How disinformation is testing India-Bangladesh bonds

Amidst a difficult political local weather, Bangladesh finds itself at a crossroads. The ruling secularist Awami League, below the statesmanship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is ascending to new heights with its concentrate on growth, jobs creation, empowerment of girls, and increasing alternatives for its residents. Conversely, the Bangladesh Nationalist Celebration (BNP), characterised by its ultra-Islamist stance, is actively partaking in a battle of disinformation geared toward tarnishing the nation’s popularity and undermining democracy and the undisputed picture of Sheikh Hasina within the worldwide area. This concerted effort is marked by a barrage of misleading techniques, the unfold of pretend information, and a relentless drive to negate the federal government’s achievements.

Chandan Nandy, a notoriously controversial and notorious Indian journalist, has come below scrutiny, accused of affiliating with Pakistan’s espionage company, the ISI. Nandy has been conscripted by the Bangladesh Nationalist Celebration (BNP) to orchestrate a marketing campaign of a sequence of fabricated information tales concentrating on Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina and different vital figures within the authorities.

Chandan Nandy emerges as a determine of curiosity in opposition to a fancy geopolitical backdrop, together with his connections reaching into the diplomatic sphere via his father’s employment on the Indian Excessive Fee in Bangladesh. This nexus of relationships extends to Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, a recognized affiliate of Nandy in Bangladesh, who has been embroiled in controversy as a result of his alleged involvement in lobbying efforts in opposition to sure media personnel within the nation.

Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey, recognized as a full-time worker of Tarique Rahman, a fugitive, convicted terrorist and chief of the Bangladesh Nationalist Celebration (BNP), has been implicated in a concerted effort to affect US coverage in opposition to sure Bangladeshi media figures. Ansarey, who has reportedly managed press accreditation playing cards from the White Home and the United Nations via false declarations, is a part of a lobbying push advocating for a visa ban on roughly 100 media personalities in Bangladesh. This group, spearheaded by BNP lobbyists, accuses these people of functioning as “propaganda machines” for the ruling Awami League, thereby contributing to the social gathering’s grip on energy.

Chandan Nandy’s assertion to Ekattor TV alleging {that a} “extremely positioned supply in Washington” knowledgeable him of an order by Joe Biden to oust Sheikh Hasina has been proved as false and deceptive. Such a declare, although unfounded, factors to the advanced net of disinformation that may permeate political discourse. It serves as a stark reminder of the potent results that such misleading assertions can have on the notion of worldwide relations and inner political stability.

Bangladeshi newspaper Blitz has taken a essential stance in opposition to the worldwide media’s portrayal of Sheikh Hasina, notably within the narratives offered by The New York Occasions, The Economist, and currently TIME journal. These publications have been accused of propagating a biased narrative that seeks to discredit the accomplishments of the Bangladeshi Prime Minister and her authorities. Blitz’s counter-narrative underscores the significance of impartial media in offering a extra nuanced and complete view of world political dynamics, particularly within the face of mainstream media’s overwhelming affect. It challenges the timing and intent behind these articles, rising simply months earlier than Bangladesh’s nationwide elections, and suggests a possible agenda to affect the electoral course of.

The narrative surrounding Chandan Nandy took one other flip when it was revealed that his claims of a Washington supply plotting in opposition to Sheikh Hasina have been unfounded and bogus. The supposed stratagem was, in truth, the creation of a trio dubbed the ‘three musketeers’—William B. Milam, John Danilovich, and Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey. Ansarey, originating from the Sylhet Division in Bangladesh, shares his regional roots with Matiur Rahman Chowdhury of Manabzamin, who has been instrumental in disseminating Ansarey’s propaganda via the publication. Prothom Alo, one other distinguished newspaper, has additionally been implicated on this marketing campaign of disinformation. Nandy, now entangled on this net of intrigue, seems to be pushed by an agenda to serve the pursuits of the Bangladesh Nationalist Celebration (BNP) whereas concurrently undermining the India-Bangladesh bilateral relations.

Chandan Nandy, who’s employed by the Extremely-Islamist BNP, together with his infamous leanings in direction of Pakistan and in opposition to India, is trying to jeopardize the fragile material of India-Bangladesh relations. His makes an attempt, that are seen as hostile to Indian pursuits, are inflicting alarm amongst those that worth the bilateral concord that has been rigorously cultivated through the years. Nandy’s actions are perceived as not only a menace to the diplomatic ties but in addition as a catalyst for potential discord between the 2 pleasant neighbours. A extremely positioned supply from the Ministry of Overseas Affairs in Islamabad has confided to this correspondent that Chandan Nandy is thought to be a really trusted good friend of Islamabad.

Biden administration introduced a brand new visa coverage in Could 2023 designed to limit journey for people suspected of trying to disrupt the democratic proceedings. The coverage allows the US to impose visa bans on Bangladeshi nationals, together with present and former officers, members of political events, legislation enforcement, judiciary, and safety providers. In the meantime, the Bangladesh Nationalist Celebration (BNP) continues to marketing campaign for a non-party caretaker authorities, asserting that no election below Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s rule might be thought of free.

