Nitish and the Propaganda Technique

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The Bihar State Election Commission has restrained the Nitish government from using its video-based propaganda campaign, "Badh Chala Bihar" following a complaint lodged by the BJP.

As is well known, Nitish has perfected the art of squandering public fund on the publicity of himself and his government. This video, reportedly suggesting the indispensability of Nitish, is one more addition.

A large part of the reason his first term was deemed a runaway success was also because of a good propaganda work.

Many observers in the past have indicated how he favored journalists and news outlets that would project his image.

Markandey Katzu, a former Supreme Court Justice, had also pointed that out in Patna during Nitish's heydays. Nitish's goons had insulted him for doing the job of an honest media arbiter.

The BJP was also a partner in this up until Nitish parted ways.

Staying in politics for so long, Nitish would be a dumb not to have known how to appropriate public funds for self-aggrandizement. He has hired Narendra Modi's former operatives to do his propaganda work.

The ruling Congress party, particularly under Indira Gandhi, did start this nefarious practice and is now followed by Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Kejriwal (You have to see the number of placards and hoardings on display in Delhi).

The ruling party will always have the upper hand in accessing public funds for the purpose of blowing its own trumpet.

An ombudsman like the Election Commission, an aware citizenry and of course alert opposition parties can only put a restrain on such tendencies.

The sad part in Bihar right now is that the general citizenry appears to be a silent spectator of all the naked acts of corruption, deception or political tug of war going on.

They witness countless commission of moral turpitude or unethical behavior on a daily basis; they consider the deterioration in moral values as a norm. They have developed complete immunity; it appears, against public impropriety.

In fact, the general public also expects some crumbs falling off from the climate of misdemeanor, theft or corruption.

The general public or their groupings that may be constituting civil societies prefer to stay silent also because cases of racket, fraud or misappropriation always carry within them a strong possibility of violence or retaliation both from governmental and nongovernmental sources.

Therefore, the general public is intimidated into silence and immoral behavior on the part of political bureaucratic players get wide social acceptance.

A fractured or politically polarized society then starts looking for their own mentors who could be a Bahubali or a swindler or both. This explains the continuation of Lalu or Pappu Yadav on the political stage.

The malaise has gone so deep in the society that an Election Commission or a change in the code of conduct on paper or even replacement of governments could hardly make a difference. The effort nevertheless has to continue with whatever resources available.

Dr. Binoy Shanker Prasad administers a Facebook page, Overseas Bihari Association for Meaningful Action


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