Indian Movie Baby-Propaganda against Pakistan
As part of psychological warfare, besides supporting subversive acts in Pakistan, India has already started cultural penetration in Pakistan through movies, dramas, shows and advertisements which are being displayed on our TV channels.
In this regard, Baby is a propaganda movie recently released by Bollywood to directly target Pakistan. It is focusing on operation Baby which was supposedly conceived by the Indian secret agency, RAW as a test case, launched by a group of five trained and dedicated RAW operatives to apprehend head of Pakistan’s banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)/Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) through a sting individuals.
In fact, the movie was sponsored and produced by Indian Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defence. The project was undertaken by Santosh Astana (Media Incharge/Director Indian Affairs, Public Relations), while three Pakistani actors are also included in the cast. The theme of the film tries to propagate that Pakistan-based LeT/JuD is responsible for orchestrating Mumbai attacks in September 2008, financed and facilitated by Pakistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
But, the movie, Baby revolves around the activities of LeT in the backdrop of Mumbai attacks, 2008. This is a sequel to the perennial propaganda campaign conceived by Indian authorities to malign the image of Pakistan and its primary intelligence agency ISI.
In this respect, after Mumbai attacks, Indians had resorted to electronic media campaign, followed by TV channels and written articles, focusing on the activities of Jihad organizations, allegedly sponsored by LeT/JuD.
In order to spread disinformation, New Delhi arranged a series of articles (about 140) which were also published in the US and other international media in which LeT/JuD has been portrayed as a terrorist origination much larger than Al Qaeda with global reach, having affiliates and sleeper cells all over the world.
In this connection, Indian point of view was further augmented by Arif Jamal (Pakistani born UK national) in his book “Call for Transnational Jihad: Lashkar-e-Taiba 1985-2014”.
Using the pretext of Mumbai terror-attacks, reportedly, on December 14, 2008, as a retaliatory action, India violated Pakistan’s air space in Kashmir and Lahore in a failed attempt to attack LeT/JuD offices in Azad Jammu Kashmir including Muridke.
And, in May 2009, RAW made an attempt to kill Hafiz Muhammad Saeed when he came to attend the Lahore High Court (LHC) hearing, but the attempt could not materialize.
As a matter of fact, the purpose of deliberate propaganda campaign through Indian print and electronic media—launched by Indian agencies was to induce public perception against Pakistan in order to favour Indian false stance at global level.
It is of particular attention that on July 19, 2013, the Indian former home ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma revealed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws. But, Indian top officials and media are still blaming Islamabad and LeT for those attacks.
Similarly, on January 20, 2013, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde confessed the nexus between BJP and the RSS, disclosing that organized training camps run by these Indian fundamentalist parties were promoting Hindu terrorism. They also revealed that these parties were behind the Samjhauta Express, Meccca Masjid and Malegaon blasts including Gujarat and Babri Masjid incidents.
Earlier, New Delhi was accusing Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI for blasts in Malegaon and other cities.
However, it is perceived that the movie Baby has been conceived and launched also to weigh and see the public reaction regarding Indian agenda, before conducting some major sting/hot pursuit operations against Pakistan.
As regards the film, three Pakistani film stars were also included in the cast i.e Rasheed Naz as head of Lashkar, Meekal Zulifqar as a RAW conduit and Hasan Noman as a Police Chief of KSA.
While, Pakistani film actor Hamza Ali Abbasi said that he was offered a role in the Indian film Baby last year which he did not accept due to the movie’s anti-Pakistan slant. He elaborated that he was in favour of Pakistani artists, working in Indian films in general, but not in a film that even has anti-Pakistan themes. He added, “Please think like a Pakistani first and then an artist”.
Nevertheless, Akshay Kumar starrer Baby movie has been banned by the censor boards of Pakistan, because it portrays a negative image of Muslims and the negative characters in the film—also has Muslim names. CDs and DVDs of the film have also been banned.
Fakhr-e-Alam who is the Chairman of the Censor Board took to Twitter to share his views about the board’s decision, stating, “The movie has been banned in Pakistan, as it shows Muslim community in a bad light. The characters used in the movie also represent Muslim community. He added, “A poor propaganda film basically saying all Muslims are terrorists & Pakistan harbors them…disappointed, Ban it”.
Besides, Indian contradictory approach in this regard is also mentionable. In an article, director of the movie Neeraj Panday claimed that the movie does not hurt Muslim sentiments, nor it has been made on any specific nation. But the producer Bhushan Kumar was still wondering why, actor Anupam Kher emphasised the need to move beyond borders and look at the universal problem of terrorism. He said, “The film is about anti-terrorism. Sometimes it is important to go beyond territories and understand who is the enemy—is it a country or a bunch of people?”
Nonetheless, the movie Baby which largely focuses on terrorism issues is part of Indian continued propaganda against Pakistan so as to distort the image of the latter and ISI in the comity of nations.
Therefore Pakistan’s media must counter Indian propaganda, unleashed against Pakistan in the Indian movie Baby.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations