New Delhi, Jan 28: It is clear that a fresh round of info-war has been launched against the Modi administration, which is personally targeting the Prime Minister.
Two events happened in quick succession. It began with a seething “butcher of Gujarat” personal attack on PM Modi by Pakistan’s infantile foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto. It was soon followed up on a similar theme by a BBC documentary, in an apparent bid to reinforce Bhutto’s diatribe. It would also not be surprising if these attacks have been coordinated for maximum impact, though lone-wolf opportunistic targeting in the info-war domain cannot be ruled out.
It appears that the soft-power assault against the Prime Minister took place under the flawed assumption that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had softened the ground for a full-scale attack, through his Bharat Jodo mass campaign against Modi.
Bhutto went after PM Modi after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had snubbed the Pak foreign minister who had raised the Kashmir issue, by citing Islamabad’s sheltering of arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden, and masterminding the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament.
“I would like to remind the Minister of External Affairs of India that Osama Bin Laden is dead but the butcher of Gujarat lives and he is the prime minister of India. He was banned from entering this country until he became prime minister. This is the prime minister of the RSS and the foreign minister of the RSS. What is the RSS? The RSS draws its inspiration from Hitler’s SS,” Bhutto said in New York.
The BBC documentary came as a sequel to Bhutto’s ill-tempered paroxysm. As former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal wrote in an India Narrative op-ed, the purpose of the documentary was “obviously malign.” “Modi has been in power now for almost nine years. There is nothing new to discover in him beyond what is already known. He has been surrounded by controversies inside and outside the country on minority issues, the lynchings, the democracy back-sliding, the Citizenship Amendment Act, the farmers’ agitation, the Delhi riots, the Shaheen Bagh sit-in, the initial handling of Covid, the revision of Article 370, demonetisation, and the like. He and his party have been castigated as fascist, Hitler-like, majoritarian, and so on. Along with this, the allegations about his complicity with the Gujarat riots have been doggedly aired by the opposition in India and echoed abroad for years. So, the question arises about the purpose behind the BBC’s decision to do a documentary on him.” The BBC used material provided by the British foreign office, based on an inquiry on the Gujarat riots ordered by former foreign secretary Jack Straw.
But Sibal points out that Straw had a vested interest to get a biased report to please his Muslim majority electorate in his constituency, Blackburn. “That Jack Straw ordered an ‘enquiry’ on the Gujarat riots which on the face of it had nothing to do with the UK is explained by the fact that his Blackburn constituency has 35 per cent Muslims and only 0.3 per cent Hindus. His concern about the riots was evidently motivated by electoral considerations and not any genuine concern about Muslims, as this is the same man who was complicit in drumming up support in the UK for the illegal war on Iraq that caused massive deaths and refugees and left behind a terrible legacy of terrorism.”
The Pak-UK connivance is yet again apparent as the Rishi Sunak government has invited Pak army chief Asim Munir to address the 5th joint UK-Pak stabilization conference at Wilton Park between Feb 5-8. Wilton Park is an executive agency of UK foreign office apparently providing a platform for strategic discussions. Co-hosted by UK Army Chief Gen P N Y M Sanders, the conference is themed “Regional Stability in South Asia: the return of geopolitics and other challenges.” Apart from the Ukraine war, cyber-attack in warfare, evolving south Asian regional stability, it will deliberate on an update on the Kashmir dispute.
It is evident that despite the slander that is being committed, the Lilliput attacks against the Prime Minister are cutting zero-ice. On the contrary PM Modi’s popularity at home is soaring.
The latest India Today- CVoter survey reveals that a majority of Indians are satisfied with the Narendra Modi government’s performance while the Prime Minister’s popularity has only increased. According to the Mood of the Nation survey, 67 per cent of the respondents said they were ‘satisfied’ with the current government’s performance-11 per cent higher than the findings in August. As far as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s performance is concerned, 72 per cent said they were satisfied notwithstanding the Covid 19 crisis and threats from China.
The survey projected 284 Lok Sabha seats for BJP if general elections were held immediately. As per the findings, the primary opposition Congress will win 191 seats if elections were to be held now.
It is clear that both Pakistan and the UK have failed to grasp that PM Modi is the mascot of New India’s rise, based on its civilisational ethos, liberated from the slavish mentality of liberal western educated elites who governed India after 1947. The ideological rupture, generating a new Indian identity, is being increasingly welcomed, as it is docking with rising prosperity riding on a home-grown model of inclusive growth. It will not be surprising that despite the intense negative campaign by countries that have lost their lustre and are tenuously hanging on the “glory” of their imperial past, the majority of the Muslim population, convinced by the idea of a united India based on the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat, when the 2024 elections come, will vote for the NDA for another five-year term.
(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)