The accomplishments of a ruling party may not be much to write home about, but, when neatly dressed smiling faces of the political leaders gaze at you from the front page of your newspaper, practically everyday, and, tell you that there is progress all around, you feel, may be, much more has been achieved than what meets the eye, writes Prof. H C Pande
“These days the only time when the politicians tell the truth is when they call each other a liar.”………
Publicity can sell anything,
Fake leaders in every shape & size,
Or,manifestos meaning nothing,
So, advertise, advertise, advertise. __________ Panchatantra, paraphrased.
If nothing else our political parties are a practical lot. They remember that the concept of zero and the notion of Maya are our gifts to the world. No wonder in a democracy, the mob,the number of zeros behind one,create a hero and a manifesto is only a mirage,which can be chased,but never grasped, the eternal Maya. Clearly, in the cosmos cosmetics matter,and,matter does not matter.
Advertising, as defined by Leacock is “the science of arresting human intelligence long enough to get money from it”. All one has to do is to substitute ‘till the elections are over’ for ‘long enough’,and,’votes’ for ‘money’ and we have the present political scenario.
Politics is no longer what it was supposed to mean in Plato’s time,millennia ago.He believed in a political order which would lead to a harmonious unity of society and allow its every section to develop but not at the expense of others.Political parties today believe in just the opposite.Their sole objective is to flourish at the cost of others,and for which,they do not hesitate to create disunity and disharmony among the people whenever and wherever required.Telling half truths from public platforms and preying on human emotions are the main weapons in their arsenal,and,a major delivery vehicle,is advertising.
As at present, the print and the electronic media, survive on the income generated through the advertisements carried for commercial houses and political parties and not on the income from the subscription of readers and viewers. Naturally enough, the media does not scrutinise or question the content of the advertisement, and, distances itself, from the truths, half-truths, or outright lies, contained in the ad,with just a disclaimer.This is convenient for both parties as one gets the needed money without the risk of being sued,and,the other massive publicity,without having to organise endless events.
The accomplishments of a ruling party may not be much to write home about, but, when neatly dressed smiling faces of the political leaders gaze at you from the front page of your newspaper, practically everyday, and, tell you that there is progress all around, you feel, may be, much more has been achieved than what meets the eye.
So also,when the opposition leaders look at you with sincere countenance,again from the front page,and tell you that nothing is on the ground you think that what is visible is not really there.So all depends on the newspaper you buy or the Tv channel you see.This is the hypnotic influence of advertising and truth is nowhere around.
Our sages have asserted that the world,as you see it,is only Maya.There are external forces that make you see,or,hear,or,feel what is not real.In the light of the latest discovery in the field of physics,that the universe is not ‘locally real’, the assertion of the ancients,surely,is not just wild speculation.The ‘Maya-jaal’ of advertising has ensnared us all,and,Maya is having a. field-day.
(Prof. H C Pande is Vice Chancellor Emeritus, BITS, Mesra)