The British media today provided substantive coverage of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit but a number of reports were critical of his past and his record on human rights.
Important newspapers like The Guardian, The Times and the The Independent gave quite a space for the controversies surrounding Modi, the 2002 riots that took place in Gujarat when he was Chief Minister and the British government’s attitude towards him till 2012 when it warmed up to him.
“All is forgiven. Mr Modi” said the caption for the front-paged photograph in Daily Telegraph while the Times’ story began, “Britain will continue to pursue stronger ties with India despite Narendra Modi’s record on human rights, David Cameron insisted.”
“High security and Cameron’s praise for persona non-grata Modi” read the headline in The Guardian which also carried a critical piece by noted British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor.
Unlike the US, which had refused visa for Modi, Britain had not barred him from visiting the country but remained cold to him for 10 years.
Columnist Philip Collins wrote in The Times that the “egregious PM is not a man who shares our values – but Britain’s relationship with India is bigger than one man.”
The papers also carried stories about decision to strike deals worth nine billion pounds and his various engagements during the day, including an address in parliament house.