonous" and asked the Kerala CM to urgently intervene and nip such endeavours in the bud.
BJP state president K Surendran filed a complaint with Vijayan demanding that permission be not given to screen the documentary in the state.
In his complaint, Surendran said that the screening of the documentary would be tantamount to condoning foreign moves to endanger the country's unity and integrity.
He also said that the reliving the unfortunate events of two decades ago was aimed at "fueling religious tensions".
Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan also urged the CM not to allow screening of the documentary and sought his urgent intervention in the matter.
In a Facebook post, Muraleedharan said that re-introduction of allegations rejected by the Supreme Court questions the credibility of the highest court of the country.
Both Muraleeedharan and Surendran have dubbed the screening of the documentary as "treason".
SFI, in its Facebook post, said the documentary would be screened in various college campuses in the state.
State Youth Congress president Shafi Parambil, in a FB post, said that reminders of betrayal and genocide cannot be hidden by power and the BBC documentary will be screened in Kerala.
KPCC minority cell chairman, advocate Shihabuddin Karyat, in a statement said that the documentary would be screened in district headquarters of the party on Republic Day in view of the undeclared ban on it in the country.
The Centre had last week directed blocking of multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the documentary.
The two-part BBC documentary, which claims it investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of that state, has been trashed by the Ministry of External Affairs as a "propaganda piece" that lacked objectivity and reflected a "colonial mindset".
The directions on blocking access were understood to have been issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Friday using the emergency powers under the IT Rules, 2021.
The central government's move has received sharp criticism from opposition parties like the Congress and the TMC for imposing "censorship".
At the same time a group of 302 former judges, ex-bureaucrats and veterans slammed the BBC documentary as a "motivated charge sheet against our leader, a fellow Indian and a patriot" and a reflection of "dyed-in-the-wool negativity and unrelenting prejudice".

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jan 24 2023 | 1:56 PM IST

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