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BBC is impartial, we proceed ‘investing heavily’ in relationship with India, says UK

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Press Trust of India

Amid the row surrounding the documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, British PM Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson mentioned the BBC is impartial in its output and the UK authorities continues to treat India as an extremely vital worldwide accomplice.

London,UPDATED: Feb 2, 2023 23:27 IST

The BBC documentary claims it investigated the 2002 Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state. (Photo: AFP)

By Press Trust of India: The UK authorities has defended the BBC as a media outlet “independent in its output“ in the wake of widespread Indian diaspora protests against the controversial documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Addressing reporters at Downing Street on Wednesday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson echoed a statement issued by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly in Parliament earlier this week to add that the government continues to invest in its relationship with India.

“The BBC is independent in its output and we would stress that we continue to regard India as an incredibly important international partner,” the spokesperson mentioned in response to a query about India’s condemnation of the documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ questioning the then chief minister’s position within the 2002 Godhra riots.

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“We will be investing heavily in our relationship with India over the coming decades and we’re confident it will only go from strength to strength,” the spokesperson mentioned.

It adopted an analogous response by Cleverly within the House of Commons on Tuesday, when he responded to a query from a Conservative Party colleague on the assurances the UK authorities had given to India within the wake of coordinated diaspora protests towards the BBC over the weekend.

“I recently had the opportunity to speak to the Indian High Commissioner, Vikram Doraiswami, on this and a number of other issues,” the international minister informed MPs.

“We recognise how this portrayal of the Indian government has played out in India. I made it clear that the BBC is independent in its output, that the UK regards India as an incredibly important international partner and that we will be investing heavily in that relationship in the coming decades,” he mentioned.

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The minister was responding to a query by Tory MP Bob Blackman, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Hindus, who termed the documentary as “anti-India propaganda” and requested in regards to the steps taken to “reassure our Commonwealth partner that this propaganda is not the policy of this government”.

Cleverly met Doraiswami in the course of the India Global Forum’s UK-India Parliamentary Lunch final week and addressed the gathering of parliamentarians and enterprise leaders on strengthening bilateral ties throughout all spheres.

“On trade, we are well into the negotiations of what has all the hallmarks of being a genuine global standard bilateral trade relationship, because we have this wonderful bilateral relationship which I like to think of as unique,” he mentioned on the time.

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Published On:

Feb 2, 2023