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Time for every Indian to join and defeat a vicious information assault against the Republic 

Yana Mir with Lt Gen Satish Dua and Sajid Yusuf in Udaipur (Photo: @TheSatishDua/Twitter)

Srinagar-based journalist and Kashmiri activist Yana Mir said that India has been made a victim of information warfare and negative propaganda. Mir said that this becomes clear when celebrities like Greta Thunberg, singer Rihanna, or even Nobel prize winner Mala Yousafzai are supported with toolkits to tweet against India.

Coming down heavily on self-styled fact-checkers, Mir said that many people with no credibility are promoted as fact checkers or are propped up as legitimate voices from India in foreign publications such as the New York Times and Washington Post, or Huffpost.

Mir was speaking at the Maharana Pratap Annual Geopolitics Dialogue organised by the Udaipur-based think tank, Usanas Foundation recently.

Talking about Kashmir, she said that even anti-social elements who threaten government employees or give refuge to terrorists or ferry grenades in their bags are labelled as journalists.

The weaponisation of Islam
Talking about Islam, Mir said that Islam has been weaponised since medieval times for political gains. She said: “the Abbasids used Islam in its early years as an ideological weapon to overthrow the Umayyad caliphate… Similarly tyrant rulers from Persia, Turkey, Mongolia and Afghanistan invaded non-Muslim lands, including India, to loot temples and resources, validating this plunder by stating that they are simply doing service to Allah by converting the pagans into Muslims”.

She also highlighted the hypocrisy of “kinder Muslim invaders like Akbar” who did not commit a mass genocide of non-Muslims but allowed non-Muslims a right to live on the condition that they paid a life tax called Jaziya. She added that both forceful conversion and forced taxes are forbidden in Islam.

Pakistani radicals in the UK
She added that Islam has been weaponised not just by Islamic radicals but also by many members of the Western world. She gave the example of the UK political system where the Labour Party and the Conservative Parties have formed their own vote banks.

Mir said: “While the conservatives are preferred by progressive Indian origin people, the Labour Party panders to the whims of the illusionists, who I will refrain from calling Islamists because Islam doesn’t propagate fighting for materialistic things like political power or land. The only fight permitted in Islam, is a fight to worship Allah if a believer is being stopped from doing so…”

“It is quite disappointing… that there is a Kashmir Council in the UK Parliament which appoints speakers who have never lived in the Kashmir Valley but are natives of the Pakistan side of Kashmir, and Dogra Muslims by ethnicity. They are hostile to the pleas of original Kashmiri natives – the Kashmiri Pandits, who are the actual victims… So the irony is that Britain, which has rejected independence referendums for Scotland and Wales, thereby illegally occupying these lands, is harbouring elements who demand a referendum for Indian Kashmir while sitting in its parliament”.


Mir highlighted how goons vandalised Hindu temples in Leicester and Birmingham on the pretext of a cricket match and misrepresented the harmless Hindu greeting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ as a war cry in a bid to bring disrepute to the government of British Hindu Rishi Sunak. She added how a ridiculous documentary about the 2002 Gujarat riots was released by the BBC possibly because it was impossible to find anything against Modi in recent years… specially when the BJP got a thumping victory in Gujarat elections where even predominantly Muslim areas like Dariapur and East Surat voted for Modi’s BJP.

The situation in the US
Mir said that it is a similar scenario across the Atlantic, where Ilhan Omar of the USA Congress visits Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK), and instead of underlining prevalent problems like the degradation of women’s rights, wheat shortages leading to riots, political suppression and chronic power cuts in PoJK, she instead makes a statement about the fabricated oppression of people in Indian Kashmir as it fetches Muslim votes.

Mir pointed out that it is not just Islam but other religions too which are being weaponised for selfish interests by world leaders making India a scapegoat. She cited the example of Canadian President Justin Trudeau looking for votes from Canada’s fourth-largest majority – the Canadian Sikhs, by slamming India for the farmers’ protests. She highlighted Trudeau’s one-sided condemnation of the Russian referendum in Ukraine but did not speak out against the Khalistan referendum in Canada.

Challenges before India
Highlighting the challenges for India, the Kashmiri activist said India is home to a sizable population belonging to almost all global religions. Also, a sizable population of migrants around the world hail from India. “Within India itself, it is a colossal challenge to maintain harmony between diverse religions and cultures within a democratic framework, while ensuring that Indian sovereignty is not compromised. But it gets difficult when international interests are at play”, Mir said.

