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Govt Communication Report: Monologue Vs Dialogue

One of the weakest points of the current NDA government at the Centre has been the lack of leaders who could communicate the economic policies and decisions of the government in the right perspective and that too effectively. The untimely demise of two BJP stalwarts Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj depleted this capability further. While the other side of the story may be that you don’t need anybody else to do this when you have such a strong orator in Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  Nevertheless, the need was felt to find ways to improve government communication, and the report of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on government communication, which is the talk of the town currently, has captured the wide gamut of issues. Several journalists, industry leaders and ideologues participated in the GoM’s deliberations. The Opposition parties have labelled the exercise as another effort to control media while the government obviously is portraying this as an exercise to help find the ways to deal with intentional negative narrative and make the policy messages reach people in the right way. An interesting point to ponder here is whether the industry leaders and journalists would do better by being critical of the government policies or by becoming a tool in the hands of the government in promoting the policies — a job that should primarily rest with the government spokespersons.