India is often lauded as being one of the most democratic nations on Earth. However, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, probably has something to say about this, particularly after the BBC’s Delhi and Mumbai offices were conveniently subjected to a baseless three-day raid by the country’s tax authorities earlier this week. 
Naturally, the move by the Central Board of Direct Taxes came just weeks following the release of a hugely revelatory and incriminatory docuseries that analysed Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) involvement in the Gujarat riots and subsequent massacre of countless Muslims. 
The BBC has itself taken a diplomatic and delicate approach to the debacle. Indeed, the corporation stated that it hoped “…to co-operate with the ongoing enquires” while also “supporting our staff during this time”. 
The Income Tax Authorities are currently at the BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai and we are fully cooperating.— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) February 14, 2023
We hope to have this situation resolved as soon as possible.
BBC raids unanimously decried
Among the barrage of criticism from rights and advocacy bodies, the American non-governmental organisation, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), issued a strong statement on the raids, which began on Tuesday and ended yesterday. 
Beh Lih Yi, the CPJ Asia co-ordinator, said,
“Raiding the BBC’s India offices in the wake of a documentary criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi smacks of intimidation.
“Indian authorities have used tax investigations as a pretext to target critical news outlets before, and must cease harassing BBC employees immediately, in line with the values of freedom that should be espoused in the world’s largest democracy.” 
In addition, the Chair of the Board at Amnesty International in India, Aakar Patel, said,
“The tax department’s raids, which are being presented as ‘surveys’, come less than a month after the organisation released a documentary that openly criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“These raids are a blatant affront to freedom of expression. The Indian authorities are clearly trying to harass and intimidate the BBC over its critical coverage of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.” 
Patel further stated,
“The over-broad powers of the Income Tax Department are repeatedly being weaponised to silence dissent. Last year, tax officials also raided the offices of a number of NGOs, including Oxfam India.
“These intimidatory acts, which undermine the right to freedom of expression in India, must end now.” 
In September 2020, Amnesty’s India office was forced to cease operations after years of threats and pressure from the government. 
The organisation’s bank accounts were frozen and ultimately staff were laid off, with the suspension of all research and campaign work in India. 
Critics silenced by any means necessary
In January 2023, the BBC released a deeply critical two-part documentary on Modi and his pivotal role in the Gujarat Massacre of 2002. 
During the initial riots and flare-up in Hindu-Muslim tensions, then Chief Minister Narendra Modi arguably allowed mobs to cause untold destruction upon innocent Muslims.
Some analysts put the Muslim death toll from the violence – that took place between February and March of that year – at 790 to over 2,000.
The higher estimate is one that an anonymous British diplomat referenced in the BBC series, India: The Modi Question. 
Documentary painted as “anti-India garbage”
Following the Tuesday, 17 January release of part one of the documentary, the Indian government rushed to block online access on the very same weekend. 
By invoking emergency legislation, the sharing of snippets from the series was made illegal, while the federal government sent orders to YouTube and Twitter to suspend tens of accounts accused of sharing the hit series. 
An adviser at the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Kanchan Gupta, laughably warned that Indian citizens who shared parts of the documentary were “undermining the sovereignty and integrity of India”, while perpetuating the series’ “unsubstantiated allegations”. 
Gupta further claimed,
“Videos sharing BBC World hostile propaganda and anti-India garbage, disguised as ‘documentary’ on YouTube, and tweets sharing links to the BBC documentary have been blocked under India’s sovereign laws and rules.” 
- BBC series renews focus on bigot Modi’s rise to political peak
- Hindu nationalist Modi marches toward Muslim genocide