“BBC Is Independent Operationally and Editorially” says David Rutley; UK Government Stands For BBC Amidst Allegations
The British Government has strongly supported the BBC against the allgation for diversion of the tax pofits by the Modi Government.
The British Government has strongly supported the BBC and its editorial freedom in the Parliament after the Income Tax Department of India conducted survey operations in the offices in Mumbai and New Delhi over the past three days in the last week.
The Junior Minister of the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has responded on an urgent basis raised by the House of Commons in the Parliament, stating that the government is not allowed to comment on the accusations made by the IT department on a continuing investigation. But, the UK government has stated that the freedom of media and freedom of speech is an integral element in active democracies of which India is a part.
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of the FCDO, David Rutley, has put their fingers on the broad and deep relationship with India. He has asserted that both nations could have constructively talked over the issue.
Rutley has further asserted that the UK Government stands with BBC, and they fund the news agency. They believe that the BBC World Service is integral, and they want the latter to have editorial freedom.
The news agency has the right to criticize the ruling government. Moreover, they have the same rights of pointing out the actions and being a strong critic of the opposing party, and it is freedom that is integral. The freedom of the press and speech is vital for a news agency to mould an unbiased opinion. The freedom would imply that the firm wants o to communicate the message to viewers in different parts of the world, which includes the Government of India.
The UK Government has informed the commons on the issue, stating that the Indian Government conducted an IT Survey on the BBC offices for three days. Furthermore, they have highlighted that BBC is independent in its operation and editorial rights.
The Minster has stated that BBC conducts a vital role and that the FCDO funds the news agency to operate in twelve languages which include four Indian languages like Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi, and Telugu.
He has stated that BBC would continue to conduct its operations because it is integral for an independent voice to be presented throughout the world.
Pressured by the questions from the MPs of the opposition parties on the IT raids, the minister has cited that India and UK share a deep and broad relationship that enables them to handle the conversation constructively while they are closely monitoring the situation.
According to sources, the BBC purposefully violated transfer pricing regulations and diverted a sizable portion of its profits, so the Income Tax authorities searched the BBC’s New Delhi offices.
The Income Tax Act states that the IT survey is routine and does not involve a raid or search.
The survey has drawn attention to rule violations. BBC has consistently broken the law and has significantly diverted its profits. The objective of the IT survey was to look for instances of price manipulation for unreported benefits, which included tax advantages. The surveys were carried out because BBC, a repeat offender, disregarded the laws and regulations.
The BBC’s 2002 Gujarat riots documentary, India: the Modi Question, brought attention to the IT tax raid.
Invoking the emergency powers of the IT Rules of 2021, Narendra Modi has denounced the documentary series as hostile propaganda against the BJP-led government and banned the sharing of any links or videos about the subject.
IT survey on BBC: A Routine Protocol or a Reiteration
The opposition views the IT survey as a way to hold the BBC accountable for airing the documentary. According to a Congress spokesperson, the Indian government was harassing the BBC. Akhilesh Yadav, the leader of the Samajwadi Party, claimed that the government was repressing the news organization.
The survey has been strictly correlated by the ruling party as retribution for exposing the unflattering truth about the Modi administration. A lengthy note detailing all the accusations and judgments made against the BBC was sent to the journalists, along with a request that they abide by the charges.
The bhakts have taken to the internet to denounce their behavior, calling it nothing more than a colonial mindset. The media organization has no regard for the truth.
The UK Government has critically bashed India for violating the freedom of the press. Other Labour MPS from Britain has pointed out the Indian government to reiterate and punish media sources when they publish anything critical of the present government.
They have stated that it is essential to ensure that the nation’s view on freedom of media is conveyed to the Indian government.
MP Bob Backman, MP of the Conservative party who is even a supporter of the current party in India, has mentioned that the IT department has surveyed BBC for seven years. But, the accusations were brought to light after the news agency showcased the Gujarat riot has made it evident that it is the Modi government’s way of getting back and punishing the firm that has spoken the truth and brought out the harsh reality of Narendra Modi.
Even the basic constitutional right falls down the drain when the face of the epitome of India’s development- Narendra Modi is on the line.
The allegation on the world’s reputed firm questions if freedom of the press is an age-old history long gone after the imposition of the dictatorship in the mask of democracy by our ‘beloved’ Modi Government.
Edited by Prakriti Arora