As the NDA government nears completion of its first year in office, its publicity machinery has been asked to ensure that the occasion is not turned into a chest-thumping, celebratory exercise and is instead observed in a “solemn” manner, clinically showcasing the government’s achievements.
The government, sources said, is looking to use the occasion to reach out to people by focusing on explaining the changes it has brought about — particularly those that directly impacted their lives.
“We’ll use the ‘before-during-after’ approach to drive home the point about things as they were before this government took charge, what this government did in its first year and what is going to be the roadmap ahead,” a top government source said. “The government does not intend to launch a publicity blitzkrieg. Also, the larger sense is that there needn’t be a celebratory tone about the government’s achievements,” the source added.
The Information & Broadcasting ministry has begun looking for success-stories it proposes to showcase in the run-up to May 26 — the day Modi government completes a year in office. “There is a realisation that showcasing numbers is not enough. We need to put faces and names to those numbers.
So, instead of harping about the number of accounts that have been opened under the PM’s Jan Dhan Yojana, we are trying to tell stories of people who have reaped tangible benefits from this scheme,” a government official said. Also, “gareeb” (poor) and “kisan” (farmers) have been identified as the pivots of the messages the government would be formulating.
The government also plans to put in public domain the changes it has effected in policy and governance. For instance, the government’s media managers have been asked to simplify and elaborate on how the auction process for coal and spectrum led to an unprecedented revenue earning.
The I&B ministry, which has been having deliberations for nearly two weeks about how to handle the occasion, has also moved a proposal suggesting that PM Narendra Modi should hold a press meet on the occasion. “The PM hasn’t addressed a press meet since he took charge. We have proposed that completion of a year in office can be utilised as an opportunity,” a ministry official said.
As first reported in the Delhi Confidential column of this newspaper, MoS (I&B) Rajyavardhan Rathore is also planning to rope in the PM to participate in a “Talkathon” wherein he would take direct questions—invited on the social media—from the citizens.