The Congress unit in Kerala is screening the controversial BBC documentary on PM Narendra Modi in Thiruvananthapuram today even though the central government has banned it in India saying it’s false and motivated “propaganda”.
The public showing of the two-part series — which speaks about the 2002 Gujarat riots and PM Modi’s politics, among other things — is one of many such events organised by several Opposition parties and free-speech activists across the country. The Congress is in the opposition in Kerala, too, but the ruling CPM has also taken a stand against banning the documentary.
In Kerala, the documentary is at the centre of row even within the Congress as veteran leader AK Antony’s son Anil K Antony recently quit the party alleging “intolerant calls to retract a tweet” in which he had defied the Congress stand and called the BBC documentary a “dangerous precedent”.
In response to Anil Antony’s argument that it undermines India’s sovereignty, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, Lok Sabha member from Thiruvananthapuram, had said his argument is “immature”.
“[Are] our national security and sovereignty so fragile to be affected by a documentary?” Mr Tharoor said.
Today’s screening on Shangumugham Beach in Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram comes in quick succession of such protest screenings in Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and one by the Congress student wing NSUI in Chandigarh.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, speaking to reporters in Jammu, had questioned censorship. “Truth shines bright. It has a nasty habit of coming out. So no amount of banning, oppression and frightening people is going to stop the truth from coming out,” he said.