Government comes to its censors
By Cithara Paul - NEW DELHI
Published: 12th Aug 2012 08:59:47 AM
On the face of it, it looks as if the UPA government’s strategy on tackling Ramdev agitation is simple—“just ignore.’’ The reality is that the Government is burning the midnight oil chalking out strategies on how to handle the yoga guru. It has assigned the task of “handling’’ Team Anna and the Ramdev agitation to the GoM on Media comprising of P Chidambaram, Salman Khurshid and Ambika Soni. It is learnt that Soni, who leads the pack in her capacity as the I&B Minister, is holding daily meetings with a set of officials—including those from Home and the Press Information Bureau—to work out means and methods to ensure that the agitation peters out in no time, at least in the mass media. Anna’s previous fasts and Ramdev’s agitation at the Ramlila Maidan had garnered media time and space on a large scale last year.
“Since both the Anna agitation and Ramdev’s are media driven, they had to be tackled through the media only. Otherwise we will end up with egg on our faces,’’ said a government source. The government had received a lot of flak from the media, the public and the Opposition on the way it handled Ramdev the last time. The Government was humiliated for sending senior UPA Ministers including Pranab Mukherjee to the airport to receive Ramdev in June 2011 in order to persuade him not to hold his protest. The subsequent lathicharge and arrest had received massive attention in the media.
- Sunday Standard