INSIGHT UK sends complaint to the BBC, OfCOM and the House of Lords about BBC’s coverage of Ram Mandir

INSIGHT UK sent the below complaint to the BBC, OfCOM and the House of Lords as a rebuttal to the inflammatory BBC article and serious concerns that it could increase the risk of public disorder amongst British communities.

The BBC's anti-Hindu and anti-India rhetoric
The BBC's anti-Hindu and anti-India rhetoric

FAO Dame Elan Closs Stephens DBE (Non-executive director of the BBC Board and acting Chairwoman)

Cc: BBC, House of Lord and Ofcom

Subject: Rebuttal of inflammatory BBC article and serious concerns that it could increase risk of public disorder amongst British communities.

INSIGHT UK is writing to raise concerns about a recent BBC article [1] written by Yogita Limaye. It takes up an issue that has already been settled by Indian Hindus and Muslims in Ayodhya.

The article makes misleading statements that could be construed as unfair to one community. This could cause serious disharmony amongst British communities as we saw during the Leicester unrest in 2022, which culminated in Hindus and Hindu Temples (Mandirs) being attacked.

The article makes various incorrect or misleading claims.

  • It repeatedly mentions actions taken by Hindus and the Indian government against Muslims without properly considering why the Mosque was demolished and a new Temple built. It ignores key scientific evidence found till much later and instead states “Many Hindus believe Muslim emperor Babur destroyed a Temple”. It is not just Hindus who believe this, in fact it was KK Muhammad, a Muslim archaeologist that found the evidence that a Hindu Temple stood there. 
  • By the use of the word “believe” and the omission of the facts above, it creates a doubt as to the veracity of the Hindu case for building a Temple, or more properly, rebuilding the Temple in Ayodhya. 
  • It fails to mention that it is a core belief of all Hindus that Rama was God and was born in Ayodhya. Therefore, Ayodhya is a sacred place for Hindus, just like Muslims have Mecca and Christians have various holy sites. The article does not state that the Ram Temple is as important to Hindus as the Al-Aqsa Mosque is to Muslims. 
  • The article does not mention how many other Mosques were built over religious structures worldwide. For example how the Hagia Sophia was previously a Church that was turned into a Mosque. 
  • It fails to mention that the Hindu Temple was originally destroyed by Mughals, led by a Muslim ruler that was barbaric to the locals. The removal of Babri was the Hindu equivalent of the BLM movement to remove oppressive structures. Often these structures were made by enforcing jizya tax on Hindus by Muslim rulers. This is a serious omission of fact and balance, by not stating that the original Hindu Temple was destroyed by Muslims to build the Mosque.
  • The article is one-sided, biased against Hindus and is neither balanced nor accurate, both breaches of the BBC Charter. It does not cover three key Muslim viewpoints. The first was the Muslim archaeologist who discovered the Ram Temple under the Mosque. The second was the Muslim who was part of the unanimous decision made by the Supreme Court to give the land to Hindus and the third being the local Muslim group who were involved in the case had said they would accept the decision. 
  • The article does not highlight that the issue is much more nuanced than Hindu vs Muslim. The original agitation for the Hindu Temple was started by a Sikh community [2] and many other Punjabi communities are going to the Temple opening [3] including ex-Indian Sikh cricketer, Harbhajan Singh [4]. Why has the BBC chosen to omit all these views from a variety of different angles?

A recent INSIGHT UK survey concluded that the BBC was the most untrusted source of news for Indians and Hindus in the UK [5]. Perhaps the BBC could focus more on the much larger number of Temples being razed in Pakistan and Bangladesh. 

What is the need for the BBC to rake up this issue for readers when things are already settled in India? All the article does is create disharmony amongst UK groups and risk provocation, thus creating problems for the Hindu and Muslim communities in the UK. It also creates policing and vandalism problems as we saw during the Leicester unrest where Hindus and Hindu Temples were attacked.

We look forward to your response.