By: Muskan Gurbuxani
The raids began when various tax officials started questioning the BBC offices within New Delhi and Mumbai, as a part of a tax evasion investigation. The entire story was aired on television, involving a backstory from reporters in the form of a commentary, as well as live videos from the raid scene itself, being aired on national television. The live video consisted of the officials seizing the mobile phones and files of a journalist working within the office. There had been seizures of various objects from the BBC office, which were belongings of multiple journals working there. A couple weeks after the raids took place, a British broadcaster aired videos of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and discussed his involvement in the Gujarat riots 20 years ago in 2002. These riots not only caused intense chaos, but also resulted in deaths of more than a thousand Muslims, putting Modi in a position with renewed allegations regarding this rising issue.
Due to the chaos rising because of the allegations and angry family members of the deceased, there was pressure from the government to take down the video that was the root cause of these allegations upon the Prime Minister. There was a request sent to block the documentary utilizing emergency laws, to keep it away from students and younger children especially. BBC had released a statement regarding how they had given their full cooperation towards Modi and they had made active efforts to take the video down. They also mentioned that this was not the first time that there had been added efforts to put Modi in a compromised position on a national level, convincing individuals to ignore the video and consider it an act of childishness.
However, the opposing Muslim party used this evidence in the best way they could. This created two sides after they mentioned the BBC to be “the most corrupt organization in the world.” They began justifying the raid and mentioned how this was not the first raid the BBC offices had faced. This began the rise of two opposing parties, eventually resulting in initiations of uncomfortable questions both the parties had to answer and be held accountable towards. Although the matter has toned down in terms of the challenges and chaos it gave rise to, it has caused severe damage towards the viewpoints of the people residing in India, impacting their opinions and vote when it comes to the upcoming general elections within a year’s time from the current state.