Wilful Ignorance: India’s Unabashed Disregard For Facts

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By Sundas Malik

On December 9th, 2020 An Independent Europe Based NGO – The EU Disinfo Lab, in its report Titled Indian Chronicles, exposed one of the longest and largest disinformation campaign aimed at the European Union and the United Nations.

This 15 year long offensive, run by an Indian ‘entity’ used hundreds of fake media outlets and websites to target Pakistan. The sole purpose of this malicious operation was to discredit Pakistan and consequently its policies.

India- a nation quadruple in land and population in comparison to it’s most un favoured neighbour Pakistan, has always preferred to take an adversarial approach rather than a friendly one, when it comes to handling of affairs between the two territories. Despite the aforementioned exposé and other damning evidence regarding Indian meddling with the actualities, the blasé approach towards reality continues. A recent example regarding this mode of operation came when in September 2021 Indian involvement was once again revealed concerning the New Zealand cricket team and the ‘threat’ to its safety during their visit.

Although this Master Plan of Psychological Projection has been India’s ‘Go To’ solution against Pakistan for decades, it has become more aggressive and malevolent since BJP under the leadership of RSS hero Modi has taken over its administration. Even more alarmingly, parallel to its skewed hyperbole against Pakistan, blatant disregard and moulding of facts has taken the front row and norms such as research, critical thinking and journalistic integrity have become a rarity within India.

Even as the world including the Indian Nation dealt with the deadly Covid-19 virus and it’s atrocities- self projection, blame game, disinformation and crackdown on decent seemed to be the States top priorities rather than saving lives. From the facade of inculpating ‘Tableeghi Jamaat’ members for intentionally introducing the novel virus in India, to facilitating the promulgation of false information regarding its treatment, the so- called Independent Media has morphed into the Populist and Propagandist Wing of BJP and Hindutva.  In 2020 alone more than 60 journalists were arrested in India for performing their duties.

 Although this method of manoeuvring reality is petrifying as it is, this devious stratagem only intensifies as one turns towards the world’s largest ‘open air prison’ – Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Masarat Zehra, Qazi Shibli, Peerzada Ashiq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Gowhar Geelani are just a few amongst many journalists  who have been arrested, interrogated and gagged for merely reporting facts. Despotic Laws such as Information Technology Rules 2021, Unlawful Activities Preventions Act 1967, Public Safety Act 1978 and even the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act 1985 (against Senior Journalist Ghulam Geelani Qadri and others in 2019, pertaining to a 27 year old case) are being exerted to retrench information.

 In addition dehumanisation of freedom fighters into militant, attempts to disengage the citizens of the Occupied Territory from demanding their basic rights with the lure of progress and economic stability coupled with the threat to their own and subsequently their kin’s life, are all pre- planned programs being employed to shift the narrative in the Occupiers favour.

 Threatened by even the slightest revelation about it’s draconian practices in the Occupied Territory the Indian Government acting against all legal and social conventions not just over looked but backed the tyranny being imposed by its military and paramilitary to stifle the truth.

From down playing the judicial murder of Ashraff Sehrai Shaheed to the forced burial of Saeed Ali Geelani, these attempts of keeping the masses of the world ignorant regarding the misdeeds of the India continue to plague it’s claims of freedom and democracy.

Notwithstanding the evidence and the continued condemnation of it’s policies on journalistic freedom or lack thereof by several Human Rights Organisations and the world at large, India continues unabashed onslaught of disinformation within and without. Only time can tell, if this assault on information will be recognised by the world for what it is – a certain and serious threat or will it just remain a cry of the afflicted ignored by the powerful until it’s too late.