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‘Propaganda journalism’: UK petition calls for independent investigation into PM Modi’s BBC series

A petition has been launched in the UK calling for an independent investigation into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat with Narendra Modi’ series, which aired on the BBC.

The petition, which was started by the UK-based South Asia Solidarity Group, has been signed by more than 5,000 people so far. It calls for an investigation into the “propaganda journalism” that was aired on the BBC and the use of public funds for the programme.

The petition notes that the programme, which was broadcast on BBC World News, BBC Asian Network and BBC Radio 4, was produced by the Indian government’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It also alleges that the programme was “basically a one-way conversation in which the Prime Minister was allowed to dictate the agenda and spew his divisive, Hindu nationalist rhetoric without any opposition, challenge or even much questioning from the BBC presenters”.

The petition further notes that the programme was funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, which is “meant to be providing aid for poverty-stricken areas in the Global South, not a platform for Indian government propaganda”.

The petition calls on the UK government to launch an independent investigation into the programme and to ensure that any public funds used for it are not used for such “propaganda journalism” in the future.