I Need to Post This
Part 1, about an hour
Part 2, also an hour
As you may or may not be aware, the BBC produced a documentary about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi it concludes that not only did he tacitly support the pogroms in Gugarat in, he actively supported them using the levers of power that he had as chief minister of Gugarat in 2002.
His goal was to ethnically cleanse Muslims from mixed areas.
This is not a surprise, and I probably would not have noticed the BBC documentary at all, but for the fact that the government of India is using pulling out all the stops to suppress any distribution of the two episodes describing this, including attempting to strong arm social media sites into taking down the videos.
So I noticed this because of the Streisand Effect, those attempts to suppress this story got a lot of ink.
So here are the videos, with links for downloads at the end:
Students at Jawaharlal Nehru University, one of India’s premier liberal institutions, gathered on Tuesday evening for a screening of a new BBC documentary about Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But university officials had other plans.
They swiftly locked the entry gates at the New Delhi campus and cut off electricity in the winter chill, leaving the students to sit and watch the program on laptops and cellphones, their faces glowing beneath a blank projection screen. Then, just minutes into the viewing, which the students were holding in defiance of an order by the public university, they were attacked by a smaller group of masked men throwing stones.
“They will shut one screen, and we will open hundreds,” said Aishe Ghosh, one of the student activists who attended.
The documentary, “India: The Modi Question,” focuses on Mr. Modi’s role during Hindu-Muslim riots that tore through the state of Gujarat in 2002, when he was its chief minister. The deaths of a group of Hindu pilgrims in a fire at a railway station prompted a wave of mob violence in which about 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed, and perhaps 150,000 uprooted.
Mr. Modi’s critics at the time accused him of clearing the way for the carnage, or at least turning a blind eye to it. The BBC special cites an unnamed British official who wrote that the massacres bore “the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing” of Gujarat’s Muslim minority, and it reveals that a British investigation in 2002 had found Mr. Modi “directly responsible.”
But the government has not stopped at criticizing the documentary. It has also taken steps to make it difficult to view inside India, the latest intervention in the free flow of information by state machinery that carefully tends to the image of India’s most powerful leader in generations.
Without banning the documentary officially, India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting blocked segments of “The Modi Question” from appearing on YouTube, with the cooperation of the site’s parent company, Alphabet. The ministry took that action under a cluster of “I.T. rules” passed in 2021 that allow it to suppress virtually any information that appears online.
Such measures are unusual but not unprecedented — in 2015, the government blocked another BBC documentary, “India’s Daughter,” concerning a notorious rape and murder in New Delhi. (YouTube has since made it viewable.)
Twitter has been more resistant to barring content at the direction of the Indian government, but it, too, blocked posts linking to footage from “The Modi Question.”
Yeah, vaunted free speech absolutist Elon Musk capitulated to Modi and his fascist supporters in less time than it takes me to type this.
Real profile in courage there.
In any case, it’s good that the brutal riots and ethnic cleansing is getting some attention again.
Modi really needs to end up at The Hague some day.
In any case, you can download the videos for Episode 1 and Episode 2 at the links.
Full disclosure, I have only viewed bits and pieces of the videos, but it is enough to convince me that I need to help distribute them as far and wide as possible.