By Ranjan Dhir
It seems the Narendra Modi-led NDA government is all out to make sure people focus on Atal Bihari Vajpayee and governance (and Christmas can take a back seat). To make sure this is communicated well – the entire government machinery is most active on the Christmas day. The newspapers on Thursday carried 12 advertisements (not even a single one mentioning Christmas) – in which 3 were full page advertisements to promote governance and Vajpayee’s birthday. This taxpayers money was wasted this year to promote the great work government is doing and birthday of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
This same party had objections about birthdays being celebrated of Congress leaders like Jawahar Lal Nehru. Now they want to celebrate their own birthdays. They do not have a problem with celebration of birthdays, they have a problem why their leaders birthdays are not celebrated!
The idea to celebrate Vajpayee’s birthday as Good Governance Day was mired in controversy from the beginning. Smriti Irani stoked yet another controversy when her ministry issued detailed instructions to celebrate the day. Though Irani denied any such exercise by HRD Ministry, but Times of India story had put the government on a backfoot.
This was soon followed by the loud mouths in RSS, VHP and other sister organisations and their open campaign to make India a Hindu Rashtra come what may.
There have been multiple campaigns and voices towards promoting India as a Hindu country – where BJP, RSS and Hindu Maha Sabha are the owners of Hinduism. The “Ramzade vs Haramzade” remark, the “Go to Pakistan” remark, the conversion debate of “Ghar Wapsi” and many other moves are surrogates of intentions to convert India into a Hindu country.
The government advertisements talk about governance. The government has been there barely for six months, and they are already self congratulating themselves for good governance. When fiscal deficit, budget deficit, INR going down vs USD and other pertinent questions are raised – they say it has just been six months – give us more time. But for “good governance” – they not only have done well, but done so well that they are ready to institutionalize a day for it. With the economic situation as bad as one year back, overall crime and crime against women increasing, higher issues at line of control with Pakistan, high communal tension – how has governance been effective? And so effective, that you declare a day for it? And the day has to be December 25 just to take peoples attention away from Christmas.
It also should be noted that Narendra Modi has tweeted multiple tweets on birthday of Vajpayee and Malaviya today, which is December 25. But on December 25, 2013 – there was no tweet from Narendra Modi and on December 24, 2013 – there was one tweet on Vajpayee’s birthday and no tweet for Malaviya. How is it that Narendra Modi forgot about Malaviya last year and suddenly this year he remembers him – and remembers Vajpayee more fondly to make multiple tweets about him? Is all this part of a communication exercise.
A communication exercise to focus on BJP leaders and governance rather than Christmas. A communication exercise about governance by wasting taxpayers money – which itself is bad governance. The money which could have been used to give poor people blankets – who are suffering on streets of Delhi in bitter cold on road – rather than these expensive advertisements in all newspapers and posters all across Delhi.
The announcement about governance which wastes lakhs of rupees of taxpayers money is not good governance. Its bad governance. And this self congratulatory attitude is egotism. Finally one wonders, how can we be benefited by not celebrating Christmas and celebrating good governance (yet to be proven) day and birthdays of people who were related to the ruling party and not the opposition. It seems like the government is saying “Its our time now, and we will celebrate our birthdays now and take our newspaper ads like the opposition used to do when they were in power”.
Disclaimer: Ranjan Dhir is an independent blogger. The views expressed here are personal opinion of the writer and should not be construed as that of India Web Portal.