WASHINGTON D.C. – The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) has expressed disappointment at the tepid response from the US State Department to the Indian government’s censorship of a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged role in the 2002 massacre of nearly 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat..
IAMC is a US-based nonprofit organisation dedicated to social justice, peace and pluralism.
In a statement IAMC Executive Director Rasheed Ahmed said the failure of the State Department spokesperson Ned Price to condemn the ban “reflected poorly on America’s commitment to hold India to account to the principles of free speech.”
“By shying away from calling out Modi’s authoritarian behaviour the Biden Administration is, in fact, enabling and encouraging him to become even more authoritarian, bringing yet greater repression of India’s civil society,” Ahmed said.
“The US has a responsibility to stop the collapse of press freedom in India. A despotic India does not align with American values and is not in the strategic interest of the United States,” the statement said.
Ahmed also urged members of US Congress to condemn the Indian government for the ban. He also criticised Twitter and YouTube “for abjectly caving in to the Indian government’s pressure and removing the BBC documentary from their platforms.”
“There should be bipartisan condemnation from Congress of the blatantly undemocratic and anti-free speech behaviour of Twitter and YouTube. Our leaders must force these tech giants to immediately restore access to the BBC documentary,” Ahmed concluded.