Western NGOs have to be extremely biased to place India behind Pakistan and ac on indices such as academic and press freedom.
In an age where social media dominates our lives it is imperative for India to wake up to the challenges it faces. India is the target of an unprecedented propaganda war and it seems that it has neither the will nor the appetite to fight this vicious assault on the country. It is not enough to laugh it off or dismiss this aggression hoping that it will go away. The World Freedom Index or so called, “Reporters Without Borders” in its May 2023 report has put India below Pakistan and Afghanistan in terms of press freedom. Then there is the “World Happiness Index 2023”, which lists India at number 136 behind Sri Lanka. The Global Hunger Index lists India at number 107 out of 121 countries. The Swedish based NGO, V-Dem Institute has put India behind Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan in the field of academic freedom.
Let us look at each of these institutions and investigate who the players are behind these forces.
WORLD FREEDOM INDEX OR REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS
Dr Dan Steinbock, an internationally recognised strategist of the multipolar world and the founder of Difference Group who has served at the India, China and America Institute (USA), Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China) and the EU Center (Singapore), has the following to say about Reporters Without Borders (RSF): “For years, the Press Freedom Index also known as the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has been widely quoted, even though its methodology is biased. RSF was, for long led, by a white supremacist with a penchant for US-led regime change. Now RSF is targeting Asia. RSF has cherished odd bedfellows. Amid the 2002 coup against Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, the RSF sided with the plotters, as it did in the coups against Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, and Evo Morales in Bolivia. According to critics the RSF has cooperated and coordinated with the US State Department against Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. The regime-change activities were funded by USAID Cuba Program, Freedom of Information Initiatives and the NEDA. In return, the Bush administration funded RSF and like-minded NGOs. In 2007 RSF justified the Iraq invasion. Similar joint interests mark RSF activities in the Middle East (Libya, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan). (NEDA or National Endowment for Democracy was originally set up in 1983 during the Reagan presidency. Its function was to take over the political regime change programmes from the CIA by presenting itself as an independent and private non-governmental organisation).”
BIASED METHODS, FUNDERS’ AGENDAS
RSF’s total budget is 6.1 million euros. It funds only 20% of its activities internally. Over 40% is based on “institutional grants” (French foreign ministry, French defence ministry), whereas 35% stems from “private foundations and NGOs” (e.g., NEDA, Ford Foundation) and “corporate and individual donations” (e.g., American Express, French bank Société Générale). Through their funding, billionaires, including George Soros via his Open Society and Pierre Omidyar, have indirectly shaped RSF activities. In return for French and US funds, the RSF has been largely silent about media abuses in France and the West.
Behind the official facades, the RSF’s index (World Press Freedom Index) has attracted much controversy. As it should. It is something of a racket. Officially the WPFI “is determined by pooling the responses of experts to a questionnaire devised by RSF”. The questionnaire presumably evaluates very broad criteria, such as “pluralism, media independence, and self-censorship”. The qualitative analysis is augmented with quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists. Moreover, when a limited sample of some 150 journalists and 18 NGOs are asked to analyse and respond to 87 questions for each country, the probability of biases and thus disconnect with realities increases accordingly. RSF and its sponsors have politicised and weaponised its mandate, methodology, targets and objectives.
THE WORLD HAPPINESS INDEX
This organisation fails to acknowledge how cultural differences shape your happiness. How can one reasonably conclude that country A is happier than country B when happiness is being measured by the way people in country A think about happiness? In India, community, family, and spirituality are significant contributors to happiness. Indian society is built on a strong sense of community and social support, which is not captured in the survey.
Why does Finland, which has been given the status of the happiest nation, have a high suicide rate? The giveaway is in the professed aim of the WHI Index. It says their goal is to realise a world with freedom, consciousness and happiness for all. For them, India, the world’s largest democracy, has less freedom than Sri Lanka, which is in political turmoil and bankrupt.
THE GLOBAL HUNGER INDEX
This organisation lists India at number 107 out of 121 countries. This despite the fact that India has rolled out the world’s largest food aid programme. It has been highly praised by the World Bank for its efficiency. There is no mass starvation in India and poverty fell in India from 22.5% to 10%. The founders of GHI is Concern Worldwide. It is Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency. Some of its employees overseas were dismissed due to sexual misconduct.
Th V-Dem NGO from Sweden has put India behind Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan in the field of academic freedom. V-Dem lists 5 indexes to measure the level of democracy in a country. They are: The electoral democracy index, the liberal democracy index, the participatory democracy index, the deliberative democracy index and the egalitarian democracy index.
Going by these indices, V-Dem has to be extremely biased to place India behind Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. It is axiomatic that V-Dem is agenda driven and anti India to the core. Not surprisingly, it too is funded by George Soros.
The relentless propaganda against India has reached a crescendo. They are desperate to remove a party which champions the Hindu heritage of the country. India must wake up to these destabilising forces. The perception of India in spite of its amazing economic progress and military might is that it is weak and can easily be pushed around. This perception needs to change urgently. Indian embassies all over the world have PR departments. Why don’t they ever respond to malicious propaganda by media houses in the UK, Germany and some other countries that are so small that they are like a mouse roaring at a lion? In the Ramayana, when the time came for Hanuman to cross the ocean to go to Lanka he was engulfed with self-doubt. It was when everyone reminded him of his strength that Hanuman was motivated. Perhaps India also needs to be reminded of its might.
Nitin Mehta is the founder of Indian Cultural Centre, London. www.nitinmehta.co.uk