While doing some work-related research, I found an interesting sub-heading under the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Action Plan document for October, 09 – March, 10. Page 44 of this document (Under the sub-heading Naxal Management Division) mentions a heading called the “Media / Perception Management Plan“. The activities planned under it pertain mainly to inane activities such as advertisements and Tribal Youth Cultural Exchange Programmes.
So, I did a Wiki-search for the term Media / Perception Management Plan. Apparently, “Perception management is a term originated by the U. S. military.” The Wiki-article also goes on to state that
“The phrase “perception management” has often functioned as a “euphemism” for “an aspect of information warfare.” A scholar in the field notes a distinction between “perception management” and public diplomacy, which “does not, as a rule, involve falsehood and deception, whereas these are important ingredients of perception management; the purpose is to get the other side to believe what one wishes it to believe,whatever the truth may be.”
This is another quote from an article talking about the Bush administration’s policy of perception management:
“Perception management” — also known as “public diplomacy” — is a propaganda strategy for controlling how a target population views political events. Refined by intelligence services as they tried to manipulate foreign populations, the practice eventually seeped into domestic U.S. politics as a way to manipulate post-Vietnam-War-era public opinion.”
I am not asserting that the Indian government is doing something similar. The facts do not seem to support such an assertion. I however, do find the use of the term very striking, considering its historical usage.