A nation is known by the allies it keeps

Dictatorial regimes did not worry about public opinion because they didn’t have to win an election


Imran Jan September 30, 2021
The writer is a political analyst. Email: [email protected] Twitter @Imran_Jan

America propped up hideous regimes such as Pinochet’s Chile, Marcos’s Philippines, Shah’s Iran, Mubarak’s Egypt, Ceausescu’s România, and so forth. However, those regimes’ brutal atrocities and human rights violations were no secret. Furthermore, those mentioned above as well as many others were not democratic regimes.

Today, America can claim to be in an alliance with a democracy namely India but India can also shame those dictatorial regimes when it comes to human rights violations and brutal killings of its own people and the Kashmiris. The other similarly lunatic democracy that America is an ally with is Israel. Murderers with a ballot are more dangerous than the murderers without. The Indian ballot elected a known terrorist not only once but for the second time with even a more overwhelming majority. Modi’s terrorist credentials can be judged from the fact that he was banned from entering the United States until not too long ago.

One of the most elementary requirements for a democracy is having an informed citizenry. Well, let us examine India’s credentials on that front. The Indian media recently used imagery from a video game to claim that Pakistan’s fighter jet was flying over Panjshir valley of Afghanistan in supporting the Taliban offensive against the so called resistance there.

The mainstream saffron scarf wearing Hindutva extremists, which are primarily the people who elected Modi, believe that the coronavirus could be killed by consuming cow urine. One of the top Bollywood celebrities Akshay Kumar has said that he indeed does drink cow urine for better health. After a failed US visit just days ago, Modi returned home and the social media bots went berserk with his praise. A fake picture of The New York Times front page with Modi’s picture on it went viral on social media. The headline of the purported interview said, “Last, Best Hope of Earth.” His loyalists called it a “highly successful” visit. That is the state of an informed Indian citizenry. The truth, however, is that no US senior official came to receive him at the airport. No red carpet was rolled. He stepped over what looked like a shower mat. It was red though.

Those dictatorial regimes did not worry about public opinion because they didn’t have to win an election. India, however, with claims of being a democracy, has to bend backwards in convincing people of mind-numbing lies.

To spread negative propaganda against Pakistan, India was caught red-handed in leading a 15-year global propaganda campaign through 750 fake media outlets, a sinister web of 265 sites operating in 65 countries, going to such horrible lengths as to use a dead professor’s identity. The operation is run by the Srivastava Group, which targets members of the European Parliament and the United Nations, and is present in 116 countries. Hitler and Stalin would have loved to have such a massive propaganda ability. The perfect hideous regime, turns out, is the one with a ballot, an alliance with America that sees no evil, and a vibrant social media bot army.

With supporting dictatorships, the faith in the American claim of supporting democracy was eroding. With supporting a democracy that is worse than those dictatorships, the faith in democracy continues to dwindle globally. A country with a ballot run amok is not only a threat to its own people but to world peace too.

Furthermore, the world needs to update its critique of a regime based on whether or not it is responsive to its people’s aspirations because what do you do with a nation that has the ballot where people vote based on doctored images going viral on social media, where disinformation and propaganda have no limits, where violating the rights of minority religion and low caste is cheered for, where terrorists are elected based on how aggressive he could be toward Pakistan?

America must realise that it cannot ignore the global public opinion forever.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2021.

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