BBC’s 1930s license to operate in India was an essential colonial tool and was created by Royal Charter, not much different than the honorable Company (East India Company-EIC) of a bygone era. Many of us grew up with fond memories of excitement, bewilderment, and joy brought by their folksy style and world coverage. It brought a sense of belonging, community/family, and progress. It tied the empire together and even stilled a sense of pride as British subjects, and subjugation!! The7-Eyes loves BBC; not sure why the wider Commonwealth should.
In 2018, jetlagged, groggily waking up and flipping TV channels on vacation in Italy, I was taken aback by BBC’s extensive and even-handed coverage of India. They said they not only bring news to India, but bring India to the world. The program had amazing clips of Indian entrepreneurs and inventors for local use that held me in awe.
At the end of that program, they announced a special India townhall where they were to discuss corruption and fair and open elections in India; astonishingly, it was represented by wide stripes of political parties, including Congress and BJP big wigs, CPI and some star journalists.
The show hit me from the other side and left me dumb-struck and gaping. An African-British anchor with a cynical snicker was holding court, a la 1920 George V durbar. Indian princelings of the day, netas, scholars, and intellects were babbling their woes and opening their hearts, displaying dirty laundry. I was shocked that foreign media could get into such sensitive matters.
In recentyears, BBC’s unprecedented reach andaccess have penetrated sensitive military, defense, strategic, and geopolitical issues, which should be of grave concern for national security. For example, they were the first to show up at the Galwan martyrs’ homes, also at the home of an Indian MiG 21 pilot shotdown, and the surgical strike with first-hand tactical assessment by senior generals. Notwithstanding, BBC’s mission is to promote British geo-political interests and values and maintain colonial socio-cultural links and close association with MI-5. A clear redline for any sovereign country.
Colonial mentalities die hard just as Lord Macaulay, the reformist of Indian education anticipated and expected.
Profits, Non-Profits, and Losses – now you see and now you don’t…
Brilliantly crafted strategies exploit every loophole stripping away billions of tax dollars into off-shore accounts, tax havens, and shelters; e.g., google, amazon, and Microsoft, and many US majorswere getting away with zero taxes; non-profits were not far behind. Starbucks and big pharma massively abusedthis in UK and EU.
Many bleeding hearts, anglophiles, and civil society liberals devotees are puzzled how could a non-profit and holier-than-thou BBC do anything so egregious. Its fat-cat, glitzy hi-tech studio building sticks outof London’s drab gray skyline and is anything but a frugal, shoestring operation.
BBC has gotten in bed with each big media conglomerate, including Murdochs, Sony, and Disney, in a web of non-profit and for-profit corporations, to siphon profits and incur huge losses in name of intellectual property (IP) and copyright royalties and questionable accounting conventions.
It has done a stellar job of bringing transparency and public good as a reputable international body, disguised with no vested interest if one can believe that!! Not a lot different from Oxfam distributing 1940s Bengal famine grains to Greece and showing up again in Bihar to save starving children in the early 1950s, and finally publishing a highly dubious and critical report in 2023 after losing its NGO license in 2022.
Is this any different than the honorable company, the EIC with its neo-liberal civilizational agendafor a large swath of humanities bringing India from the dark ages into the modern age!!
All three, BBC, Oxfam, and EIChad similar goals to civilize the world and never shied away from enriching themselves, stripping the poor and ignorant. Caveat Emptor – buyer beware!!
Big Media Holdings, Excesses, and Sovereignty
Foreign media interventions are a serious threat to sovereignty; Example: US media companies cannot be bought by foreign entities. When Rupert Murdoch wanted to acquire Wall Street Journal and FOX, the US Justice Department required him to give up his Australian citizenship and become a US citizen. The intent was that Murdoch, although a fellow westerner, WASP, and 5-EYESally, is under full US legal jurisdiction; and even with his lobbying power, Congress did not make an exception.
The 2017 Murdoch hearings in British Parliament,exposed his influence peddling/corruption at the highest levels in UK and Australia, including Prime Minister Cameron, accused of bribery and currying favors. For Gordon Brown, falling from favor sealed his PM aspirations.
See video links below: