back to article India uses emergency powers to order takedown of BBC documentary

India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting appears to have filed takedown requests to prevent access to a BBC documentary series titled India: The Modi Question that investigates prime minister Narendra Modi's policies and actions toward India's Muslim minority. Modi represents the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has links …

  1. Anonymous South African Coward

    Realpolitik leading to Streisand Effect?

    1. BOFH in Training

      Exactly I wasnt even aware of this documentary until I read about it being banned here.


      Own goal?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Possible an own goal... we might also ask is this the BBC stirring up trouble with its usual "high" standards... or is this India cracking down on the truth?

        1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

          He's here! Quick, censor him!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Yorick Hunt Bronze badge


    What they should've done was ban the BBC in its entirety from India, just like the UK (and its puppet masters and brethren-in-chains) did with RT.

    That would surely have conformed to the "Rules Based Order™" and would've avoided any suggestions of hypocrisy.

    1. ChoHag Silver badge

      Re: Unforgivable!

      Banned in the UK? works fine.

      Did you exercise your freedom of choice to select an ISP which has your best interests at heart?

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Unforgivable!

        Hmm, just checked and I can't access it. I'm house sitting and the ISP here is "Gigaclear Limited". Are there any UK ISPs that don't block it?

        (Not that I'm feeling the loss)

        1. Rahbut

          Re: Unforgivable!

          It's not blocked per se, you just have to use something other than your ISPs DNS server it seems - I'm on Zen using for DNS.

          1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
            Black Helicopters

            Re: Unforgivable!

            DNS over HTTPS in Firefox works for me:

            1. Rahbut

              Re: Unforgivable!

              Yeah - same but different - I'm using a pi hole with cloudflared (also DoH). I seem to recall it wasn't enough to change DNS providers, you had to obfuscate the traffic (DoH/DoT) in order to prevent upstream meddling - BT seemed to like interferring with DNS iirc.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Unforgivable!

                Run my own DNS server, I'm use A&A as my ISP and the cabling is from OpenReach, no problems doing an nslookup on and then a whois on the returned address and it points to Russian Federation so I assume it is the correct address.

          2. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Unforgivable!

            That could be it. At home my connection uses different DNS servers (can't recall which right now). No idea how to access the router where I am now though.

        2. Wayland

          Re: Unforgivable!

          Gigaclear in Essex? Try Quik Internet. No where near as fast but hardly blocking anything. Also much more reliable than Virgin.

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Unforgivable!

      Are you seriously comparing BBC (which has its flaws of course) to a channel broadcasting terrorist propaganda?


      1. Sgt_Oddball

        Re: Unforgivable!

        да товарищ!

        <insert USSR national anthem/>

        1. EricB123 Bronze badge

          Re: Unforgivable!

          "да товарищ!"

          Was that from Google translate?

          Just wondering.

          1. Sgt_Oddball

            Re: Unforgivable!

            Admittedly yes. Finding Russian Cyrillic direct translations isn't something I spend much on. Probably should look at the 60's USSR children's books I've knocking around and see if it's in there.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Unforgivable!

      Ah, this accusation again. As with the last time someone said this, I've hopped onto a UK endpoint I have access to, typed in the URL, and got their website immediately. Possibly some ISPs have put in a DNS modification on their server, but it's not all of them, it's not legally mandated, and if you don't understand the difference, you need to learn some basic IT.

    4. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Unforgivable!

      I'm not in the UK, but I can VPN in to my employers' London office.

      After a "checking your browser" interstitial page indicative of some kind of DDoS mitigating reverse proxy (understandable), it worked just fine.

      So if you think that RT is being blocked to UK users, I suggest that it's entirely self-inflicted.


    5. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: Unforgivable!

      I think you mean the RT Broadcast news that Ofcom (UK regulator) took down because it repeated breaches of impartiality.

    6. Wincerind

      Re: Unforgivable! working fine for me here in the UK.

    7. Wayland

      Re: Unforgivable!

      It would probably be very healthy for people if they could not receive the BBC but banning it is the wrong approach. Just stop paying the TV licence fee and all TV effectively becomes banned for you by your own choice. Save money and brain cells too.

