960 G20 Welcome ads From Airport to Hotel, around 25% with PM Modi

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By Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Edited By Adam Rizvi, The India Observer, TIO, NJ: In just the 12 kilometer distance from IGI airport to New Delhi’s Maurya Sheraton Hotel there are 236 ads featuring Modi’s face as ‘promotion’ for the G20 summit in Delhi. That works out to approximately 1 Modi face for every 50 meters. (I did the math, you can too).

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Does anyone in his senses think that delegates visiting Delhi for the G20 summit need to see one visage every 50 metres? That without this overkill they will forget or be unaware about where they are and for what reason? What substance are the people who make these decisions imbibing? This is worse than what used to be called ‘policy paralysis’, it is ‘policy making under the influence of hallucinogens’. And yes, it is policy. Finding the time, energy and resources to mobilise human beings and materials to make this many giant cut outs and flexi boards, getting them designed and printed, installing them – all these things cost substantial sums of money. And anything that costs money at that scale, regardless of whether you like it or not, is policy.

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The number and frequency of ads bearing his face in Central New Delhi (around India Gate, Parliament Street, Ashoka Road, Maulana Azad Road) is even higher. Way higher.

The costs incurred in this personality cult blitzkrieg represent a colossal waste of public money and a pandering to the worst taste in megalomania.

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This epidemic of sycophantic genuflection to the Prime Minister’s narcissism is turning India’s G20 presidency into nothing more than an occasion for global embarrassment. It’s also a stealthy, taxpayer funded, advance publicity drive, undertaken with a clear eye on a forthcoming election campaign by an increasingly jittery regime.

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The world is sniggering at Bharat, that is India. Because of Modi.

Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai

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