‘PM’s Mann ki Baat programme more effective than interviews,’ says Arun Jaitley
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‘PM’s Mann ki Baat programme more effective than interviews,’ says Arun Jaitley

Jaitley made the comments during a book release event at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on the third anniversary of NDA government.

india Updated: May 26, 2017 22:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mann Ki Baat,NDA government anniversary,Three years of Modi govt
President Pranab Mukherjee, vice president Hamid Ansari, finance minister Arun Jaitley and Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan at the launch of a book based on PM Narenda Modi’s Mann ki Baat.(Twitter/ President of India‏)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to talk directly to the people through his monthly Mann ki Baat radio programme has proved to be a “far more effective” medium of political communication than interviews to a few journalists or addressing a press conference, finance minister Arun Jaitley said in New Delhi on Friday.

To buttress the point, he gave the example of Mahatma Gandhi who was mocked at by the world and the Western media when he announced the Dandi Yatra, which proved to be a turning point in our history. There has been no better communicator than Gandhi, Jaitley said.

The PM spotted the strength of the radio and it was not merely in communication. “The strength was that merely giving an interview to half a dozen TV anchors or addressing a ritual of a press conference in Vigyan Bhawan is not the art of communication. They are merely carriers of a message. Do you have the ability to go above their heads and talk to the people directly? I think his experience in Gujarat, particularly from 2001 and 2002 onwards, helped him in replicating that example that talk to the people directly over the heads of over a half a dozen people who thought that they have a sole monopoly in conveying and communicating,” said Jaitley at the release of a book based on Modi’s Mann ki Baat at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Friday.

“This experiment of talking directly to the people, he (Modi) used radio a medium; he used his political communication as the medium, just as the example of Dandi Yatra that I gave... it proved to be a far more effective medium and I think these are great lessons we have learnt,” he said.

The minister, who is again in charge of the all-important defence portfolio, underlined how Modi has deftly handled issues that involve commercial benefits. Jaitley said that on such matters, the PM’s notion has been to remain at “an arm’s length distance and divest yourself of all discretions and let the market itself decide, I think that pays dividends”.

He maintained that to govern effectively, governance must have a “high value of credibility”. “You really have to divest yourself of that power, eliminate all discretions which even with the best of intentions of the past have brought discredit to the governments, and let an objective criteria, a market mechanism decide take various decisions,” Jaitley added.

First Published: May 26, 2017 22:10 IST