New Delhi: The All India Bar Association (AIBA) has demanded a 360-degree probe into the "international conspiracy" angle in the BBCs documentary "India: The Modi Question" while welcoming the Government of India's move to block YouTube channels and Twitter handles that spread a venomous documentary of the BBC.
In a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, AIBA chairman and senior advocate Adish C Aggarwala has pointed out that the AIBA considers the timing of the so-called documentary, its contents and the way it had been conceived and promoted as "dangerous", and calls upon the Government of India to order a 360-degree probe into the international conspiracy angle.
This documentary should neither be seen as a one-off adverse media report or brushed aside as a superficial and half-baked attempt to undermine the stature of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his individual capacity, the AIBA said.
The Bar Association said invisible hands behind this documentary and the minds that got together to stitch an imaginary tale with discredited and rejected evidence should be identified and brought to the book.
Four things should be borne in mind while ordering a comprehensive probe into the international conspiracy angle to this BBC documentary, Aggarwala, who was also the Vice Chairman of Bar Council of India and Supreme Court Bar Association, added in the letter.
First, the AIBA chairman said when a few western nations traditionally inimical and dismissive of India's assets and progresses had expected the nation to flounder and crumble during the deadly pandemic caused by the spread of Covid-19. India not only withstood the Covid wave, but it also developed its own vaccines and went about inoculating more than a billion population thereby shielding them against the infection.
"Unlike these so-called developed nations, India offered its vaccine either free or at heavily discounted rates to other poor nations, exhibiting its large heart and concern for global peace and well-being. Those who were waiting to write off India were stunned by this incredible handling of Covid waves by the Government of India, headed by Narendra Modi," Aggarwala said in his letter.
Secondly, the AIBA said ever since Russia and Ukraine went to war in February 2022, India has chartered its own way in dealing with the international crisis keeping its own domestic issues in mind. India has not budged to the muscle-flexing by the Western nations and instead has spoken tough about keeping its own interest at the top.
"India, therefore, is not only able to do business with Russia, it is also able to talk to both sides, enjoying the confidence on both sides. The fact that India was able to evacuate its stranded students from the war-affected zones is proof of the same. Enjoying tremendous goodwill in both Russia and Ukraine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is tipped to achieve a breakthrough and achieve a peaceful resolution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict," the Bar Association said.
The letter added India has repeatedly told both sides that talks and peaceful resolution alone would be the lasting solution and that this is not an era of war. Western nations do not have this leverage on both sides, and therefore they are determined to destabilise Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts, as it would earn him the top spot in international diplomacy, noted AIBA.
Thirdly, the AIBA chairman said India ascended to the G20 leadership in December 2022, much to the chagrin of India-baiters in some of the western nations. "From the moment the sceptre was handed over to India, we have been working towards achieving global peace and addressing vexed issues. This is also not to the liking of some nations that still cling to their colonial mindset," Aggarwala said.
Fourthly, he said with a global recession looming over several developed nations, India has not only emerged as the fifth-largest economy in the world but also has nullified all the initial ill effects of a slowdown or recession. India's fundamentals are strong, and its healthy domestic demand-supply situation has insulated the nation from the vagaries of international economic turmoil.
India is already the fastest growing large economy in the world, and in another five years, it will reach the envious position of the third largest economy in the world - behind only the United States and China. This achievement under the able leadership of Narendra Modi too has riled many nations, AIBA said.
AIBA said it is of the firm opinion that all these mega international trends and reality have made the forces averse to India's leadership and development to dig out something that would distract the nation's focus from development and welfare, to defending its image in the global arena.
"This so-called documentary has nothing new to show or speak of. Much of its contents had been thoroughly circulated and discussed in public, considered and rejected by various courts, including the Supreme Court of India. The 20-year-old Gujarat riot has several layers to it, but this BBC tries to have a linear narrative and quite maliciously tries to pin down our Prime Minister and the nation itself on the mat," AIBA said in its letter to Union Home Minister.
Fortunately, this narrative has failed to find much takers. Except for those who want to get at the ruling party, the Prime Minister and his policies, the general public have comprehensively rejected this documentary, the letter said.
"But, AIBA feels just because it has not cut ice with the general public and India at large, the mischievous attempt of the BBC to foment trouble in India, should be viewed seriously by the Government of India, and a probe should be ordered into the international conspiracy angle," it said.
AIBA urged the government to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising retired judges of the Supreme Court, jurists and investigators to probe the international conspiracy behind the BBC documentary.
The Bar Association also requested the Centre to write to the UK government to identify people behind this production, probe their backgrounds and cooperate with the Government of India in accessing the so-called documents in possession of the BBC and hold inquiry with persons who had conceived, produced and spread it across the world.
AIBA urged the government to link this dangerous documentary issued with the ongoing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks with the UK and obtain an assurance from that nation that no more such anti-India attempts will be allowed on its soil.
The association further requested the government to Issue a warning to BBC that India will not hesitate to invoke its inherent powers and block its channel and other platforms within the territory of India unless the BBC issues a public apology within a timeframe.