New Delhi [India], January 24 (ANI): The BJP on Tuesday garnered unexpected support from former Kerala Chief Minister and Congress leader AK Antony's son Anil Antony on the controversial BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi which has triggered political debate among the Opposition and the ruling party.
Antony said that no matter what, political leaders should not let internal differences be exploited by foreign entities and external agencies to create divisions in this country.
Speaking to ANI, Antony said that the Gujarat riots is one of the darkest chapters that has happened in this country's history.
"Whatever I had said, as far as the big picture is concerned there is nothing that is different from anything the Congress party is saying. I am a Congressman, my father is still in the party for the last 6 decades and there is no difference in anything the Congress party has said. The Gujarat riots happened almost 20 years back and it happened when I was a child, so don't even know what happened but I can confidentially say that it is one of the darkest chapters that has happened in this country's history," he said.
The Congress leader further said, "However, we have a Supreme Court, we have our institutions and finally, I was speaking from my conscience, I saw a certain narration that was happening in the last three-four days and I do think that no matter what internal differences we may have we shouldn't let that be exploited by foreign entities. We (political parties) shouldn't let external agencies exploit that to create division in this country and I felt that we are going towards that trajectory and hence I made that tweet. As I said the big picture is that there is nothing which is different then what Congress is saying. However, we feel that we should not let our internal differences be exploited by people from outside."Speaking on the ban of the documentary, he said that the internal strifes could be misused by people from outside to create divisions and people should not let history repeat itself.
The Centre banned the BBC documentary on PM Modi describing it as a 'propaganda piece' designed to push a discredited narrative.
"We are a free country and we take pride in the fact that we are the world's largest as well as the oldest democracy and Freedom of Speech is one of the core elements in a democratic country. As long as somebody is saying something or creating a narration that is creating internal strife, that is actually creating a scenario that is a narration against our constitutional or criminal court values, they should be allowed to speak what they are allowed to speak but like I said there are certain scenarios where the end of the day our internal strives could be misused by people from outside to create divisions and this is the 75th year of our Independence and we shouldn't let history repeat itself," he said.
He further said that because of internal differences, India was under colonial rule.
"If you go back in time almost 300 years back it was our internal difference that actually led to the East India Company actually establishing the early parts of the colonial rule in India and 75 years from Independence this is actually proudly the year where we have surpassed Britain as the 5th largest economy in the world," said Antony.
The Congress leader said that as of today India is on a very good trajectory and people should not let our differences once again lead to some other mistakes of the past.
"India is on a very good trajectory at the moment and at this moment we shouldn't let our differences again lead to some other mistakes of the past and that is what I feel and that is what I do, thinks and feel," he added.
In a tweet, he earlier said, "Despite large differences with BJP, I think those in placing views of BBC, a state-sponsored channel with a long history of prejudices,and of Jack Straw, the brain behind the Iraq war, over institutions is setting a dangerous precedence,will undermine our sovereignty."Earlier in the day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the Centre over the BBC documentary and said that banning the Press cannot "suppress" the truth from coming out.
"The truth always comes out. No amount of banning the Press and using institutions like ED and CBI against people can suppress the truth from coming out," Gandhi said.
Last week, India denounced the controversial BBC documentary series on Prime Minister Modi.
"We think this is a propaganda piece designed to push a particular discredited narrative. The bias, lack of objectivity, and frankly continuing colonial mindset are blatantly visible," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a weekly media briefing on January 19.
The MEA spokesperson added that the documentary is a reflection of individuals who are peddling this narrative again.
Meanwhile, in a strong response to the BBC documentary, more than 300 eminent Indians, including retired judges, bureaucrats, and armed forces veterans signed a statement slamming the British national broadcaster for showing "unrelenting prejudice" towards India and its leader. (ANI)