[Sansad TV] Perspective: Countering Doctored Narratives



  • An American billionaire’s recent comments on India have come under heavy criticism from all sections of India.
  • Much recently, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar had warned against doctored narratives becoming hurdles in India’s growth.

Doctored Narratives: Motive behind the term

  • The term “Doctored Narratives” typically refers to narratives or stories that have been intentionally altered or manipulated in some way to mislead or deceive people.
  • This can involve-
    • Changing key details
    • Omitting important information
    • Fabricating events altogether
  • Influences are exerted by the powers that be through various means – subversion, funding the nefarious elements, planting certain theories through various literature, devising frameworks in academic setups somewhere and foisting those on unique problems in other countries.

Characterizing such narratives

  • Mass provocation: Doctored narratives often include misleading information that is designed to distort or misrepresent the truth. This could involve taking statements out of context or selectively presenting only certain facts.
  • Fake news: They may contain outright false information that is designed to mislead the audience. This could involve fabricating events or presenting false statistics or data.
  • Emotional appeal: They may be designed to play on the emotions of the audience, using fear, anger, or other strong emotions to influence their opinions.
  • Conspiracy theories: Such narratives may promote conspiracy theories or alternative explanations for events that contradict widely accepted facts or evidence.
  • Political manipulation: They may appeal to people’s pre-existing beliefs or biases, reinforcing their existing opinions and making it difficult for them to consider alternative perspectives.

In the age of social media, doctored narratives can spread quickly and easily, making it more important than ever to fact-check and verify the information we come across before accepting it as truth.

Narratives against India

Unfortunately, doctored narratives against India are not uncommon, and there have been several instances where misinformation or propaganda has been used to target India. Some examples include:

  • Misinformation surrounding the Kashmir conflict: The conflict over the disputed territory of Kashmir between India and Pakistan has been the subject of doctored narratives, with false information being spread on social media to misrepresent the situation and promote anti-India sentiment.
  • Alleged ‘murder’ of Democracy: Some doctored narratives have promoted conspiracy theories about India’s government, such as claiming that the government is involved in human rights abuses or that it is suppressing dissent. Ex. Accusing our PM of being anti-minority.
  • Misinformation about Indian religions: False information has also been spread about Indian religions, such as claiming that Hinduism is a violent religion or that Sikhism is a separatist movement or associating terrorism and radicalism to a particular religion.

Why such narrative build up against India?

  • Western Diktat: There are powers that want the world order to remain as per their vision, their perception of reality, and their ideas of social and economic balances. Be it individual freedom or anything. The sees this through its prism.
  • Political meddling: India has been the target of interference by foreign powers seeking to influence its domestic politics and foreign policy. This interference may take the form of funding political campaigns or supporting certain groups or individuals.
  • Economic competition: India’s emergence as a major economic power has led to competition and rivalry with other countries. The narrative often portrays India as a threat to the global economy and accuses it of unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft.
  • Contention with India’s rise: The present-day Indian leadership has been successfully steering India through the rough waters of International diplomacy while enjoying friendships with competing world powers and still protecting India’s interests.
  • Destabilize internal peace and security: India has some treacherous neighborhoods like Pakistan and China who allegedly strive to ‘bleed’ India with ‘thousand cuts’. Ex. Khalistani separatism movement.
  • Notion of far-right nationalism: The rise of Hindu nationalism in India has been criticized by some as a threat to secularism and minority rights. The narrative often portrays India as a Hindu supremacist state that discriminates against Muslims and other minorities.

Recent incidences

One can quote various recent examples of how ‘doctored narratives’ took shape of mass protests that aimed at destabilising India from within-

  • BBC documentary on PM Modi
  • Hindenburg report on Adani Groups
  • Communal angle to recent crackdown of Assam Government against child marriages etc.

Why is it an emerging threat?

  • Fast spread through social media: Those influenced by ‘doctored narratives’ spread through social media platforms, kept championing the cause of protesters without even paying any heed to logic.
  • Political opposition:  Framing charges against the PM is the easiest way. Many examples may still be visible in time to come, depending upon political convenience of the ‘ecosystem’ peddling ‘doctored narratives’.
  • Highly opinionated population: Doctored narratives may appeal to people’s pre-existing beliefs or biases, reinforcing their existing opinions and making it difficult for them to consider alternative perspectives.
  • Create a socio-political divide: Such narratives can promote division and conflict, inflaming tensions between different groups and creating a sense of “us vs. them.” This can contribute to social unrest and undermine the social fabric of communities.
  • Security threats: Such falsification pose security threats, particularly in the form of cyberattacks and other forms of online manipulation. These threats can undermine critical infrastructure, steal sensitive information, and compromise national security.


  • Political leaders often have supporters and detractors, and opinions can vary widely depending on a range of factors, including political ideology, social and economic issues, personal beliefs, and cultural background.
  • It’s important to approach information with a critical eye and to seek out diverse perspectives before forming an opinion.
  • It’s also important to engage in respectful dialogue and to avoid spreading false information or promoting divisive narratives.
  • We should strive to create a culture of open and honest communication, based on accurate information and a commitment to progress and positive change.

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1 year ago

Adani is not India. Any political party or its Neta, in power or not, is not India. Communal crimes have risen multifold according to our own records. Opinion is not Perspective. Progress does not happen if we live in a constant denial of truth.


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