Following a virtual media blitz that highlighted the Centre’s achievements, the Congress-led UPA Government has now come out with a new TV spot, ‘The Idea of India’.
And the new advertisement trains the spotlight on communal harmony while cautioning against divisiveness. Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari released the video on the I&B Ministry’s official ‘YouTube’ channel. The release has been timed around the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on Tuesday. The advertisement also features a school competition, where students are asked to prepare their version of ‘Sadbhavna’.
The visuals ranging from the Bollywood song ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ from the eponymous movie to cricket players belonging to different regions heading different state IPL teams. The spot ends with the message ‘harmony has always kept India together and not divisiveness’.
The political message behind the TV spot seems to be targeted at the BJP, which the Congress has often accused of pursuing a divisive agenda. An I&B Ministry official said that the TV spot was a standalone, but he did not rule out similar ones in the future. These are separate from the ongoing ‘Bharat Nirman’ ad campaign brought out by the ministry to change some of the public’s negative perception about the UPA govt.
The I&B Ministry’s advertisement budget for the year is over `600 crore. Multimedia campaigns have already hit the TV channels, radios and newspapers, featuring advertisements on topics such as opening up of new IITs, MNREGS, education, rural roads scheme, rural electrification, minority welfare and health schemes.
In 2009-10, `304 crore was spent on print advertisements, which rose to `356 crore in 2010-11 and `382 crore in 2011-12. For the audio-visual media, the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) spent `229 crore in 2009-10, `216 crore in 2010-11 and `153 crore in 2011-12.