The purpose of propaganda is to instill doubt and fear in the minds of rivals and enemies. Propaganda can take the form of misinformation, obfuscation of the truth and outright lies. India is unique in that it is the target of multiple enemies, both home grown and external. On the home front, it has the many insurgent outfits of its troubled North East, the Kashmiri Militants, and the Naxalites in its heartland and the Muslim Fanatics in various pockets across the country. On the external front, it has Pakistan and China.
The Kashmiri and North East Militants and Insurgents seek independence from India; the Naxals seek Social and Economic freedom and the Muslim Fanatics seek revenge for the many atrocities, real and imagined, committed upon them by the Hindu Majority. Apart from claiming Kashmir, the bone of contention between it and India, Pakistan seeks to project India as a greedy Hindu Monster that seeks to swallow Islamic Pakistan, to its population and to the International Community. This image of India as a Hindu Monster is deliberately propagated to its populace to divert their attention from the multiple problems and shortcomings that Pakistan faces; and to the International Community to garner support and sympathy. China sees India as the obstacle to its dreams of expanding its borders to encompass the entire North East of India.
Both China and Pakistan have fuelled India’s internal unrest in the past and continue to do so through direct and indirect means; such as training militants and fanatics and supplying them with arms and ammunition and funding them. But in my opinion, both have realised that they have reached the limit of what they can achieve through these means. Now they seek to open a new front in Social Media Circles.
The purpose of this is twofold: – (a) It seeks to brainwash the vacillating youth of the disgruntled section of the populace and (b) It seeks to instill in the minds of the rest of the Indian population that a sizeable section of its people are ready to join hands with the enemy at the opportune time; thus creating an atmosphere of fear and suspicion.
The dangers of both approaches cannot be ignores. The world has seen the success of brainwashing via social media in the manner that the ISIS have effectively managed to convince many Muslim Youth settled in Europe to carry out acts of terror in their countries of adoption. The effectiveness of the second was witnessed prior to World War II; when the Communists Government of Spain was led to believe that there was a “Fifth Column” in the capital, Madrid, ready to rise up against them the moment General Franco landed. They spent precious time and resources in trying to uncover and guard against this imaginary “Fifth Column” and lost the war.
The Muslim youth of India have been the target of brainwashing via social media before, but I believe that the ordinary Mainland Indian and the Youth of the North East, especially the Nagas, are being targeted now. In and around India’s Independence Day a video surfaced on Social Media portraying a young woman, supposedly a Naga, burning the Indian Flag; that it was a blatant fake was spotted by nearly all Nagas who saw it. But I’m sure that the rest of the Indians who saw it were convinced that Nagas, one and all, were dead against India and all it stood for. Now another picture has surfaced; this shows a group of camouflaged uniformed Asian soldiers holding a Flag of Pakistan. Here again, all Nagas could see that it was a fake due to the fact that the camouflage pattern was not the forest green pattern worn by Naga Militants, across factions, but a bluish pattern. But what about other Indians? I’m sure they got the impression that there was a highly trained and equipped force ready to join hands with Pakistan or China, for that matter, the moment hostilities broke out.
I believe that the purpose of all this is to widen the rift between the people of the North East and the rest of India. It creates the impression in the minds of the people of India that the North Easterners, especially those of Mongolian Descent, are only too happy to join hands with any and all enemies of India. This could lead to us being treated as “Fifth Columnists”, leading to an increase in the sense of alienation we already feel. Apart from the disgruntled section of society, we, of the North East, know that we are better off with India, but does the ordinary Indian of the mainland know what we think. I would advise Indians of the Mainland to study us as we study them, know us as we know them. If they do so, these cheap propaganda tricks of our enemies will not work. Ignore us and you fall victim to the trap laid by our enemies.