In India, disinformation has emerged as a new form of state-sponsored violence – By Neelanjan Sircar
…. Misleading information might cause paranoia and affect responsiveness to reason – as has been alleged about the “alt-right” – but this does not in and of itself constitute a democratic breakdown. However, in the Indian context, the sheer scale of government intrusions and control over the media emboldens it to strategically deploy misleading information – what is often called disinformation – to develop a national narrative supportive of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindutva nationalist ideology, as well as to harass government critic and the Muslim community in India.
When the government arrays to itself the power to strategically deploy disinformation against critics and particular communities, democratic breakdowns can occur.
Thus, to understand democratic backsliding, we must understand how disinformation can be deployed in such a manner. In this essay, I identify and explicate two necessary conditions: (1) curation – the power to censor information critical of the ruling government and (2) centralised control – the ability to coordinate and standardise messaging from the government and political party across the country….