Recently, the BBC’s offices in India were stringently searched by officials representing the country’s Income Tax Department. The search reportedly spanned for two days as the staff was questioned about the BBC’s business operations in India. This news comes weeks after BBC aired a documentary that was critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The documentary was reportedly blocked from being shown in India while social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter complied with requests from the government to remove links to it. Some have described this as an attempt to intimidate the media and censor criticism of the government, with Rights groups and opposition politicians denouncing the move and expressing their alarm over the situation.
The situation highlights the decline of press freedom in India in recent years. Media watchdog groups have accused the Modi government of silencing criticism and attempting to control the narrative, arguing this is an attack on the freedom of the press, a right that should be protected in any democracy.