What an idea RG! 108 ads, 48 pages in 12 papers

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from New Delhi: There is yet another advertising blitzkrieg by Union ministries and Congress-led State governments and departments in today’s newspapers on the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi‘s birthday.

And it beats the number of ads on Rajiv’s death anniversary hollow.

While there were 69 ads amounting to 41 published pages in 12 newspapers on May 21, there are 108 ads amounting to 48¼ published pages in the same 12 newspapers today.

Hindustan Times: 24-page issue; 14 RG ads amounting to 7 broadsheet pages

The Times of India: 32-page issue; 21 ads amounting to 9 broadsheet pages

Indian Express: 28-page issue; 15 ads amounting to 6½ broadsheet pages

Mail Today (compact): 36-page issue; 11 ads amounting to 6½ compact pages

The Hindu: 24-page issue; 13 ads amounting to 5 broadsheet pages

The Pioneer: 16-page issue; 11 ads amounting to 3¾ broadsheet pages

The Statesman: 16-page isuse; 7 ads amounting to 3 broadsheet pages

The Telegraph: 26-page issue; 9 ads amounting to 3¾ broadsheet pages


The Economic Times: 16-page issue; 2 ads amounting to ¾ of a page

Business Standard: 18-page issue; 2 ads amouning to ¾ of a page

Financial Express: 22-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1¼ pages

Mint (Berliner): 16-page issue; 0 ads

This computation is only for 12 English newspapers; many other English papers have been left, as indeed has the entire language media which are more numerous than the English ones, several times over.

Last year, on the 19th death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, the historian Ramachandra Guha wrote in an edit-page article in The Telegraph, Calcutta:

“A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that on May 21, 2010, perhaps Rs 60 or 70 crore were spent by the taxpayer — without his and her consent — on praising Rajiv Gandhi. Since the practice has been in place since 2005, the aggregate expenditure to date on this account is probably in excess of Rs 300 crore.”

Among the 21 advertisers wishing the dear departed leader happy birthday this year are the ministries of information and broadcasting, micro small and medium enterprises, power, health and family welfare, tourism, housing and urban poverty alleviation, new and renewable energy, women and child development, commerce and industry, steel, and social justice and empowerment.

The state governments advertising their love are those of Rajasthan, Haryana, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, all Congress-ruled States. And the departments putting their money where their mouth is are the Rajiv Gandhi centre for biotechnology, Navodaya vidyalaya samiti, national small industries corporation, national commission for women, and the coir board.

And, of course, the Indian National Congress.

Also read: Rajiv Gandhi: 69 ads over 41 pages in 12 newspapers

Jawaharlal Nehru: 24 ads over 11 pages in 12 newspapers

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15 Responses to “What an idea RG! 108 ads, 48 pages in 12 papers”

  1. balasubrahmanyan Says:


  2. Nastika Says:

    I wish these individual ministries put out their cash flow statement. I am sure any student of commerce (CA, et al) would relish that.

  3. Law of Omerta Says:

    So many pictures of the dear departed leader are not in good taste. It has an Orwellian feel to it. Whatever page of the Noose-paper you turn, big brother is watching.

  4. Jagannath Says:

    It’s a sad state that people in power are trying to please those who have bought them to power not the ones who brought them to. Let’s not forget, ads on a single day cost far less than the doles handed out of the tax payer’s kitties to Lingayat Mutts in our state, since Yeddy began ruling us.

  5. S.S.Swaroop Says:

    Enough. There is no democracy in India. A real democracy means the voice of the common man is heard, and he truly has a stake in the system. India should stop beating the democracy drum already. Booth capturing, vote buying, caste and reservation politics, huge religious vote banks, and outright bribing voters is not democracy.

    These ads are in extremely poor taste and reflect the desperation of the govt of India. We don’t have the guts to wake up and look at the situation for what it really is – only then can we have a hope in hell of fixing the problems here. Our band-aid approach for the past 60 years is obviously not working.

  6. kingfisher Says:

    i suppose, we would all have been grazing, rearing goats, lambs and cows had not the congress developed the nation. Thanks to congress for all the developments, more so to “The family”.

    British quit india, cos they had the confidence in “The Family” to succeed their rule. Indians have leaders only from “The family”.

  7. Fairsystems Says:

    When NDA lost power in 2004, the first thing done by the wife of this slain martyr and her sycophants was to replace the photo of Sri Atal ji with the mug shots of sonia and her lamb. This clearly shows the desire to be in the limelight by the so called first family.

  8. K.K.Mani Says:


  9. kaangeya Says:

    You won’t hear a squeak about this from that other blundering drunk of an incompetent and Sonia/Rahul flunky – Mani Shankar Aiyar.

  10. karihaida Says:

    Blasphemy !!

  11. Simple Says:

    Extraordinarily stupid of Congress to waste money on a dead leader which will beneifit neither the nation nor it’s own party.

  12. Nastika Says:

    @Simple, well it doesn’t help the nation, but surely the party. Without this advertisement (paid by people’s tax), how else will Gandhi name & face stay in public mind?

  13. Suneel Sardana Says:

    These Advt. released by Congress ruled states & centre is gross misuse & wastage of public money which is also a big offence of CORRUPTION. Shame on these phsycophants,jeehazoors & chamchas.

  14. Simple Says:

    If congress has emotional attachement to its past leaders, they should do selfless public service on his birthday instead of issuing uncreative ads which has zero effect on anybody. Neither will it convert a single non Cong voter to its side, nor will it help a single Aam admi to live his life.


    The Congress should use the same space to inform people about what good things the party has done for the Aam Aadmi. And that too, by using it’s own party money, not tax payer’s money,

  15. When will online journalists in India get free housing and awards? | BG Mahesh | Mahesh | mahesh.com Says:

    […] What an idea RG! 108 ads, 48 pages in 12 papers – tax payer spent Rs 60-70 crore […]

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