Slamming the BBC documentary series titled “India: The Modi Question,” as “politics by another means” in an analogy to phrase “war by other means”, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday questioned the timing of the BBC documentary, asserting that it was by no means “accidental”.
“I mean, come on, you think timing is accidental! Let me tell you one thing — I don’t know if the election season has started in India, Delhi or not, but, for sure it has started in London, New York,” he said.
When asked about some western media’s bias against Modi, Jaishankar added, “Do you doubt it? Look who the cheerleaders are. What is happening is, just like I told you — this drip, drip, drip — how do you shape a very extremist image of India, of the Government, of the BJP, of the Prime Minister. I mean, this has been going on for a decade.”
“Actual politics” is being conducted “ostensibly as media” by people who do not have the “courage to come into political field,” he said in an exclusive interview to ANI.
“Sometime politics of India doesn’t even originate in its borders, it comes from outside. We are not debating just a documentary or a speech that somebody gave in a European city or a newspaper edits somewhere — we are debating, actually politics, which is being conducted ostensibly as media — there is a phrase ‘war by other means’. This is politics by another means — I mean you want to do a hatchet job and say this is just another quest for truth which we decided after 20 years to put at this time.”
The BBC documentary caused a controversy for alluding to Modi’s role in the Gujarat riots whereas disregarding the Supreme Court clean chit.
The EAM said that the motive behind planting such stories abroad is to further the anti-India agenda.
“Let’s not have illusions about it..., there is an echo chamber, it will be picked outside and then they will say it is being said outside, it must be true. Then you will say it inside. There is a ding-dong going on, look this is a globalized world, people take that politics abroad,” said the EAM.
He asked, “Why suddenly there is a surge of reports and attention and views? I mean, were some of these things not happening earlier. Many things happened in Delhi in 1984, why don’t we see a documentary on that? If that was your concern, you suddenly feel one day, ‘I am very humanistic, I must get justice for people who have been wronged’.”
He advised to not get fooled by such agendas and challenged the propagator to come in the political field.
“This is politics at play by people who do not have the courage to come into the political field. They want to have that teflon cover saying that I am an NGO, media organisation, etc. They are playing politics,” Jaishankar asserted.
“Among other things in a democracy, don’t you trust the ballot box, people’s verdict to be the final opinion? I do. I know there are certain people who believe that their view supersedes elections,” he added.
On Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s attack on the Government over China’s aggression on the LAC in eastern Ladakh, Jaishankar said the Modi Government has increased the budget by five times to ramp up border infrastructure. “If I would have to sum up this China thing, please do not buy this narrative that somewhere the government is on the defensive...somewhere we are being accommodative. I ask people if we were being accommodative who sent the Indian Army to the LAC. Rahul Gandhi did not send them. Narendra Modi sent them. We have today the largest peacetime deployment in our history on the China border.”
“They must have some problem understanding words beginning with ‘C’. It’s not true. I think they are deliberately misrepresenting the situation…This Govt is serious about border infra,” he said.