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    Fair Play To Modi

    You can't help but feel impressed at Modi and how he is handling this. He's definitely taken Qatar's lead in how to control the public image.

    What do I mean? Well, until Qatar won the world cup I didn't know how much of a shit hole despot country it was. So today, I didn't know Modi was involved in the massacre of a thousand Muslims in India.

    I really do appreciate people who go out of their way to hide something just so that I can see it.

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Fair Play To Modi

      The article clearly states '..investigations have found no evidence indicating culpability.' So, no, Modi was not 'involved in the massacre of a thousand Muslims in India.'

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Fair Play To Modi

        The article quite clearly states investigations took place, but they don't say what investigations or by who. The British Government had it's own investigations in to it which led to a diplomatic boycott of Modi by the British. Where are the other investigations and who were they done by? If it's by the ruling party who don't particularly like Muslims then it's not beyond a reasonable doubt that the investigations might be a bit squiffy.

        Plus, you don't go to these extremes if you don't like what's being said. The truth can speak for itself and if you're frightened of what's being said then maybe it's something that speaks louder than your actions eh?

        1. anuragbhattrai

          Re: Fair Play To Modi

          Investigations by the Supreme Court of India staffed almost entirely by judges appointed by Congress which is the opposition to the BJP found him not guilty.

          The UK running “investigations” from a continent and ocean away and running this document based off of a report by Jack Straw who falsely claimed WMDs in Iraq to justify the UK invading Iraq seems to be more falsification and shit stirring, like the WMD’s in Iraq.

      2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

        Re: Fair Play To Modi

        I have thoroughly investigated whether I took the last biscuit from the jar, and have found that my behaviour is totally consistent with my not having done so, and that the crumbs found on my desk were completely coincidental and came from an entirely, completely unrelated incident.

      3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Fair Play To Modi

        If Modi isn't trying to stop it, he clearly is culpable. He seems to be fanning the flames as well?

        Bit like that turd Trump.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      When is India going to start a rogue golf tour?

      If the Saudis think they can sportswash away MBS bonesawing his opposition by competing with the PGA, maybe India can sportswash Modi's increasing authoritarianism by creating a tour to compete with the LPGA?

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. man_iii

    Whatabout massacres

    Why does a state-media company get to put out opinion pieces as if it were fact and not just that, an opinion?

    India is not a free-speech state. Free-speech in India is a privilege and any abuses will get the full consequences either from govt or judicial bodies. Problem it's ripe for abuse and powertrips.

    Any foreigners or Indians should take note of liberties freedoms and limitations such as foreign persons protesting in India can be subject to arrest and deportation. Only Indian citizens and not even residents have that right. So take care and be mindful of local laws wherever you may be.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Whatabout massacres

      India is not a free-speech state.

      Neither are we.

      1. AJ MacLeod

        Re: Whatabout massacres

        Indeed, we've sunk to the level of people being arrested and charged for simply thinking politically unfashionable thoughts, silently, in the "wrong place" (on public streets in the UK.)

        1. Wayland

          Re: Whatabout massacres

          They only prosecute you if they can tell what you're thinking;

          Police: "How did you think your MP would feel when he read your email?"

          Suspect: "I thought he would feel angry enough to actually respond to my concerns."

          Police: "Banged to rights Sonny Jim, you've just admitted to a crime under the Communications act!"

      2. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: Whatabout massacres

        >> India is not a free-speech state.

        > Neither are we.

        And yet you just exercised your right of free speech.


        1. SEDT

          Re: Whatabout massacres

          I's refer you to the blocking of RT. Free speech we are not

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Whatabout massacres

            As demonstrated above, RT was not blocked. There is a difference between government-ordered blocking (didn't happen), corporate-enforced blocking (unpalatable but legal, mostly didn't happen), and leaving off a DNS entry (if you don't know how to get around that or find out that happened, you don't have the skills expected of a reader here, also didn't happen universally as demonstrated by several posters who do not have any problem loading it from UK connections).

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Whatabout massacres

          And yet you just exercised your right of free speech.

          Do try not to be an idiot.

          Being allowed to do something once does not prove you have a strong, comprehensive, legally-protected right to do many things in that class.

          I drove a car yesterday. That doesn't demonstrate a protected right to drive anywhere and anytime I like.

