New Delhi / Doha: A social media campaign #BoycottIndianProducts, which has become a trending hashtag on Twitter from the past few days, is aimed at harming India's bilateral ties with the Middle East and malign its image internationally.
The Indian Embassy in Doha reacted to the campaign and called it malicious.
On September 29, the embassy said in a tweet, "There is a malicious attempt on social media to spread hatred and disharmony through false propaganda against India. We urge everyone to exercise caution and not become a victim of fake handle, propaganda, doctored videos. All Indian nationals are advised to maintain unity and harmony."
A recent report by the Disinfo Lab revealed that how the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), a religiopolitical and radical organisation based in Qatar, started the campaign against India and was further pushed by the Qatar-Turkey and Pakistan nexus.
However, the boycott campaign #BoycottIndianProducts was not the first time the nexus has used to target New Delhi's economic interests. The campaign had been running since 2018 and used every year (Jan 2018; Feb 2019; and Sept 2020) until 2021. This year, the malicious campaign started a few days ago and has been going on since like an annual ritual.
"The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) ushered the #BoycottIndiaProducts campaign, all laced up with an overwhelming number of fake news. The campaign was also pushed by several 'news media' including Al Jazeera, Arabi21, Al-Araby, Al-Istikal, all affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood. The nexus also gave a projection of how the boycott campaign was triggered by the recent incident that took place in Assam," revealed the Disinfo Lab findings.
Several influential MB leaders led the boycott campaign attacking India by circulating news and videos already proven as fake by verified fact-checkers and media.
Coincidentally, this is the same nexus that had run a similar campaign against France last year and called for the boycott of the French products.
The report stated how the Qatar-Turkey-Pakistan (QTP) nexus with the blessings of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has been trying to become a new hub of radical Islamists. Saudi Arabia had declared Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group in 2014 and also pursued a campaign to denounce the radical group in 2020.
The QTP nexus also targeted Saudi and the UAE, particularly Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), for having good relations with India. The same nexus has been targeting Saudi and the UAE by questioning their 'right' to be the leader of the Islamic world.
"The idea is obvious – by discrediting MBS, the leader of Turkey Erdogan would be crowned as the rightful leader of Ummah."
By running such boycott campaigns on social media, these countries have been using it as a tactical scheme for taking centre stage of the Islamic world.
'And once the QTP nexus takes centre stage in the Islamic world, this would create an exclusionary economy of gigantic proportions. The economic power the nexus builds will not only affect Muslim world but would dictate terms all over the world – in the name of accommodating this huge market," the report stated.
The report also stated how Pakistan has been putting all its power in info-war against India by taking advantage of such campaigns. Several Pakistan IT cell and troll accounts took advantage of the campaign to malign India and create a good image of Pakistan by boycotting Indian food products and promoting theirs on Twitter.
Disinfo lab noted that troll groups like @WeareTeamGP, @EmergingTeam, @WeTeamISP_, @WEareISPIANS, @WeAreVOIK are the key groups pushing the Pakistan rice on social media.
In recent years, India's bilateral and trade ties with the Arab World have grown significantly. At Dubai Expo 2020, around 15 Indian states and nine central ministries are participating, showcasing the emergence of `New India' to the world.
Indian conglomerates and global companies, including the Tata Group, Reliance, Adani, Vedanta, Hinduja Group and L&T, are largely participating in the Expo 2020 Dubai.
The recent false campaign #BoycottIndianProducts is a "deliberate attempt to harm India's business ties with the Arab World."