Department of State’s failure to condemn India’s undemocratic ban on BBC film on Modi disappointing: IAMC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington D.C. (January 27, 2023) – The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), a US-based nonprofit organization dedicated to social justice, peace and pluralism, has expressed disappointment at the tepid response from the US State Department to India’s censorship of a BBC documentary that has exposed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s complicity in the massacre of nearly 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat state over two decades ago.
At a time when India’s ban on the film, titled “Modi: The India Question,” under emergency powers was being globally criticized, the State Department spokesperson Ned Price’s failure to condemn the ban reflected poorly on America’s commitment to hold India to account to the principles of free speech, IAMC said in a statement.
“By shying away from calling out Modi’s authoritarian behavior the Biden Administration is, in fact, enabling and encouraging Modi to become even more authoritarian, bringing yet greater repression of India’s civil society,” IAMC Executive Director Rasheed Ahmed said. “The US has a responsibility to stop the collapse of press freedom in India. A despotic India does not align with American values and is not in the strategic interest of United States”
Ahmed also urged members of US Congress to condemn the Indian government for the ban as well as Twitter and YouTube for abjectly caving in to the Indian government’s pressure and removing the BBC documentary from their platforms.
“There should be bipartisan condemnation from Congress of the blatant undemocratic and anti-free speech behavior of Twitter and YouTube. Our leaders must force these tech giants to immediately restore access to the BBC documentary,” Ahmed said.