Hello defence lovers! In this article, we are going to discuss how India is losing Information warfare against our adversaries China and Pakistan. We will first understand what Information Warfare (IW) is, then we will discuss how China and Pakistan both are winning it against India. We will also try to figure out some measures that India can take to fight back.
What Is Information Warfare?
Information warfare (IW) is a form of hybrid or proxy warfare in which one manipulates information trusted by its targets without their awareness so that the targets will make decisions against their interest but in the interest of the one conducting information warfare.
IW involves a variety of techniques which are – the collection of tactical information, assurance(s) that one’s information is valid, spreading of propaganda or disinformation to demoralize or manipulate the enemy and the public, undermining the quality of the opposing force’s information and denial of information-collection opportunities to opposing forces. Information warfare is closely associated with psychological warfare.
Now we have understood what is Information warfare now let us analyze how India is losing this battle against its adversaries. Let us begin with China.
China’s Information Warfare Against India
Since the start of the Ladakh standoff and then the Galwan valley incident, China has boosted its information warfare against India. Already China has achieved excellence in spreading false propaganda through its propaganda videos. The way China projects itself is very far from reality. Now China has started targeting India through its propaganda machinery.
For example, recently China mourned on the anniversary of the Galwan Valley clash. The way they mourned indicated that they were victims and India was the aggressor. They portrayed the event as their soldiers sacrificed themselves defending their motherland from foreign invaders. Though several reliable Russian and American sources had claimed that the Chinese Casualties were more than 40 soldiers, China was successful in showing the world that it lost only 4 soldiers.
Chinese companies have stakes in various Indian media houses and film production companies. Not only in India even some American Media houses, newspapers, and magazines also came under Chinese Influence[source]. With its huge foreign exchange reserves, China was successful in buying influence in various Universities of India, Think tanks, and even in Bollywood [source]. That is why we don’t often see many anti-China films as compared to anti-Pakistan films.
It is very concerning that China is shaping the opinion of the Indian masses through various covert means. We cannot do the same to China because the entire China is cut off from the rest of the world. China has its own army of keyword warriors on Twitter who are actively engaged in false propaganda against India but at the same time, they have restricted their public’s access to similar platforms. How many mandarin speaking experts do we have to take the Information battle back to China? The government needs to focus on this aspect.
Pakistan’s Information Warfare Against India
Pakistan has even surpassed China with its efforts in the Information battle against India. Almost every day we see some fake news coming out of fake Pakistani twitter handles which pretend to hail from somewhere else. Recently we saw the Pakistan-supported boycott India’s campaign miserably fail in the Arab world. Pakistani sources often try to comment on the internal affairs of India and create unrest. But our administration takes a very long time to respond to these fake news. By the time our administration wakes up and declares that the news being circulated is fake, those fake news had done its job.
We must establish proper machinery to respond to these fake news and Pakistani propaganda. We have a sound Information Technology superiority compared to our adversaries, thanks to our huge IT industry. We also have our strong ties with America, the country of origin of the tools of propaganda warfare -Social media. Along with the American government and our IT experts, we must develop a mechanism to identify and ban the accounts involved in Information warfare against India.