    2. Tom 38

      Re: Whatabout massacres

      Why does a state-media company get to put out opinion pieces as if it were fact and not just that, an opinion?

      BBC isn't state media - its a public service broadcaster independent of state control, but partially funded by taxes imposed by the state.

      RT is state media - it is state controlled and funded by the state.

      The documentary in question doesn't portray opinion as facts, it presents an investigation into the events surrounding Modi's rise to power. Its left to the viewer to draw their own conclusions.

      Its quite good actually.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Whatabout massacres

        Because the BBC must never give in to government pressure. Reference:

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Whatabout massacres

        "BBC isn't state media - its a public service broadcaster independent of state control"

        That's the theory. It's under party control (not "state control"), and the party is the Tory party. It's a defanged little poodle.

        Look at the top brass and how they got their positions (and massive salaries that makes sure they are compliant).

        Of course it pretends to be "impartial", but it's really very, very poor at examining power here in the UK.

        1. Tom 38

          Re: Whatabout massacres

          The greatest thing you can say about the BBC's impartiality is that the right are convinced that the BBC are all secret Marxists, and the left are convinced that the BBC are all secret Tories.

          1. YetAnotherLocksmith Silver badge

            Re: Whatabout massacres

            There's no secret about the tories any more though. The man Boris Johnson put in charge of the BBC gave Boris Johnson an £800,000 loan.


        2. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

          Re: Whatabout massacres

          Always remember,

          Your complience will be rewarded! Are you ready to comply?

    3. Wayland

      Re: Whatabout massacres

      More like the BBC stirring up trouble again. I can appreciate that the PM wants the Beeb to shut up in order to save the country from unrest.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatabout massacres

      Normally a country would say "thank you" to people exposing crimes, followed by an official investigation. When they don't do that, that speaks volumes.

      If it is an "opinion piece", an investigation will show one way or another. I doubt that an organisation like the BBC would produce this without a lot of evidence.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    takedown requests to prevent access to a BBC documentary

    Mr Modi, let me introduce you to Ms Streisand...

  6. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Just business

    India wants to replace China (see story about Apple living 25% of production). So Mr Modi had to catch up to Mr Xi.

    Now which children's story character do we ban ?

    1. Wayland

      Re: Just business

      So is Modi Paddington?

      1. Bebu Silver badge

        Re: Just business

        "So is Modi Paddington?"

        Sticky paws and marmalade on his face?

        Do all these autocratic ursines have sticky paws?

        More seriously I had forgotton about these atrocities so I am grateful for the reminder.

        The relationship between Paddo and Adani has attracted some notice in these parts (AU.)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those darn firecrackers!

    When I was staying in Delhi, the air quality hit about 500 and was rising fast. Did the government ban the farmers burning their fields? No, they banned firecrackers.

    1. anuragbhattrai

      Re: Those darn firecrackers!

      Because it’s a super population dense country with so many in its agricultural sector who can create riotous gangs to bring the country to a standstill if they don’t like the reforms you put in place as demonstrated by the farmer protests last year.

  8. Raj

    Russian media in UK

    Is this the same BBC that is a primary state sponsored broadcasting company in the UK, which banned RT UK from broadcasting ? Or is this another BBC from another UK that doesn't have multiple fingers pointing back at itself while pointing one finger elsewhere ?

    Britain bans Russian state TV channel RT

    You say you have your detailed reasoning for banning RT while having your own detailed reasoning for why you think BBC is being treated badly by India ? Guess what - everyone can play that logic parlour game. There's nothing that makes you fundamentally better.

    As far as India is concerned, the BBC documentary meant for a domestic audience targeting at Rishi Sunak, not Modi. We in India already know that BBC and any part of the UK press that's Labour friendly cannot stand the guy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Russian media in UK

      RT lost their broadcast license, it isn't banned.

      1. Raj

        Re: Russian media in UK

        Oh thanks for that advice on how to finesse it. Like "he wasn't fired, he was involuntarily encouraged to solicit alternative employment avenues."

        Got it.

        I'm sure the Indian government can be suitably informed so that the Beeb will just 'lose its license to broadcast' in India, next time. It's the BBC - there'll always be a next time.

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