By the time the first news reports started to trickle in, the country had been shaken by a series of high-profile cyberattacks.
As India’s cyberwarriors went to work, India’s military, intelligence and police agencies were all on high alert.
The security agencies were already well-aware of the threat, having already issued warnings to thousands of their personnel in the months preceding the attacks.
They were now facing a much bigger challenge.
As they grappled with the threat in earnest, they also had to grapple with the fact that India’s social media had taken on an entirely different form from its traditional media.
Facebook was no longer just a place for Facebook users to post pictures of themselves and their friends.
It became a place where citizens could post comments and videos.
It had become a platform for social commentary and debate, where the voices of everyday Indians were heard and their opinions were seen by a wider audience.
On the surface, this was a welcome development.
But as Indian society grew more aware of social media, it was becoming increasingly clear that the country’s cyber capabilities had been significantly weakened.
“The internet was a platform that had been used by citizens to express themselves.
That was all well and good, but what was missing was the capacity of the government to respond effectively to these expressions of opinion,” said Anil Sharma, a professor of political science at Delhi University.
To some extent, the government had indeed responded to the cyberattacks by creating a new digital network called Facebook, which it set up in late 2016.
But the internet service provider that runs Facebook has since been accused of blocking access to India’s largest online platform, and the Indian government has also come under fire for its failure to respond to the protests over the arrest of the journalist Akshay Kumar.
Instead, India had created a new online platform in a very different format from the one it had used before.
Over the past few months, a series