London: The producers of the controversial Top Gear BBC programme have defended themselves against a complaint from the Indian high commission that its December episode focussed on the country was "offensive".
In its January 6 letter to the programme's producer Chris Hale, and copied to Mark Thompson, director-general of BBC, the Indian high commission had stated that the BBC was "clearly in breach of the agreement that you had entered into, completely negating our constructive and proactive facilitation".
The episode presented by the controversial Jeremy Clarkson and two other presenters, Richard Hammond and James May, evoked mixed responses.
The BBC received several complaints while many people of Indian origin felt too much had been made out of the irreverent programme which was poking more fun at the presenters themselves than at Indian culture or its people.
"The Top Gear road trip across India was filled with incidents but none of them were an insult to the Indian people or the culture of the country. Our film showed the charm, the beauty, the wealth, the poverty and the idiosyncrasies of India but there's a vast difference between showing a country, warts and all, and insulting it," Top Gear said in a statement on Tuesday.
"It's simply not the case that we displayed a hostile or superior attitude to our hosts and that's very clear from the way the presenters can be seen to interact with them along the way. We genuinely loved our time in India and if there were any jokes to be had they were, as ever, reflected back on the presenters rather than the Indian people," it added.