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DISTORTED REALITIES

In the modern global landscape, media plays a pivotal role in shaping public perception and understanding of international affairs. Amidst a complex tapestry of narratives, how India is portrayed on the world stage is influenced by various factors. Global power dynamics, coupled with anti-India propaganda, often distort the image of India, overshadowing its progress and achievements. A recent analysis by The Communicator, a peer-reviewed journal from India’s Indian Institute of Mass Communications (IIMC), highlights the infiltration of negative narratives about India into mainstream media through manipulation. Such coverage often presents a one-sided view, neglecting positive developments and reinforcing negative stereotypes. This underscores the urgency to showcase India’s true progress and successes, which are often obscured by a carefully constructed negative narrative.

One common misrepresentation revolves around claims of the “weakening of democracy” and false allegations of “violation of citizens’ rights.” However, as the world’s largest democracy, India boasts a vibrant multi-party system with regular, meticulously prepared elections. Efforts to include diverse groups like young voters, women, the third gender community, Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), and Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) exemplify India’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. Beyond electoral participation, inclusivity extends to economic growth, evidenced by rising living standards paralleling significant economic strides across multiple sectors.

Financial inclusion initiatives, such as the JAM trinity, have expanded access to over 80% of adults, while income inequality has declined, supported by a widening tax base and increased filings. Prudent economic management has tripled indirect tax collections since the implementation of GST. India’s unique developmental model, centered on Digital Public Goods Infrastructure (DPGI), has attracted global attention through platforms like the India Stack, Aadhaar, UPI, and GSTN. These DPGIs facilitate seamless transactions and governance, democratizing access to digital technologies and eliminating the digital divide across public services.

Initiatives like Standup India, Rozgar Mela, and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) stimulate job creation and economic empowerment, leveling the playing field for small entrepreneurs. These success stories of digital inclusivity and economic empowerment underscore the health of Indian democracy, extending beyond elections and free expression. India’s multidimensional development is reflected in marked improvements across global indices, from innovation and logistics to digital readiness, demonstrating a commitment to growth benefiting every citizen

Despite India’s impressive economic growth under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, global media often presents a narrow and flawed perspective, missing the broader picture. This biased portrayal borders on foreign interference, with documented cases of influence operations originating from China. Concerns arise over the weaponization of deep fakes by malicious foreign actors, threatening the integrity of Indian democracy. Coordinated flawed commentary on Indian democracy across global media outlets necessitates intervention from the Election Commission to empower fact-checking and clamp down on errant platforms and media outlets.

India’s robust democracy serves as the cornerstone of its bright future, empowering citizens’ voices and catalyzing tangible economic progress. With an unwavering commitment to inclusive growth and expanding global influence, India is emerging as a formidable global power. The world’s largest democracy cannot be trifled with by global media outlets without consequences. India’s democratic experiment offers hope to the global south, showcasing democracy’s potential for inclusive growth and sustainable development.

Conveying a strong message to global media outlets that undermining Indian democracy undermines the aspirations of over a billion Indians and the hopes of billions across the global south is imperative. India’s journey towards democracy and development serves as a beacon of hope for nations worldwide.

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