Derek O’Brien, a member of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), claimed on Saturday that Twitter removed a tweet he sent on the controversial BBC documentary India: The Modi Question. He forwarded an e-mail, supposedly from the microblogging site, informing him that his tweet was removed at the request of the Indian government, which claimed it violated the country’s laws.
O’Brien wrote, “CENSORSHIP. @Twitter @TwitterIndia HAS REMOVED MY #BBCDocumentary Tweet, which had lakhs of views.”
Claiming that the one-hour programme “illustrated how PM @narendramodi HATES MINORITIES,” the lawmaker added, “See the feeble justification presented. The opponent will continue to put up a valiant battle.”
Here’s👇the mail I recieved. Also see flimsy reason given. Oppn will continue to fight the good fight pic.twitter.com/8lfR0XPViJ
— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) January 21, 2023
The reported email to O’Brien stated, “In the interest of openness, we are writing to advise you that Twitter has received a request from the Indian Government regarding your Twitter account, @derekobrienmp, alleging the following content violates Indian law. We have removed this information from India to comply with Twitter’s obligations under India’s local laws; the content remains accessible elsewhere.”
A day after the BBC aired the first of a two-part series about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his then-state government’s response to the 2002 Gujarat riots, the Centre called it “propaganda” that lacked “objectivity” and exhibited a “colonial mindset.”
In answer to questions during the weekly briefing, Ministry of External Affairs spokeswoman Arindam Bagchi stated, “Please note that this (the documentary) has not been broadcast in India. Therefore, I will only remark based on what I have heard and what my colleagues have observed. Please understand that we believe this is a piece of propaganda to promote a discredited story.”