Discover more from Andrew Korybko's Newsletter
The BBC Is Abusing Freedom Of The Press To Wage Hybrid Warfare On India
It’s suspicious that the previously unpublished British Foreign Office report accusing Prime Minister Modi of being "directly responsible" for the 2002 Gujarat riots was highlighted by state-run BBC over two decades after it was written, shortly after the New York Times implied that externally exacerbating communal tensions will be the West’s Hybrid War means of punishing India for defying their pressure to sanction Russia, and around the time that India secured its rise as a globally significant Great Power.
The US-led West’s Golden Billion begrudgingly acknowledged late last year that it’ll never successfully pressure India into unilaterally conceding on its objective national interests by sanctioning Russia, but that doesn’t mean that it’s pleased, nor that it won’t seek to punish that rising Great Power. As a case in point, the UK just weaponized the state-run BBC to meddle in India’s domestic affairs via its latest documentary about the 2002 Gujarat riots, which abuses freedom of the press for Hybrid War ends.
That broadcaster’s latest information warfare product portrays Prime Minister Modi in more than just an unflattering light by highlighting a previously unpublished British Foreign Office report that accused him of being “directly responsible” for that communal riot during his tenure as Gujarat’s chief minister. Advisor to the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Kanchan Gupta reacted by slamming it as “anti-India garbage”, “hostile propaganda”, and ultimately banning social media from sharing it in India.
The average Westerner might regard India’s response as a so-called “anti-democratic overreaction” considering how highly their society holds the freedoms of press and speech to be, but the situation is a lot more complicated that it might appear at first glance. Rather, these aforementioned freedoms – which have never been protected as perfectly as their leaders claim – are being exploited as the pretext for punishing India after it bravely defied the West on their anti-Russian sanctions over the past year.
After all, it’s suspicious that the previously unpublished British Foreign Office report was highlighted by state-run BBC over two decades after it was written, shortly after the New York Times (NYT) implied that externally exacerbating communal tensions will be the West’s Hybrid War means of punishing India for the defiance that was just described, and around the time that India secured its rise as a globally significant Great Power. These observations suggest that the documentary’s timing wasn’t coincidental.
Information warfare products such as the BBC’s take many months to produce, hence why it can be intuited that the decision was made sometime last year to go through with this, thus adding further credence to suspicions that it was ordered in response to India defying the West. Furthermore, the BBC isn’t an independent outlet but a state-run one, and it was given the Foreign Office’s previously unpublished report at this specific time in order to assist with its latest Hybrid Warfare provocation.
Putting the pieces together, it’s therefore possible to discern the sequence of events that transpired leading up to the BBC’s scandalous documentary. Sometime last year, the decision was made by India’s former colonizer to take the lead in punishing it for defying the West, ergo the order to produce that state-run outlet’s information warfare product. The Foreign Office then passed along what the BBC presented as a previously unpublished report in order to maximally exacerbate communal tensions.
The goals being advanced by this provocation are several. First, the West as a whole wants to discredit India and especially its incumbent premier as punishment for them refusing to sanction Russia. Second, the UK sought to lead this Hybrid Warfare attack due both to its status as India’s former colonizer as well as the renown that the BBC enjoys among many Westerners and even a sizeable number of folks across the Global South as well (no matter whether one thinks this reputation is justified or not).
Third, the decision was made to include what’s claimed to be a previously unpublished Foreign Office report into the documentary in order to extend credence to the innuendo recently reintroduced into the information ecosystem by the NYT alleging that India’s communal tensions are irreparable, its leadership is Islamophobic, and these factors will thus inevitably lead to this country’s collapse. Fourth, these narratives are meant to erode faith in India’s economic growth and trust in its Global South leadership.
And finally, the MSM is gaslighting that all criticisms of this unprovoked Hybrid War attack against India – not to mention Delhi’s sovereign decision to ban this documentary within its borders – supposedly violate the freedoms of press and speech. About that last point, the West claims that Russia, China, Iran, and others exploit these aforesaid freedoms to supposedly meddle in its domestic affairs and spew propaganda, yet it won’t recognize the legitimacy of others’ claims like India’s against the West itself.
This hypocrisy embodies the notion of the so-called “rules-based order”, which refers in practice to the selective implementation of double standards driven by the desire to advance the West’s interests at all others’ expense. In this case, the West claims that its geopolitical rivals exploit this de facto New Cold War bloc’s freedoms of press and speech yet at the same time also claims that it’s an anti-democratic conspiracy theory to allege that the West itself exploits these same freedoms to destabilize others.
The reality is that pretty much everything can be weaponized in one way or another nowadays, including the freedoms of press and speech, but every state has the sovereign right to deal with this however they so choose regardless of whether or not others support whatever they ultimately do. The difference between the West’s reaction to alleged Russian propaganda and India’s to the UK’s is that the first makes the protection of these same freedoms the pillar of its soft power while the second doesn’t.
For that reason, it’s hypocritical to the core for the Golden Billion to make it either impossible for publicly financed Russian media like RT and Sputnik to operate so that they’re forced to shut down or even outright ban them like some of this bloc’s members have already done. India, by contrast, hasn’t done anything analogous to alleged Western propaganda outlets like the BBC and only banned one particular information warfare product instead of entire platforms like they have.
That being the objectively existing and easily verifiable case, India can therefore factually be described as respecting the freedoms of press and speech much more than the West itself does despite the latter hypocritically presenting its supposed defense of those aforesaid freedoms as the pillar of its soft power. This makes it all the more psychologically manipulative that the Western MSM is now waging an all-out information warfare offensive against India in light of Delhi’s decision to ban the BBC’s documentary.
Looking forward, several predictions can be put forth based on the insight shared in this analysis. First, externally exacerbating India’s communal tensions via the creation of provocative information warfare products – irrespective of whether they’re created by state-run outlets like the BBC or nominally independent ones like NYT – appears to be the Golden Billion’s preferred method for punishing India after it defied their pressure to sanction Russia.
Second, India will flex its “Democratic Security” capabilities to thwart these destabilization attempts by doing whatever’s needed to secure its national model of democracy, which in this context will likely lead to banning particular information warfare products just like it did the BBC’s latest documentary. Third, the West’s perception managers in the MSM will then spin India’s sovereign right to defend itself from such Hybrid Warfare attacks as alleged proof that it’s anti-democratic under its present leadership.
Fourth, this narrative will only succeed in manipulating some Westerners’ perceptions since it’s expected to fall flat across the Global South, whose dozens of states practice their own national models of democracy similar in spirit to India’s and regard that country as their unofficial leader nowadays. And finally, India’s ties with some Western countries like the UK might become much more complicated as a result, but Delhi will still continue balancing between both de facto New Cold War blocs.