Hotstar blocks latest episode of John Oliver's Last Week Tonight on Narendra Modi and Donald Trump's India visit

FP Staff

The latest episode on John Oliver's talk show Last Week Tonight, which criticised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been blocked in India by the streaming platform Hotstar, states report by Bloomberg Quint. The platform is run by Walt Disney Co.

In the episode, Oliver commented on the US President Donald Trump's recent visit to India, when he began a special section on Modi and his political ideologies in the country. The Emmy-winning show generally airs at 6 am each Tuesday in India. However, when subscribers logged in to the platform on 25 February, only older episodes could be visible.

Firstpost reached out to Hotstar on 25 February but several members of the programming team in India were evasive about giving a comment on the matter.

On the other hand, a representative of India's Information and Broadcasting Ministry had said that the Indian government has no hand in this matter, according to Bloomberg Quint.

Oliver has been quite vocal of his criticism in the episode, calling Modi "a man for whom Trump seems to have a great deal of affection," also stating the prime minister has become "one of the most divisive figures in India".

The host also touched upon the controversial citizenship Act introduced by the Modi government that sparked protests across the nation. "If citizens in the world's largest democracy, home to a billion people, are either wearing masks of Modi or marching in the streets, it seems like tonight it might be worth exploring why that is, where things might be heading, and why Trump calling Modi the 'father of India' is stupid at best and dangerous at worst." He then referred to CAA as an attempt to "Marie Kondo" India, alluding to the popular Japanese "organising consultant", known for her ability to remove all "unsightly things" from a messy room.

The segment also traced Modi's journey from being a tea seller to being re-elected as prime minister. Oliver pointed out how demonetisation did "more harm than good" but Modi's "charisma is such that he somehow evades public anger from sticking to him." Oliver said this reverence from the public is bad considering how Modi and Bhartiya Janta Party's (BJP) "defining belief" is Hindu nationalism, which "goes against Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru's vision of a secular India".

Also See: Watch: Last Week Tonight host John Oliver ribs Trump for calling Modi 'Father of India', picks up on anti-CAA agitation in latest episode

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