BNP’s employed Indian “journalist” Chandan Nandy’s pretend information platform, NENews, has been a automobile for inconsistent narratives, together with his statements shifting unpredictably. Initially, he claimed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would resign on November third. Subsequently, he altered his assertion, suggesting her resignation would observe the announcement of the election schedule. The most recent on this sequence of fluctuating statements is the unsubstantiated declare that US President Joe Biden will orchestrate her ousting. In fact, each assertion is proved to be a blatant lie.

Lately the detective department of the Bangladesh Police arrested seven leaders of the Bangladesh Nationalist Celebration (BNP), who have been hiding on the Westin Dhaka lodge on November third. Stephen E. Biegun, recognized as a consultant of Boeing, has been reportedly residing on the identical lodge for an prolonged interval with out clear enterprise functions. Allegations have surfaced suggesting that Biegun is performing on behalf of US and Pakistani intelligence institutions, the CIA and ISI respectively, with the intent to fund actions in opposition to Bangladesh and the Awami League. Moreover, there are claims that his presence in Dhaka is linked to potential financing of terrorist actions concentrating on growth tasks backed by India, China, and Russia.

Who’s Stephen E. Biegun?

Stephen E. Biegun is a notable determine in diplomatic and enterprise circles, primarily recognized for his position in authorities service. Beigun served as the USA Deputy Secretary of State from December 2019 to January 2021. Previous to that, he was the USA Particular Consultant for North Korea from August 2018 to January 2021, the place he led negotiations with North Korea in an effort to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun (Photograph Credit score: US Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Earlier than his authorities service, Biegun had a protracted profession in worldwide affairs in each the personal and public sectors. He held varied positions, together with vice chairman of worldwide governmental affairs at Ford Motor Firm. His public service consists of working as a employees member for overseas relations committees within the Home of Representatives and the US Senate, and he was additionally a nationwide safety advisor to Senate Majority Chief Invoice Frist.

Boeing’s discontent with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reportedly stems from Bangladesh’s resolution to have interaction with French Airbus, Boeing’s European rival, for the acquisition of a number of plane. French President Emmanuel Macron himself finalized the deal between Bangladesh and Airbus. This transfer signifies a consequential enterprise shift for Bangladesh, favouring Airbus over the American aerospace big. Such agreements can have substantial implications for the aviation trade and nationwide economies, usually influencing diplomatic relations. The selection of Airbus over Boeing might be seen as a strategic financial and political resolution by Bangladesh, reflecting the complexities of worldwide commerce and diplomacy.

Beneath the essential state of affairs the place main enterprise conglomerates like Boeing and Airbus are embroiled in a high-stakes competitors, and with the Biden Administration allegedly backing the ultra-Islamist BNP in Bangladesh, Chandan Nandy’s pretend information web site emerges as a major propaganda vessel of BNP’s anti-India agenda. Working from an unknown location in India, the platform’s lack of editorial transparency casts doubts on its legitimacy and raises questions on its position within the wider geopolitical narrative.

Amidst the unfolding geopolitical drama, Chandan Nandy is purportedly orchestrating a one-man operation presumably from Delhi, managing the doubtful pretend information web site “NENews”. This platform, shrouded in thriller, has did not register on the radar of credible journalistic entities. Nava Thakuria, a senior journalist from the Guwahati Press Membership, has discredited the existence of each the location and Chandan Nandy as a journalist within the area, casting additional doubt on the legitimacy of the operations and the content material being disseminated below the guise of stories.

Including to the scepticism, Anirudha Bhakat, the bureau chief of Republic TV within the North East, has additionally confirmed the absence of existence of NENews within the area, or certainly wherever in India.

Dhruba Jyoti Deka, Editor-in-chief of Occasions of Assam, has made grave allegations in opposition to Chandan Nandy, stating, “Chandan Nandy is a fraud, womanizer, alcoholic, a grimy gambler. He writes for anybody who pays. Chandan Nandy isn’t any journalist however a prostitute. He additionally maintains relations with militants in Jammu and Kashmir on behalf of Islamabad. He’s stealing info from MOFA New Delhi and passing on to Pakistani ISI“. These critical accusations paint an image of a person deeply entangled in unethical actions, far faraway from the rules of journalism.

In a local weather the place sure worldwide gamers, together with the Biden administration and a distinguished aeroplane producer, alongside some world governments, appear to favour eradicating Sheikh Hasina, Chandan Nandy’s dissemination of pretend information provides gasoline to the fireplace. His relentless peddling of misinformation seeks to demonize the numerous strides made by Hasina for Bangladesh, casting a shadow over her management. At this essential juncture, India’s position as Bangladesh’s closest ally and neighbour turns into more and more pivotal. It’s crucial for India to bolster the ties that bind the 2 nations, advocating for stability and reality in an period rife with misleading narratives. Nandy’s actions, if unchecked, threat not solely the integrity of journalism but in addition the sturdy relationship that has lengthy been a cornerstone of regional diplomacy in South Asia.

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