From 1970 To 2023: The Times When BBC Annoyed Indian Government

New Delhi: The row over the documentary ‘India: The Modi Question,’  is not the first time that BBC has rubbed the Indian government on the wrong side.

The government banned the documentary that tries to dig up the buried memory of the Gujarat 2002 riots, with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) directing YouTube and Twitter to take down links sharing it. The government has also called it a “propaganda piece that lacks objectivity and reflects a colonial mindset”.

Let’s take a look at some of the past episodes of conflict between BBC and the Indian government.

India’s Daughter, 2015

The Indian government imposed a blanket ban on the BBC-affiliated film. The documentary, by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin, included an interview with a rapist, one of the six men who raped the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist Nirbhaya on December 16, 2012,  in a moving bus in Delhi. The Ministry of Home Affairs had said that the director violated a condition that prohibited the use of the documentary for commercial purposes. The government ensured that the documentary was not published anywhere in any form and ordered a block on the internet, according to News18.

Calcutta and Phantom India films, 1970

The release of two documentaries outraged the Indian government. French director Louis Malle’s- Calcutta and Phantom India — were again banned by the Centre. In fact, the BBC was expelled from India for two years, until 1972, The Indian Express reported.

The Emergency, 1975

The Indira Gandhi-led government at the Centre accused BBC of showing “anti-India stories” on the Emergency imposed in the country.

The centre had then asked the broadcaster to not report again from the “Indian soil.” According to a government statement, the BBC never missed an opportunity to malign India and misrepresent the country, Indian Express said.

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