“Dangerous Precedence”: Congress Leader AK Antony’s Son On BBC Documentary

The BJP on Tuesday found support from unexpected quarters in the controversy over the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with senior Congress leader and former Kerala Chief Minister AK Antony’s son Anil Antony voicing reservations about the film.

Placing the views of the British broadcaster over Indian institutions would “undermine” the country’s sovereignty, Anil Antony said in a message on Twitter, taking a divergent stand from his party and leader Rahul Gandhi.

Speaking with NDTV, Mr Antony said he had “no problem” with anyone in the Congress party, including Mr Gandhi, but, “in the 75th year of our independence, we shouldn’t allow foreigners or their institutions to undermine our sovereignty or run down our institutions.”

The comments came on the same day that Rahul Gandhi, speaking to reporters in Jammu during his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, questioned the government’s attempts to block the documentary from being shared online in India.

“If you have read our scriptures, if you read Bhagwat Gita or the Upanishads… you can observe that the truth always comes out. You can ban, you can suppress the press, you can control the institutions, you can use CBI, ED (Enforcement Directorate)… but the truth is truth,” he said.

“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 added.

The comments by Anil Antony, who handled the digital communications of the Congress’s Kerala unit till recently, also flew in the face of the party’s stance in Kerala where its various units have announced screenings of the controversial documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The centre had last week directed the blocking of multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the documentary.

The two-part BBC documentary, which claims it investigated certain aspects relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots, has been trashed by the Ministry of External Affairs as a “propaganda piece” that lacked objectivity and reflected a “colonial mindset”.

The central government’s move has received sharp criticism from opposition parties like the Congress and the Trinamool Congress for imposing “censorship”.