5 Big Fat Lies Modi Biopic Tries But Can’t Get Away With Because We’re Not Stupid. Yet.
"It’s not a documentary. I am not there to present facts," Vivek Oberoi said in an interview. And this is the only thing true about the film.
That the Vivek Oberoi starring ‘biopic’ of PM Narendra Modi is a propaganda venture, is no news to anyone. It’s release during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was banned for this reason. One would expect that the film glorifies and exaggerates events of Modi’s life, but it goes 56 steps ahead and straight-up lies. From things that never happened, to things that happened but Modi had nothing to do with them, the movie is unashamed about playing with history. Thankfully, many of these events happened not that long ago, and there is ample evidence to counter the claims.
Here are the 5 biggest lies in the movie:
Lie no.1: 2002 Gujarat riots lasted 24 hours
The truth: The riots lasted for at least three-full days after the Godhra train burning incident. Other accounts state that the violence actually continued for weeks.
Lie no. 2: Modi tried everything to contain the Gujarat riots, donated blood at relief camps
The truth: IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt gave an affidavit saying that on the night of February 27, 2002 — immediately after the Godhra train burning — Modi held a meeting and asked police officers to remain “indifferent” to the violence being inflicted by Hindu mobs.
Moreover, the Supreme Court even called Modi a “Modern day Nero” — a reference to the Roman emperor who watched while the city burned — for failing to take action to control the violence. “The modern day Neros were looking elsewhere when BestBakery and innocent children and helpless women were burning, and were probably deliberating how the perpetrators of the crime can be protected.” 16 people were burnt alive when a mob had set fire to the bakery.
Lie no. 3: Atal Bihari Vajpayee praised Modi in front of the press during the 2002 riots
The truth: This particular lie is extremely disconcerting and shows how little respect the makers of the film have for the people’s intelligence and the truth. There is video evidence of the infamous press conference where Vajpayee lectured on obeying Raj dharma, while Modi sat next to him, embarrassed.
“My one message to the chief minister is that he should follow raj dharma. A ruler should not make any discrimination between his subjects on the basis of caste, creed and religion,” Vajpayee had said.
Further, in his book, The Untold Vajpayee, Ulekh NP details the 2002 chain of events in which Vajpayee had said “Modi must go“. The then Prime Minister wanted to sack Modi as the chief minister of Gujarat for his failure to curb the violence.
Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha also reiterated this recently, and said that it was LK Advani who advocated on Modi’s behalf when Vajpayee had made up his mind to replace Modi.
Lie no. 4: Modi entered the parliament at the time of the Emergency as a form of defiance
The truth: In 1975, Modi was a virtual nobody, and it was in fact Subramanian Swamy who did that. Swamy’s defiance of the Emergency is well-recorded.
In her book, The Emergency, Coomi Kapoor, a senior journalist and Swamy’s sister-in-law, has dedicated a full chapter titled “Swamy on the Run” on how Swamy escaped arrest. At one point, Swamy had disguised himself and had entered the Rajya Sabha to deliver his now-famous “death of democracy” quip, after which, he had also managed to escape.
Lie no. 5: Modi unfurled the tricolor at the Lal Chowk in Srinagar
The truth: Umm, Murli Manohar Joshi — the BJP veteran who has now been banished by the Modi-Shah duo, is the one who did that. Modi himself has lied about the claim in his previous speeches.
— Amit Chitalia (@amitchitalia) February 5, 2019
He has claimed that he took out out a yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. A claim that reportedly made the Sangh Parivar furious, because it was Joshi who actually took out the Ekta Yatra in 1992 and Modi was only one of the many workers who were a part of it.
There is a video of Joshi recounting the same.
A Greater Kashmir article from 2015 also details the event.
The only thing true about this film is what Vivek Oberoi told India Today in a recent interview, “It’s not a documentary. I am not there to present facts.”