Search of BBC offices smacks of dictatorship

Weeks after the massive controversy over the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) documentary series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the deadly sectarian riots in Gujarat in 2002, income tax officials searched the BBC’s Delhi and Mumbai offices on Tuesday and seized phones and laptops of the journalists. As per a report, the taxmen sealed off the offices for a “survey” linked to alleged irregularities in international taxation and transfer pricing involving the BBC. The two-part documentary has been officially banned by the Modi regime in India.

This search at the BBC offices by the IT officials is a direct assault on the freedom of speech and expression. Ever since the BJP came to power, it has used every tactic to silence the media. Today, almost all the media sing praises in his name. The independent media are also on the verge of extinction. Modi is increasingly behaving like a dictator who does not like any kind of criticism. But in doing so, he is only isolating India from the rest of the world. India once used to be a country which was famous for its diversity and democratic values. Unfortunately, the Modi regime has crushed both democratic values and its diversity too. With anti-minority sentiments being fuelled continuously, the country continues to remain on the edge. The minorities are living in absolute fear. The media, considered to be the fourth pillar of democracy, are also regularly harassed and many independent journalists have faced harrowing times for reporting the truth. This dictatorship is taking India backwards.