THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the controversial BBC documentary stirred up a hornet’s nest, Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor’s recent interview with a channel has evoked interest in political circles. Speaking to reporters in the capital city on Wednesday, Tharoor said India’s sovereignty is not fragile just because the BBC had come out with a contentious documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots.
“The matter (Gujarat riots) is over. Can we move on to important things today”? Tharoor compared the documentary row to the Barbara Streisand effect (an attempt to censor, hide, or otherwise draw attention away from something only serves to attract more attention to it), “Frankly, our sovereignty is not so fragile that a BBC documentary can undermine it and what is there in the documentary?” Tharoor waxed eloquently that the UK investigating the Gujarat riots is not news as it happened in 2002 and the country moved on.
“We knew that every embassy was trying to find out what happened, particularly, embassies whose nationals may have been caught up in the incidents of Gujarat. The truth is we would do the same. If tomorrow, Indians were killed in riots in England, our embassy would be doing it, as I believe it did in England after the Leicester violence. It is nothing, but a normal practice,” he said.
Noticeably on Wednesday, Tharoor rejected Anil K Antony’s stand on the contentious BBC documentary, even while heaping praises on him. Tharoor maintained that the Supreme Court had already made its stand in the Gujarat riots issue.
“The issue snowballed into a major controversy as the central government banned the documentary. The Congress decided to take up the issue to highlight the censorship imposed by the BJP Government. Everyone should have freedom of expression and their views be accepted,” he added.