By: Melvin Samuel
Rajya Sabha MP, the upper house of Indian parliament, and senior Supreme Court advocate Mahesh Jethmalani on Thursday lashed out at “BBC apologists” for seeking proof of the Chinese tech giant Huawei’s payments to the British Broadcasting Corporation, and alleged that the UK-based broadcaster has 18 other Chinese clients.
Taking to Twitter, the senior advocate said, “BBC apologists in India demand proof that Huawei payments to BBC were linked to the documentary. Its not just Huawei that pays BBC but at least 18 other Chinese clients! Lord Alton MP in a stinging criticism of BBC says “HIS BREAD I EAT, HIS SONG I SING.”
Jethmalani’s statements came after a cash-for-propaganda deal between the BBC and Chinese tech giant Huawei was revealed by The Spectator.
Steerpike, The Spectator’s gossip columnist in an article said that amid budget cuts and the licence fee future looking uncertain, the BBC developed some questionable new corporate partnerships.
One of them is with Huawei, the Chinese tech giant which was sanctioned by the US in 2019 and barred from the UK’s 5G network in 2020 over security concerns, said Steerpike.
Earlier on Monday, Jethmalani also alleged that BBC received money from Huawei to fund its overseas journalism endeavours stirring a major controversy.
“Why is BBC so anti-India? Because it needs money desperately enough to take it from Chinese state-linked Huawei (see link) & pursue the latter’s agenda (BBC a fellow traveller, Comrade Jairam?) It’s a simple cash-for-propaganda deal. BBC is up for sale,” tweeted Jethmalani.
He also took a dig at the BBC for publishing a truncated map of India without showing Jammu & Kashmir as part of the country.
“Apart from publishing a truncated map of India w/o J&K until 2021 when it apologised to the Indian govt & corrected the map, #BBC has a long history of spreading disinformation against India. The anti-PM documentary is a continuation of this malafide trend,” he tweeted on Monday.
BBC recently ran into controversy in India over its two-part documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ on the role of then Chief Minister of Gujarat and now Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in the 2002 Godhra riots.
The Indian government has criticised the BBC documentary. Foreign ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said it lacked objectivity and was “propaganda”.