BBC to India: We have a big and diverse operation in India and we must continue our important work says director-general Tim Davie in an internal email.
We have a big and diverse operation in India and we must continue our important work, says director-general Tim Davie in an internal email BBC director-general Tim Davie gave a pep talk to his staff in India on Friday and his “internal email” to them contained quite a defiant message.
Davie, who has received angry letters from Narendra Modi’s supporters in Britain, emphasized: “Nothing is more important than our ability to report without fear or favor.
Our duty to our audiences around the world is to pursue the facts through independent and impartial journalism and to produce and distribute the very best creative content. We won’t be put off from that task.”He said: “We have a big and diverse operation in India and whether you work in the public service or commercial parts of the BBC, we must continue our important work.”
He did not refer specifically to the two-part documentary, India: The Modi Question, which has infuriated the BJP government and its supporters in the UK.
During his call with staff in India, Davie was joined by “our director of journalism, Jonathan Munro, who will be in Delhi; the director of the World Service, Liliane Landor; and, CEO of BBC Studios, Tom Fussell”. “Please do join the call if you can,” he urged the staff.
His email to the staff was carefully worded but he probably meant more than he said: “I’m very keen to hear directly from you and also to reassure you about the things we’re doing to ensure that you can continue to do your job effectively and safely.
“I know the last weeks have been incredibly challenging for everyone. It is stressful, and sometimes difficult, when the organisation you work for is at the centre of attention. “Thank you for your professionalism and courage.”He went on: “The BBC continues to cooperate fully with Indian Income Tax Authorities. When we have any further information, I promise that we will update you.”
There was more than a hint that BBC would go on scrutinizing the actions of the Indian government come what may: “I’d like to be clear: the BBC does not have an agenda — we are driven by purpose. And our first public purpose is to provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them. It is my job to make sure that you are supported to fulfil this important task and do your work safely.”
Among those who have denounced the BBC programme in letters to Davie are two senior Indian-origin Tory peers. They expressed misgivings that the documentary would adversely affect communal relations in Britain.
Dolar Popat told Davie: “… The documentary was heavily one-sided and failed to reflect the series of events that have unfolded since the riots. Prime Minister was cleared on his involvement by the Indian judiciary and parliament, which helped to lead his re-election as a trusted leader.
Rami Ranger said: “….The BBC documentary has opened old wounds by creating hatred between British Hindus and Muslims by attempting to paint India as an intolerant nation where Muslims are persecuted…”
Mohammed Zubair said, “The UK members from the house of commons questioned the British Govt about how it handled last week’s IT ‘Survey’ on BBC office in Delhi & Mumbai
To which UK govt said, It strongly defended the BBC.” So how is this going to sit well with Prime Minister Rishi Sonak who criticized the BBC who is the backbone of authentic English news.
The UK members from the house of commons questioned the British Govt about how it handled last week's IT 'Survey' on BBC office in Delhi & Mumbai
To which UK govt said, It strongly defended the BBC. #BBCDocumentry #BBCSurvey pic.twitter.com/LqWRh0I7FE
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) February 22, 2023