April 13, 2024

MOON Desk: Just hours after Indian tax authorities searched the BBC’s offices on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held phone calls with Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron touting record orders of 470 planes by Air India Ltd.

The juxtaposition, intentional or not, marked a vivid demonstration of Modi’s success at leveraging India’s geopolitical position and economic promise to maintain good relations with the US and its allies even as his government becomes bolder in cracking down on dissent at home.

The BBC probe, which continued on Wednesday, came weeks after the British broadcaster aired a documentary examining Modi’s role in deadly 2002 riots in his home state of Gujarat. Although the government sought to frame the move as unrelated to the documentary, his Bharatiya Janata Party held a news conference the same day in which a representative called the BBC “the most corrupt corporation in the world.”

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