Recently we saw riots break out in the national capital on 26 January, on an auspicious day. The day our constitution was adopted. Many people have sacrificed their lives for the freedom that we enjoy today. How saddening was the incident that we witnessed on this day! It was hard to believe that our food-givers, the farmers could create such riots. Around the same time, we saw some foreign artists and activists lending their support to the farmers. Then came the time, when Greta Thunberg posted the toolkit. This was the tip of the iceberg.
There was a much bigger conspiracy at play to defame and destroy the image of India around the globe. I always had a doubt that the “real” farmers could not do such an act. It clearly showed that the farmer’s protest had been hijacked by Khalistani sympathizers backed from Canada and Pakistan and the left-wing liberals. It was so painful to see policemen injured. You may not agree with the government’s policies, but this was a matter of India. Not of BJP or Congress or a political party. By looking at all this we can safely say that there were foreign powers that were directly or indirectly involved in this and acted as a catalyst. Be it from Canadian politicians, ISI-paid people, social media giants like Twitter and Facebook, left-wing media like Quint, Wire, and many more. This was a golden opportunity for our terror-producing neighbor to push terrorists into India.
This leads us to the question- what should India do so that foreign powers think twice before interfering in India’s internal matters? How should India project herself to the world in this new world order? There are two points that I would focus on in this article: information warfare and India’s military might on the global scale.
- Information warfare:
There is a famous saying- “Tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth”. This is what information warfare is all about. Spreading news and information so as to develop a false narrative among the masses to destabilize the country internally or as to pressurize the government to make a decision in favor of your foreign policy objectives. We have seen BBC, New York Times, and many other media outlets running Anti-India propaganda. Also, the opposition has been spreading false claims regarding the farm bills over and over again. This is information warfare. All the so-called “farmers” have been at the Delhi borders for months now. There are pizza-counters and massage parlors. Some of them have been driving around in luxurious cars. It clearly looks as if someone is funding them. And all of us know the Khalistani- sympathizing neighbor that wants to create unrest in India. There has been a narrative to create a rift among Hindus and Sikhs. During the Anti-CAA riots last year, there was a narrative to create a rift between Hindus and Muslims. These people are trying to exploit the sectarian fault lines in India. There would be such a fault line in any country. Because with great diversity comes people believing in different ideas and religions. In the United States, there is an issue of black and white. In Pakistan, there are issues of Shia and Sunni sect of Muslims, Balochistan, and Sindhis. Pakistan is already so radicalized that there is just a need for a spark to destabilize it internally even more. With China, there is the issue of Uighur persecution, the Hong Kong democracy movement, and no personal freedom for its citizens.
Coming to the solution now. We need many more Indian media outlets operating around the world. This would help portray India’s side around the world. It would be a counter to all the Anti-India propaganda machinery in place. At the same time, we can exploit the faults in foreign countries, the same thing that they have been doing in India. If we do not burn their homes, they will continue to burn ours. At present, we are not able to let the world know our side of the story. But I am sure we are moving in this direction. WION, which was launched in 2015 has been very well countering all the false narratives set by other global media outlets. In the coming future, we would see more Indian media companies operating globally.
- Operating our military globally:
Recently, we have seen three countries in particular taking the Pakistan stand on Kashmir. Two of them are China and its pawn Pakistan and the third one Turkey. There have been reports that Turkey has been sending Jihadis to fight in Kashmir. Armenia too had suffered from Turkey during the recent war. We need better co operation with Armenia. Turkish President has the dream of establishing the Turkish caliphate again. It has been trying everything to have more influence in the world. We need more military bases outside of India than at present. This has two advantages. Firstly, during times of war these would serve as strategic assets. Secondly, during times of peace it would act as a deterrent to the other countries from harming any Indian national interests. For example in the case of terror-exporting Pakistan. If we have a military base in Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Pakistan would think twice before doing any misadventures and pushing in terrorists. If it tries doing something, Indian military from both sides (in Kashmir and Afghanistan) and intelligence agencies would foil it. But assuming it carries out something, the repercussions would be tough. Now, it does not know from which side India is going to attack. This way we could reduce terrorism in Kashmir.
Our army, navy, and air force are very much capable and it just about giving them opportunities. Going into the post-COVID world order, for India to display herself as a superpower and be one, we need more global military presence and close co-operation with friendly countries. The biggest asset we have is that we have such a huge “voluntary” army. China has a large army but it is not voluntary. People are forced to get into the military for some years and be on the borders. No one would want to fight there. They would want to complete the required years and then enjoy a normal life. An Indian soldier has himself/herself made the decision to be in the army and give blood and sweat to the nation. If they are given opportunities they would emerge victoriously. We have a huge army along with able officers and brave jawans.
Obviously, I am not in the favor of any war neither is anyone in favor of war. But, I am in the favor of eliminating terrorism from India and particularly from the Kashmir region and making India stable internally. We have lost many civilians and soldiers to terrorism. Along with other things, these two solutions would help make India stable internally and refrain other countries from trying to destabilize India either through civil unrest or through terrorism. With the theatre commands coming up, progressive military leadership, and strong government at the center, we are not far away from this being a reality. Hence, before they burn our homes, we should burn their homes.