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'Freedom of expression not license for deception': CM Himanta Sarma after Assam adopts resolution against BBC

Let it be made clear in no uncertain terms that in New India there will be a democratic but proportionate response against those who profit by tarnishing Bharat’s image. Freedom of expression is not a license for deception, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted.

Shashwat Bhandari Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: March 22, 2023 22:04 IST
Assam adopts resolution against BBC
Image Source : PTI,AP Assam adopts resolution against BBC

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday informed that the state assembly has adopted a resolution against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) saying that in New India there will be a democratic but proportionate response against those who profit by tarnishing Bharat’s image.

"Let it be made clear in no uncertain terms that in New India there will be a democratic but proportionate response against those who profit by tarnishing Bharat’s image. Freedom of expression is not a license for deception," Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted.

The state assembly witnessed an uproar over the controversial documentary, with the Opposition demanding a screening of the documentary inside the House.

Raising the issue through Private Members' resolution, BJP MLA Bhuban Pegu alleged that the BBC has questioned India's free press, judiciary and its democratically-elected majority government in the documentary.

However, the resolution has been finally passed in the Assembly after Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and ruling BJP MLAs supported Pegu's claim.

However, some members raised their objections over the assembly passing a resolution against the BBC.

CPI-M MLA Manoranjan Talukdar said, "The topic of this resolution does not relate to Assam. None of us has watched it. I guess Pegu has watched it and that is why he brought this resolution." He added that to have a discussion on the resolution, there must be screening of the documentary in the Assembly.

Three Opposition MLAs -- Sherman Ali, Karim Uddin Barbhuiyan and Akhil Gogoi -- joined Talukdar and demanded the screening of the BBC documentary for all legislators.

In the resolution, Pegu said, "It is disturbing to note that even 75 years after India's independence from the colonial rule, the BBC seeks to continue to act as the true arbiter of India's internal issues, through its dubious journalism."

"So as to preserve the sovereignty and the foundation of India, I request this August House to adopt a resolution demanding the "strictest possible" action against the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) "malicious and dangerous agenda to instigate religious communities and flare religious tension" and malign India's global standing by airing the malicious two-part documentary," Pegu opined.

(With inputs from IANS)

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