US-EU backstabbed Bharatiya Janata Party through interfering in India’s 2024 Lok Sabha elections

A new report has exposed Western efforts to interfere in India’s 2024 Lok Sabha Elections (19 April to 1 June), with particular focus put on the Henry Luce Foundation, George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, and the French Indologist and political scientist Christophe Jaffrelot for their roles in peddling a “particular narrative.”

In a report titled ‘The Invisible Hands: Foreign Interference in Indian Elections 2024,’ DisInfo Lab found that the Indian elections experienced massive interference from China and Israel but that “the most significant remains obscure – The Western interference: From EU to the US.”

“Unfortunately, as millions of Indians were deciding their future, a section of the global media and academia was planning a sinister plot to influence their decisions through an orchestrated and well-funded plan,” the 85-page report states, adding that even Indian “Conduits” were possibly part of this plan.

The report highlighted that unjustified criticism of Indian institutions and the country’s human rights record under Prime Minister Narendra Modi “peaked” in the six months before the election.

“These elections saw the most intrusive foreign reporting – overwhelmingly negative and obviously brazen. Tropes from the ‘Western media’ heavily laced with hyper adjectives and double standards forcing a meta narrative into the bloodstream of [the] the internet. Like they were in a competitive mud-slinging tournament,” the report said with an attached image of BBC, Reuters and other Western media headlines that included: “AI and deepfakes blur reality in India elections,” “Modi’s party accused of demonizing Muslims in video,” “The End of Secular India,” and “How an Indian state became a testing ground for Hindu nationalism.”

Disinfo Lab also highlighted that Western media attacks were not limited to the Anglosphere, with criticism of India particularly evident in the French daily Le Monde.

“While analyzing the buzz around Indian elections, it was also observed that Jaffrelot had also been the key source of most of these articles from other Western media and a segment of Indian media platforms especially targeting the Indian elections,” according to the research organization, which went on to explain how the French Indologist had previously been caught out spreading fake news related to “caste census.”

“In 2021, Christophe Jaffrelot published a research report on the need for a caste census in India, and subsequently wrote articles in Indian media. And surprisingly, in a country of 1.4 billion, he single-handedly managed to put this topic into public discourse, which was also helped by election season. This was a remarkable feat by any academician,” Disinfo Lab said.

The report reveals that Jaffrelot was one of the many academics and think tanks funded by the US-based Henry Luce Foundation (HLF), established by TIME Magazine founder Henry Luce, who was part of the CIA’s project Mocking Bird, which used the media and journalists, including TIME, for its covert ops.

One of the projects that Jaffrelot received funding for was “Muslims in a Time of Hindu Majoritarianism.” This was to the tune of $385,000 from HLF. The HLF, staffed by many ex-US government officials and think tanks with known connections to the US establishment, also funded the project ‘The Hindu Right and India’s Religious Diplomacy’ at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.

HLF also provided a $120,000 sponsorship to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, under which it wrote such articles as ‘Hindu Nationalism: From Ethnic Identity to Authoritarian Repression,’ ‘Religion, Citizenship, and Belonging in India,’ ‘Religion-as-Ethnicity. and the Emerging Hindu Vote in India’ and others.

In fact, according to Disinfo Lab, HLF supported Human Rights Watch with $300,000 for a project to document religious violence in Asia, specifically in Myanmar, Indonesia, and India. HLF also funded anti-BJP academics in the US, including California-based activist Angana P. Chatterji and Audrey Truschke, an academic at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (SUNY).

The DisInfo LAb article mentions the role of billionaire George Soros and his charity OSF in spreading negative views about India and Modi. Jaffrelot was not the only recipient of vast sums of money from Soros, with the foundation of Canadian-Indian activist Ricken Patel, the Namati Foundation, receiving millions from OSF between 2016 and 2022, which helped fund several anti-India projects.

The report notes that in 2023, Patel began chairing a ‘Friends of Democracy’ group whose stated goal was to “fight against the ruling party” to save India. Co-chaired by Soros’ son Jonathan Soros, the Friends of Democracy spread “propaganda” on topics such as Russian oil purchases by India, with views closely resembling those of the US government.

“And how does ‘Friends of Democracy’ save India? By carrying out propaganda against India buying Russian oil. If you have any confusion about what narrative has to be, Patel Bhai has sorted this out for us,” the report states.

And this is where the crux of the issue is. Although the West welcomes a rising India as a counterweight to China, there is also frustration that Modi follows an agenda that prioritizes Indian interests, such as the mass purchase of cheap Russian energy. So long as Modi continues pursuing agendas and policies that put India’s interests first instead of the West’s, it can be expected that disinformation campaigns will not only continue but escalate.

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