World·Nothing is Foreign

The BBC documentary India's government doesn't want people to see

The Indian government calls a new BBC documentary on PM Modi’s role in the 2002 Gujarat riots “propaganda” and has suppressed its availability in India.

University students across India have been protesting the government's suppression of a new BBC documentary

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi exits a vehicle and waves to supporters. There are two security officers behind him and there is a crowd in the background. The car is covered in flower petals.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) waves to his supporters during a roadshow ahead of the BJP national executive meet in New Delhi on January 16, 2023. (Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images)

University students across India have been protesting the government's suppression of a recently released BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It's about his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, where over a thousand people were killed, mostly Muslims.

The Indian government suppressed the documentary by using emergency powers, stemming from an IT law it created in 2021 that allows for the removal of online content considered fake or false by the government, or seen as a threat to public order.

This week on Nothing is Foreign, we get into the support and backlash to Modi shutting down screenings of the BBC documentary and what that says about growing concerns around censorship and freedom of expression in the country.


  • Ajoy Ashirwad, political editor at The Wire, an independent news agency based in Delhi.

Nothing is Foreign, a podcast from CBC News and CBC Podcasts, is a weekly trip to where the story is unfolding. It's hosted by Tamara Khandaker.

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