An audio clip from BBC Asia Network’s show Big Debate has gone viral on social media, sparking outrage after a caller made offensive remarks about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mother.
The clip is from the episode "Do you feel proud seeing the turban being referred to as a crown in Eastenders?"
The caller, identified as "Simon," suddenly went off on a rant when asked a question by the BBC host. He insulted Modi's mother Heeraben in Punjabi, referring to certain parts of her anatomy.
The host was left perplexed.
“Okay hang on, take a second here. Simon, thank you very much for calling…”
After the clip went viral, netizens and Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) leaders took to Twitter to express shock, while also calling for people to boycott the channel.
Prime Minister Modi Ji and his Mother were abused live on air on BBC. BBC Radio aired it shamelessly.— Amit Thaker (@AmitThakerBJP) March 3, 2021
This is a very derogatory and shameful thing on BBC's part.
BBC should come forward and apologise for it.#BoycottBBC pic.twitter.com/zJNW4AL8uj
Shame on BBC Asian-radio and the caller for using filthy language for 100 years old lady and radio for thanking him and allowing it and he repeatedly said it before https://t.co/mqpUXEVSeF woman should be abused like this .Matter for OFCOM . to decide !!!— Nirmal vedhera Sehgal (@NSE204) March 3, 2021
What on earth is #bbc endorsing here. This a very serious issue & @bbcasiannetwork needs to give an answer on the derogatory & demeaning comments made towards the Mother of #IndianPM. How much further will you fall? @naomi2009 @loveenatandon @RatanSharda55 @ramnikmann @kochattil— Nandini (@nanmob) March 1, 2021
This is not the first time that people in India have slammed the BBC. On Tuesday, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, the BJP's Delhi Spokesperson, called for an immediate ban on BBC Hindi and BBC India after the UK-based organisation published news about the adverse effects of India's COVID vaccine.
Meanwhile, last year the BBC also faced outrage after the chief of India's Prasar Bharati public broadcaster accused it of pushing a “singularly one-sided version” of Delhi's communal violence, in which 53 people died and nearly 600 were injured.