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BBC admits breach of impartiality after failing to offer alternative perspective on Churchill report | United Kingdom | New UK News

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During a report on BBC News at Ten last year, Indian historian Rudrangshu Mukherjee of Ashoka University sparked outrage after claiming that Churchill was “seen as the trigger for the massacres” in the midst of the 1943 crisis.

Elsewhere in the report, Oxford University’s Yasmin Khan also accused the war hero of “prioritizing white lives over Asian lives.”

She accused the wartime prime minister of failing to send aid to India – which was a British colony at the time – during the crisis.

However, the BBC faced backlash from angry viewers, with one claiming that it “failed to take due account of the fact that Britain was engaged in a world war at the time. “.

One complainant said the report suggested that “the lack of effective action to alleviate the famine reflected racism on Churchill’s part.”

BBC admits breach of impartiality in Churchill report

BBC admits breach of impartiality in Churchill report (Image: Getty)

Millions of people died during famine in Bengal

Millions of people died during famine in Bengal (Image: Getty)

Now, the BBC’s own Complaints Executive Unit (ECU) has admitted that the report does not offer an alternative point of view.

The ECU said: “This bulletin included one of a series of reports presented as” examining Britain’s colonial legacy around the world “which dealt with the Bengal famine of 1943 in which about 3,000,000 people are believed to have died.

“A number of those interviewed in the report suggested that Churchill viewed Indians with a degree of disdain, if not outright hostility, and the impression that this explained his behavior was reinforced by the quote from an account. contemporary reporting that Churchill had said that Indians reproduced like rabbits’.

“It is hardly controversial to say that Churchill has at times expressed attitudes that many would now consider evidence of racism, and the ECU has found it to be editorially justifiable to refer to the issue of racism in the context of ‘a report focused on Indian attitudes that run counter to the received view of Churchill.

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Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill (Image: Getty)

“In the ECU judgment, however, a more in-depth exploration of alternative views on Churchill’s actions and motivations in relation to the Bengal famine was necessary to meet the standard of impartiality appropriate for reporting in such a newsletter.

“This aspect of the complaint was upheld.”

An estimated 2.1 to 3 million, out of a population of 60.3 million, died of hunger, malaria and other diseases aggravated by malnutrition, population displacement, unsanitary conditions and lack of health care. health.

Millions of people have been impoverished as the crisis engulfed large segments of the economy and catastrophically disrupted the fabric of society.

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British prime ministers

British prime ministers (Image: Express)

Eventually, the families disintegrated; the men sold their small farms and left home to look for work or join the British Indian Army.

Women and children became homeless migrants, and many traveled to Calcutta or other major cities in search of organized help.

Tirthankar Roy, professor of economic history at LSE, argued that India’s vulnerability to weather-induced famine was due to its unequal distribution of food, not Churchill.

He told The Times in July: “Winston Churchill was not a relevant factor behind the Bengal famine of 1943.

Famine crisis in Bengal

Famine crisis in Bengal (Image: Getty)

“The agency most responsible for causing the famine and not doing enough was the government of Bengal.”

During the Black Lives Matter protests last year, Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square was disfigured and he was called “racist”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned vandalism and said we cannot “try to change or censor our past”.

Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames said those who label his grandfather as racist should “grow up” and read their story.

The statue of Winston Churchill vandalized

The statue of Winston Churchill vandalized (Image: Getty)

He told LBC: “You can’t deny our story.

“You can’t censor him. You can only watch Churchill as a whole. You can’t just watch, ‘Oh, he said this about that.’ Look at his career as a whole.

“I think most people will recognize that this statue commemorates Churchill’s wartime leadership, his safeguarding of the western world as the leader of the western world, and still his fight for freedom and democracy.”

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This notice was published: 2021-09-03 21:15:00

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