The Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB) has stated that it is disappointed with the BBC’s ‘anti-Hindu bias’ and criticised the UK’s national broadcaster for airing a “preposterous” documentary on Prime Minister Modi,which has the potential to cause untold damage at a time when communities in UK cities are trying to rebuild relationships after communal clashes.
In a letter to Deborah Turness, CEO of BBC News, HFB said: “This preposterous ill-advised production and airing of a Hindu hate piece could well be the ammunition thugs need to go out and target Hindus. Does the BBC not have any responsibility?
“In this 100th year of broadcasting at the BBC the core ethos of impartial reporting appears to have been sadly lost in the content of INDIA: The Modi Question. The Hindu community has in large numbers communicated to us the insensitivity and lack of judgment the BBC has exercised in airing a programme which has the potential to cause untold damage at a time when communities, police and ordinary people in Leicester and other cities are trying to rebuild relationships, trust and harmony after the events of Summer 2022.”
The Hindu Forum of Britain is an organisation of British Hindus, with more than 300 member organisations from around the country.
The letter also reminds the broadcaster of the BBC Annual Report 2021/22 which lays emphasis on ‘Renewing our commitment to impartiality’ and is considered fundamental to the trust that audiences have in the BBC.
“The program itself was unbalanced and inaccurate. Any loss of life must be condemned. As many 59 Hindus were brutally burnt alive and several suffered life-changing burns when an organised mob burnt coach S-6 of a train with Hindu pilgrims on board in 2002. This, and only this killing of innocent men, women and children was the trigger point for what happened subsequently by way of disturbances in Gujarat but very little air time was given to this,” the letter stated further.
In the letter, HFB also said the Supreme Court of India had cleared Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name from the Gujarat riots. The Hindu Forum of Britain value the UK-INDIA trade, education and cultural ties and hopes that despite attempts to damage this by defaming the elected leader of the world’s largest democracy, it will remain intact and flourish.
“One of the biggest strengths of our NHS is the dedication and professionalism of doctors and nurses from India. Today, HFB has heard voices of disgust about the biased nature of the programme from all sections of the community,” the letter added.
The HFB expressed repulsion at the total lack of understanding of Hindu sentiments by the BBC. “BBC should be a cause for good. Any broadcast which stokes disharmony amongst communities and damages years of good work which the Hindu Forum of Britain and other organisations do to bring communities together is despicable,” it said.
“We can only hope that part 2 of the programme will redress the balance and go some way to restoring our TRUST in the BBC. We remain hopeful. We await a swift and comprehensive response to our concerns,” the HFB said in the letter.