Various matters are being raked up to divide the country, says Narendra Modi
The prime minister’s comments came amidst the controversy following the release of a BBC documentary that revisits his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that people should remain united even though several attempts are being made to divide the country.
“To prevent India’s goal of progressing many excuses are being raked up, different matters are raised to divide the children of mother India,” Modi said, while addressing a rally of the National Cadet Corps in Delhi. “However, despite lakhs of such attempts they will not succeed.”
He added that Indians need to ensure that the country’s path to success is freed from such hurdles.
“The mantra of unity is the ultimate antidote,” the prime minister said. “The mantra of unity is a pledge as well as India’s strength. This is the only way India will achieve grandeur.”
Modi’s comments come as several students across the country’s universities are being prevented from viewing the BBC documentary on 2002 Gujarat riots and his alleged track record against India’s Muslim minority. The BBC has not screened the two-part documentary in India officially.
On January 20, the government had used emergency powers available under the Information Technology Rules, 2021, to issue directions to YouTube and Twitter to block clips of the documentary from being shared. The foreign ministry had described the documentary as “a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative”.
The pirated versions of the documentary have been screened or viewed privately by students in several universities amidst opposition from authorities, and Hindutva groups.
The Central University of Rajasthan in Ajmer suspended 10 students for watching the BBC documentary on Modi’s alleged role in 2002 Gujarat riots. The students were suspended for watching the documentary on their laptops and mobile phones.
They also alleged that members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student body of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, chanted slogans and stopped them from watching the documentary. Screenings of the documentary have run into controversies at the Delhi University, the city’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, Ambedkar University and Jamia Millia Islamia University, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai and the Presidency University in Kolkata.