This has reference to the reports, “"PMO apologises for ad fiasco,” “Minister apologises” and “BJP: Tirath should quit” (Jan. 25). The publication of the photograph of Tanveer Mahmood Ahmed, former Pakistan Air Chief Marshal, in an Indian government advertisement, is absolutely illogical and unjustified. Going a step further, one can say that even the photographs of the two great Indian cricketers and the music maestro featured in the advertisement have no relevance to the subject matter. To be effective in making a quick and positive impact on the person coming across it, an advertisement should be simple, catchy and innovative. The DAVP ad certainly lacks all these.
The publication of the picture of Pakistan’s former Air Force Chief in our government advertisement may not be a vital issue for the nation today but the episode amply depicts the way our bureaucrats are functioning without any sort of checks. It is time to arrest the casualness prevailing in the bureaucracy.
The photograph of the former Pakistan Air Force Chief along with Indian leaders in an advertisement — aimed at creating awareness of female foeticide — issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development shows the scant regard officials of DAVP and Ministry of the I&B, besides those who cleared the advertisement, have for our nation’s image. Was there a scarcity of photographs of an eminent Indian scientist, educationist, professional or industrialist to be chosen for the advertisement?
Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath’s argument — that there was nothing wrong with the advertisement because the message was more important than the photograph — is not tenable. In fact, the unwanted photograph has put the ‘message’ on the back burner and forced the PMO’s office to apologise for someone else’s mistake.
The advertisement cannot be brushed off as an oversight. The person responsible for the fiasco should be given exemplary punishment.
It is amazing that Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed suggests that the “goof-up” could also have happened “at the level of the newspapers concerned.” (Jan. 25). One believes that newspapers these days receive finished artworks and will not make any change in their publication without their client’s instructions. Even assuming that one newspaper did tamper with the advertisement intentionally or otherwise (at the risk of being denied payment), how does the party spokesman explain the same mistake appearing in other newspapers as well? The Congress top brass must pull up the spokesman for this astonishing slur against newspapers.