PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: There are 58 government advertisements amounting to 26¼ pages in 12 English newspapers today to mark the birth anniversary of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In contrast, there were 108 ads amounting to 48 pages to mark his grandson, Rajiv Gandhi‘s birthday in August.
All told, so far this year, between three death anniversaries (Nehru’s, Rajiv’s, Indira Gandhi‘s) and two birth anniversaries (Rajiv’s and Indira’s), various ministries of the Union government and Congress-ruled State governments have spent taxpayers’ money in buying 323 advertisements amounting to 158¼ published pages in the 12 surveyed newspapers.
The breakup of the Jawaharlal Nehru ads are as under:
Hindustan Times: 24-page main issue; 11 Nehru ads amounting to 4½ broadsheet pages
The Times of India: 30-page issue; 9 ads amounting to 3¾ broadsheet pages
Indian Express: 24-page issue; 9 ads amounting to 4¼ broadsheet pages
Mail Today (compact): 36-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 2¼ compact pages
The Hindu: 24-page issue; 7 ads amounting to 2¾ broadsheet pages
The Pioneer: 16-page issue; 5 ads amounting to 2¼ broadsheet pages
The Statesman: 16-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1½ broadsheet pages
The Telegraph: 22-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1 broadsheet page
The Economic Times: 30-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1½ broadsheet pages
Business Standard: 16-page issue; 2 ads amounting to 1 page
Financial Express: 22-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1½ page
Mint (Berliner): 24-page issue; 0 ads
This computation is only for 12 English newspapers; many other English papers have been left, as indeed has the entire language media which are more numerous than the English ones, several times over.
Among the advertisers wishing the dear departed leader happy birthday this year are the ministries of information and broadcasting, commerce and industry, steel, women and child development, health and family welfare, human resource development, micro small and medium enterprises, youth affairs and sports.
The state governments advertising their love are those of Rajasthan and Delhi. Besides, there are ads of Nehru Yuva Kendra and the national book trust.0
Last year, on the 19th death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, the historian Ramachandra Guha wrote in an edit-page article in The Telegraph, Calcutta:
“A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that on May 21, 2010, perhaps Rs 60 or 70 crore were spent by the taxpayer — without his and her consent — on praising Rajiv Gandhi. Since the practice has been in place since 2005, the aggregate expenditure to date on this account is probably in excess of Rs 300 crore.”
Also read: Rajiv Gandhi death anniversary: 69 ads, 41 pages in 12 papers
Jawaharlal Nehru death anniversary: 24 ads over 11 pages
Rajiv Gandhi birthday: 108 ads across 48 pages
Indira Gandhi: 64 ads, 32 pages; Vallabhbhai Patel: 9 ads, 3 pages
This is disgusting.
If they think that they can win the UP election by handing over a large chunk of taxpayer’s money to their cronies in the media, then they are sadly mistaken.
there should be a non-political organisation on lines of CAG and EC to regulate govt. ads. We can’t leave granting of ads to politicians.
Ads must be made non-political. CAG should look into these ads.
We are have DIFFICULTY in BUYING Tomatos, Onions and dal and rice and these guys are wasting money on ads. How dare they!!!
Perhaps we can have a Jan Ad Pal, whose job will be to regulate and decide on govt. ads…
“Reformer, humanist, visionary”, such words are very often used to describe those looters and brutal dictators in fourth-world African nations. If you have to use so many adjectives, there is not enough substance.
If people of India are dumb,deaf and ,blind how can balm the politicians for spend corers of rupee extravagantly ?People have no strong will to teach a lesson to politicians
Hell of Tax payers money being squandered left and right has been going on since UPA-I; most of the press advts come with Sonia’s picture to project the impression as if she is the head of state and govt for all practical purposes. Is she not just the leader of an age old with a totally hopeless track record since two decades wretched political party?
Since UPA-II came into power govt advts coming on the chamcha press for all kinds of silly things – e.g. half-page ad with Sonia, MMS, GK Vasan & who else for some silly booklet being released to describe the growth and services of the inefficient Chennai port.
Look at the ad for the UID or AADHAR as if this is going to solve everyone’s problem every where in India from K to K.
Has anyone seen a govt advt, be it developed or developing country on this global, where the Sarkar claiming victory even at the very start of any useless project whose benefits are clearly defined nor do we know when?
govt’s job is to loot and squander public money.. this will not change for the next 100 yrs.
Why we should again and again remember the persons who ruined India? for what joy? Sonia, you are using our tax money and not your father’s money