The new episode of John Oliver’s show that criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been blocked in India by Hotstar.
The comedian was previewing President Donald Trump’s visit to India on his “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” which typically airs at 06:00 AM each Tuesday in the Asian nation. When subscribers logged in Feb 25, they could only find older episodes.
The comedian, in his show, called out Modi for his anti-Muslim positioning, his silence during the 2002 Gujarat riots – in which over 2000 people, majority of whom were Muslims, lost their lives – and the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
Trump’s visit to India comes amid protests against a new religion-based citizenship law, which erupted in violence hours before Trump landed in the national capital.
“While Modi may have charmed Bear Grylls, the world, and our current president, in India, he is an increasingly controversial figure because his government has pursued a steadily escalating persecution of religious minorities,” Oliver said in the episode, which can be viewed on the show’s Youtube account.
“The only glimmer of hope here is that for perhaps the first time in Modi’s whole career, his actions are creating a massive and sustained backlash.”
The 19-minute commentary has garnered over five million views on YouTube in just three days.
Earlier last year, Amazon.com Inc. removed an episode of the CBS show Madam Secretary from its streaming service in India, The Quint reported. The episode had references to Hindu nationalism and Hindu extremists in “India-occupied Kashmir,” a Himalayan region that’s been a longstanding flashpoint between India and arch-rival Pakistan.