Saturday, October 25, 2014

Namo's Media Outreach: Pledges to improve the ties


Even as 2002 anti-Muslim mayhem had tarnished his image and also greatly spoiled his relationship with media, in the subsequent decade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had exploited Facebook and Twitter, where he has a large fan-following, to transform himself to a protagonist of development and a catalyst of change.
Modi in action with a camera
Thus, his Deepawali Milan at BJP headquarter and interaction with journalists and senior editors on October 25, 2014 would stand out as an important day of the calendar. But as usual it stood as a mere cosmetic yet again where Modi cleverly avoided fielding questions.  Prime Minister Modi, who has often disapproved of uncomfortable questions from journalists and television anchors, in his first media interaction however today did not field any question from the invited galaxy of editors and news reporters. Instead he sprang a surprise when in a unique friendly gesture, he took the camera of a BJP’s official photographer and clicked the cameraman’s photo instead. Today's media outreach came just a day before the Prime Minister hosts a brief get together for NDA allies tomorrow, October 26.
 The occasion was 'Deepawali Milan', organised at the BJP headquarters at 11, Ashoka Road. The rare media interaction took place at a time when his government completes 5 months' brief but eventful stint on October 26. Prime Minister had taken over the reins of power on May 26 after recording a landslide victory, something of a record in last four decades.
Mr Modi, who in 1990s used to stay at the party headquarters as a party office-bearer before becoming Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001, said in a brief speech laced with characteristic humour, “I used to arrange chairs here waiting for you. 
Those were different days when we used to interact freely. I had a beautiful relationship with you and it helped me in Gujarat.”
Fondly recalling that relationship, the Prime Minister, who has not formally met the media since he took over, said he was looking for ways to further deepen and expand it. “Some way will be found. It is important to interact with media directly rather than the reportage and articles," 
said Prime Minister, who has in fact cherished and rightfully exploited the social networking sites much to his personal image building over the years. 
Even after taking over as Prime Mnister, while he ordered improvement of social networking reach of the government apparatus, he also had surprised media when he cancelled media team accompanying Prime Ministers for trip abroad. “By interacting directly, one gets to know things which media persons cannot report. Not only does one get information but also vision, which is very valuable,” he remarked.

The entire top brass of the government and BJP was present. They included the party President Amit Shah, senior ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Prakash Javdekar. The stage, decorated with flowers, had a huge party poster with the images of a smiling prime minister 
and BJP president Amit Shah. The Prime Minister sat flanked by Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh on either side on the stage. This was perhaps also a political signal as the trio of Amit Shah, Modi and Rajnath Singh are today running the affairs of the party.

In the ultimate, the message was very simple: Known as a Prime Minister for keeping the media at an arm's length, Narendra Modi tried to reach out to the members of the fourth estate, which has often lashed out at him for his alleged totalitarian style of functioning. The Prime Minister in fact lauded journos for 
rendering their critical support to his pet project of 'Swach Bharat (Clean India Campaign)'.
Telling journalists that “you have transformed your pen into broom,” Mr Modi in his characteristic style said, “Of all the recent media coverage, I have not seen any report in which effort was not made to inspire people to strive for a clean India". 
 “The thinking earlier was that everything will be done by the government. Now the thought is that we will all work together," he told a gathering over 400 journalists including senior editors and others. 
After his monologue address, Prime Minister much to the surprise of many
including security personnel got down to personally interact with editors and journalists. He was happily seen posing for selfies with the media personnel. The interaction over tea was followed by lunch.


Referring to the 'Swachh Bharat' (Clean India) campaign launched by him, Modi was appreciative of  media's role in spreading awareness about it,  saying it has helped remove the perception that government is responsible for everything. He said he was happy to see several articles, TV features and social media write-ups on the subject, giving the mission a wide publicity. 
However, he said although 80 percent of the media coverage is criticism of governments, this (cleanliness drive) is an issue which affects the country's image and impacts the poorest most. “More important than health care is 
preventive health care and cleanliness plays a crucial role in this,” he said.

In fact, the Prime Minister had tweeted yesterday in reference to media and Clean India Campaign and had said, "I saw several TV channels showing dirt left behind after crackers. I congratulate them for spreading awareness on importance of cleanliness".
 Referring to the 'Swachh Bharat' (Clean India) campaign launched by him, Modi was appreciative of  media's role in spreading awareness about it,  saying it has helped remove the perception that government is responsible for everything. He said he was happy to see several articles, TV features and social media write-ups on the subject, giving the mission a wide publicity. 
However, he said although 80 percent of the media coverage is criticism of governments, this (cleanliness drive) is an issue which affects the country's image and impacts the poorest most. “More important than health care is 
preventive health care and cleanliness plays a crucial role in this,” he said.

In fact, the Prime Minister had tweeted yesterday in reference to media and Clean India Campaign and had said, "I saw several TV channels showing dirt left behind after crackers. I congratulate them for spreading awareness on importance of cleanliness".

Tail Piece:

A flood of snaps/selfies expected on social networking sites. 'Sickulars' and known Modi-bashers were no exception. .......badalte colour koi sickular se sikhey.(Changing colour is the lifestyle of sickular army),' remarked a few friends who saw a few smiling and jostling for snaps....
THOSE WHO SWEAR BY ANTI-NAMO RHETORIC WERE MORE KEEN TO BE SNAPPED WITH THE 'INDIAN HITLER'........
there's limit, as they say or people know the butter slice is always with the throne!!
....all for selfless journalism, may be. 

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