Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Congress star’s son quits; Abused, threatened for slamming BBC documentary

Anil Antony with his father, former defence minister AK Antony

Congress veteran AK Antony’s son Anil K Antony has quit the party alleging “intolerant calls to retract a tweet” in which he had denounced a BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and called it a “dangerous precedent”.  

Anil Antony, who was part of the Congress’s social media cell in Kerala, shared his resignation letter on Twitter today and cited “abuses by ones supporting a trek to promote love” in a caustic reference to Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.  

He alleged that he had received threat calls and hate messages “through the night”. “A lot of things that happened in the last 24 hours, especially from certain corners of Congress, have hurt me a lot,” he told news agency ANI. 

Anil Antony’s “redacted resignation letter” slammed the party leadership, saying: “By now, I have been made well aware that you, your colleagues, and the coterie around the leadership are only keen to work with a bunch of sycophants and chamchas, who would unquestionably be at your beck and call. This has become the lone criterion of merit.”  

Yesterday, Anil Antony called the BBC a state-sponsored channel with a “long history of prejudices against India”, while slamming a two-part series focusing on PM Modi and the 2002 Gujarat riots. 

His view was in complete contrast to the stand of the Congress in Kerala, which announced that the documentary would be screened in different parts of the state.  

The documentary, which investigates allegations linked to the 2002 Gujarat riots, has been slammed by the Ministry of External Affairs as a “propaganda piece designed to push a discredited narrative”.  The documentary reflects a “colonial mindset”, the government said.  

The opposition has accused the Centre of ordering the blocking of multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the documentary.  

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, speaking to reporters in Jammu during his Bharat Jodo Yatra, questioned what he called censorship by the government. “Truth shines bright. It has a nasty habit of coming out. So no amount of banning, oppression and frightening people is going to stop the truth from coming out,” he said.  

Speaking to NDTV, Antony said he had “no problem” with anyone in the Congress party, including Rahul Gandhi, but “in the 75th year of our independence, we shouldn’t allow foreigners or their institutions to undermine our sovereignty or run down our institutions.” 

Anil Antony’s father AK Antony is one of the Congress’s top leaders and was Union Defence Minister when the party was in power. 

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