A BBC series has put Prime Minister Narendra Modi back in time, the riotous phase of 2002 in Gujarat, to be specific.
In the first part of the new series aired in UK on Tuesday, a UK government report, marked “restricted” earlier has been published in detail. The documentary draws on a series of images and texts from the report, which at one point says “Narendra Modi is directly responsible” for the “systematic campaign of violence” and that the widespread attacks had “all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing”.
The documentary also has the then foreign secretary Jack Straw recalling why the study and report was called for. “I was very worried about it. I took a great deal of personal interest because India is an important country with whom we(the UK) have relations.”
The report analysis put the “extent of the violence” to be “much greater than reported” and further stated that the riots aimed to “purge Muslims from Hindu areas” and without mincing words, says “That undoubtedly came from Modi”.
In the documentary, a former British diplomat speaks on condition of anonymity, claiming at least 2000 were murdered, the majority of who were Muslims. The diplomat underscores state government support that made the carnage possible. “The violence was widely reported to have been organised by an extremist Hindu nationalist group – the VHP”. The VHP and its allies could not have done so much damage without “the climate of impunity created by the state government, says the report.
Incidentally, the British government imposed diplomatic boycott on Modi for his failure to put an end to the horrific bloodshed. That ban ended in 2012.