Talking about global geopolitics, she added that while the West continues to make India a scapegoat for its political interests, India’s other neighbour China is insecure about India’s growing economic importance. Knowing fully well that India has the potential to beat China at its own game, Beijing ensures that unrest continues in India through its proxy Pakistan, which sends drones with guns inside Indian borders. Forensic analysis of these drones show evidence that these were flown earlier in China and then in the Khanewal district of Pakistan. “The strategy here is clear that the more resources India burns in curbing domestic unrest, the more it goes back economically”.


She stressed that while everyone from east to west continues to take advantage of any unrest in India – the farmers’ protest, the fabricated Kashmir conflict, these very people in the West do not have a solution to any of the problems in India. “They conveniently, almost in a reflexive manner, place the task on the shoulders of the United Nations. Let’s take, for example, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s response during her Pakistan visit, where she said that the UN must take responsibility to maintain peace and order, human rights in Kashmir”, says Mir.

Mir adds that the many think that the UN will be the knight in shining armour and come to the rescue of the Kashmiris, “but the UN office in Kashmir is a deserted monument, where no representative has visited since 2010. So the report about Kashmir which was made in 2010 or before is juxtaposed with the current date and submitted every year”, Mir says, adding that while a juxtaposed report is submitted every year from Indian Kashmir, a local Pakistani news agency makes another report from PoJK for the UN.

Solutions to India’s problems
Switching from the global challenges that daunt India, the Kashmiri journalist also shared solutions.

Mir said that the Indians mind their own business too much and do not retort or lecture at other nations. She said: “So let’s take for example when US Vice President Kamala Harris lectured us about how democracies should run… it is easy for her to say… with no rogue nations at any of its borders. Do you know how many we have at our borders…”, she said, hinting at India’s long-standing adversaries like China and Pakistan.

Giving another example of international interference in India’s affairs, Mir said that the US should be minding its own problems like the banking collapse, inflation and social unrest.

She again quoted Harris, as saying: “We want to remind the Kashmiris – that they are not alone in the world. We are keeping track of the situation…”. Commenting on the US vice president’s statements the Kashmiri journalist said: “But you will never see an Indian minister making a statement saying, “… we want to remind the homeless of downtown Los Angeles that they are not alone in the world. We are keeping a track of the situation, there is a need to intervene if the situation demands.”

She also coaxed Indians to come out of their comfortable cocoons. Mir said while India’s competitors in the field of information warfare learn the Kashmiri language so that they can abuse Indian Kashmiris on social media “but we Indians will not learn Urdu. We end up becoming fans of urdu ghazals and shayari, then join shayari groups, then organise shayari events, host shayari parties, then become shayars… Similarly, if you ask Indians to learn Chinese, they will binge watch Bruce Lee movies… end up learning some of his action moves but not the language. We don’t enjoy the task of learning an enemy’s national language, which is a significant strategy to create narratives in the enemy nation”.

Giving a peek into the jihadi mindset, Mir said that radicals engaged in creating and spreading anti-India content on social media or through sermons in mosques will stick to their notion that killing or rioting in the name of Islam is acceptable and they stick together for and with their brotherhood or ummah but the regular Indians will not do it.

Urging all Indian nationals to take up the cause for India, Mir said that faced with getting stereotyped, Indians back off the moment someone calls them “a bhakt”, “a Sanghi”, “wannabe Nazi” or a “Hindutva agent”. Indian Muslims have to confront jibes like, “why you supporting Modi’s India you loser”, “You Munafiq”, “You Murtad” and “You Yahoudi”.

The Kashmiri journalist also highlighted how Islamists even change the meaning of Quranic texts only to resist and fight even for an unjustified cause. “But we Indians, won’t even care to read our dharmic texts about war tactics and strategies given in Hindu literature, like Chanakya Niti. We don’t think we should be fighting for anything unless we are in the Indian Armed forces”, adding that while democratic countries like Turkey have military conscription, it goes against the principles of democracy in India.

She added that Indians will have to get out of the defending mindset if they have to fight back against global forces.

“Let’s again take the example of Baerbock. If she says something nasty about India, even in a state of unpreparedness, as the Germans claim, then considering the total German population around the world, a maximum of 80 million people will form a negative opinion about India. But now just imagine, if Foreign Minister Dr S. Jaishankar says something about Germany… maybe something like ‘we support the situation of the mega transport workers’ strike in Germany to ensure that the workers’ economic rights are being guaranteed’. How many people around the world are going to form a negative opinion of Germany with its hidden rivals like Denmark, Poland and Russia”, emphasised Mir.

The devout Indian supporter, Yana Mir concluded by saying that a lot of the solutions to India’s problems lie with the Indians themselves. Indians will have to make themselves stronger and self-sustaining in dealing with the increasing global anti-India propaganda.

Also read: Despite threats Pakistan cannot afford war with Afghanistan: PoK activist Amjad Ayub Mirza