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Opinion | How Pakistan mounted Hate India campaign on social media

I asked India TV reporters to thoroughly investigate the sources from where these lies were disseminated. The first fact that emerged was that a timeline of 5 pm IST was fixed to make a hashtag #IndianMuslimsGenocide popular and trending within minutes on Twitter.

Rajat Sharma Written by: Rajat Sharma @RajatSharmaLive New Delhi Updated on: April 13, 2022 16:12 IST
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Image Source : INDIA TV

Opinion | How Pakistan mounted Hate India campaign on social media

Today I want to reveal how people sitting in Islamabad, Pakistan, mounted a malicious worldwide Hate India campaign on Tuesday through social media. Their only aim was to defame India across the world. The planning was done in Islamabad, and hate factories in Karachi and Rawalpindi were activated. The lie was spread that Muslims in India are facing atrocities and massacres and that they are being deprived of their basic rights. Lies were spread about mosques being demolished in India.

 
I asked India TV reporters to thoroughly investigate the sources from which these lies were disseminated. The first fact that emerged was that a timeline of 5 pm IST was fixed to make the hashtag #IndianMuslimsGenocide popular and trending within minutes on Twitter. Soon afterward, Pakistani agents sitting in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Malaysia and other countries posted thousands of tweets defaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India.
 
There was another hashtag #IndianMuslimsUnderAttack that was trending too. Nearly 1.5 lakh tweets were posted on this hashtag. This was being controlled from Pakistan, Turkey and some Gulf countries. Analytics showed 30 pc of the tweets were from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia came second with 18.5 pc, followed by the Netherlands (8 pc), UAE (3.9 pc), Italy (3.6 pc), Germany(3.05 pc), Canada (2.09 pc), Britain (2.9 pc) and other countries (22.5 pc).
 
Let me go through some of the tweets. One Babar Malik, claiming to be a journalist from Karachi, wrote on Twitter “Welcome to new Israel. The more you suppress us, the stronger we will be. Muslims it’s time to unite and fight against this Hindutva terrorism”. Using fake videos and stills, he also wrote: “In India, the shops of Muslims, their houses, even mosques are being demolished or burnt. Now where are those organisations today who used to make claims to stop terrorism and Islamophobia?”
 
Another Pakistani user named Farhan Qureshi from Rawalpindi used the hashtag #IndianMuslimsUnderAttack and tweeted “Endia is an animal farm”. His spelling for India was Endia. There were thousands of tweets from Pakistani handles lashing out at India under this hashtag , which soon started trending on top. Most of these tweets were anti-Hindu, anti-Indian and full of hatred towards India. Most of the tweets were from places near Islamabad, the Federal Capital Territory of Pakistan, from where nearly 84 per cent of Pakistanis tweeted Hate India comments.
 
Next came Turkey, from where thousands of anti-India tweets were posted. A Twitter user named Aakhir Hashmi alleged in his tweet that Muslim religious shrines in India are no safer. Aakhir Hashmi is not an Indian, but a Turkish national, sitting in Istanbul.  Another user from Istanbul wrote alleging, that loudspeakers from Indian mosques are being removed and Muslims are being subjected to atrocities. The ground reality is completely different. No loudspeaker was removed from any mosque in India. More tweets came from the Turkish capital Ankara and another Turkish city Kirsehir.  
 
One might ask, what’s the use of all these rubbish tweets? The ground reality is a bit different. These tweets came soon after the 2+2 dialogue between India and the US ended in Washington, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked about human rights issues in India, based on these trending topics. Blinken told a press conference, “We are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India, including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police and prison officials”. He did not elaborate, nor did he provide any details about such abuses.
 
The fact is that not a single loudspeaker was removed from any mosque in India, but people living outside India are peddling untruths, which others believe to be true. All this is being done in a well-coordinated manner. The timing shows how anti-Indian forces are trying to discredit India, with a full-fledged ecosystem thriving on lies. Articles and columns against India are being written in foreign newspapers and magazines.
 
American members of Parliament are also being used for this purpose. The most prominent among them is Ilhan Omar, the Senator from Minnesota, who, on the eve of the Biden-Modi virtual summit, asked the Biden administration to do more to confront Prime Minister Narendra Modi about India’s human rights record.
 
A known India baiter, Ilhan Omar, while testifying before the House Foreign Relations Committee, compared Modi with the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Ilhan Omar said, “One of the things I think was a profound, moral and strategic mistake in the last Cold War was our support for brutal dictators in the name of having a common enemy…. I do not want to repeat those historical injustices. What worries me is that this time we seem willing to let Modi be our new Pinochet…I ask what about Mod in India? How are we promoting a free and open region by supporting Modi? So, I ask you, why has the Biden administration been so reluctant to criticize Modi’s government on human rights?..... What does Modi need to do to India’s Muslim population before we will stop considering them a partner in peace?”
 
Ilhan Omar even used the word “genocide” in her remarks, and this soon trended on social media as #IndianMuslimsGenocide. All this was not spontaneous. There was a carefully coordinated campaign behind this attack. From several verified Twitter handles, a picture was posted asking users to “Storm Twitter with hashtag #IndianMuslimsGenocideAlert “.
 
In India it started trending at 5 pm, while in the US, it began trending at 6.30 am CST and 7.30 am EST (American time). Soon it started trending in the North American continent, including Canada and the US. A similar campaign was mounted when the anti-CAA movement was launched in India two years ago. BJP social media IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya says, this is not the first time when the Hate India campaign was launched.
 
Last week, India’s Information & Broadcasting Ministry blocked 36 YouTube channels, which were peddling fake news about India and Modi. There were 28 Indian and eight Pakistani YouTube channels. These channels were spreading hate against India and fake news about Prime Minister Modi. Some examples of lies peddled by these channels include, ‘India has attacked Palestine’, ‘Properties of Muslims are being seized in India’. Some of these YouTube channels garnered 147 crore views.
 
The main aim of these channels is to tarnish India’s image on the international level. On one hand, Pakistani handlers sitting in Islamabad and Rawalpindi are mounting an anti-India campaign, and on the other hand, their new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is offering a hand of friendship towards India. If this is the style of offering friendship, it would be better to have enmity rather than friendship with Pakistan.
 
These are anti-Indian forces who encourage the ‘tukde, tukde’ gangs inside India in the guise of opposing Modi, and are creating tension between Hindus and Muslims. It is a carefully planned conspiracy, and we in India need to be careful.

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