Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Misunderstood Silence

“Hazaaron Jawabon Se Acchi Hai Meri Khamoshi, Na Jaane Kitne Sawaalon Ki Aabru Rakhe”


The above couplet was recited by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to the media awaiting his word, when he was not allowed to speak in Parliament due to the constant slogan shouting and ruckus on the coal block allocation issue. Dr. Singh as a PM of the country had every constitutional right to make a statement on the coal block controversy in the Parliament. Later enroute to Delhi from the NAM summit, when asked about the opposition strategy of "paralyzing" the Parliament, he said that he has to maintain the dignity of his office and he will not indulge in a "tu-tu , main-main" duel with the opposition.

There has been a widespread impression in the Indian media that Dr. Singh refrains from giving his views on issues bothering his Govt and on daily issues of Governance! In an earlier attempt I had debunked this theory by proving through statistics that the PM was speaking atleast 2.5 times a month, which according to the standards of Indian heads of the state, was good enough. This was before, the PM came on Twitter

Since then a lot of water has flown, albeit bothways! The PMO got a new advisor as Pankaj Pachauri - A household name in the psyche of the Television friendly Indian middle class. There are regular newsbites by the PMO on Twitter, YouTube videos and also a Facebook page of 3 Lakh+ which has fairly regular updates.

The other side of the story is the constant controversies the UPA-2 has to face , which washed two parliament sessions - The entire Winter session was lost out last year, and in this washed out Monsoon session, the Lok Sabha has worked for 23 hours and the Rajya Sabha ( till now) has worked for 26 hours!

There has been a spate of Media articles from the Foreign Media - Time Magazine has labelled Dr. Singh as "Underachiever" , A UK daily called him "Sonia's puppet" and now Washington Post has called him a "Tragic Figure"

As a votary of Free Media , I would say that all the National and International media outlets are well within the Right to question Dr. Singh's tenure - his media management , his demeanor , his governance and everything else in between. But what they cannot question is is his Silence!

Critics would be baffled by this argument of mine, they may badger this article by calling me a fool! But statistics and figures would prove them wrong. And as an admirer of an Economist, I will let the figures do the talking!

Since May 2009 to August 2012 - The Prime Minister's office displays over 340 Press Releases. So in 40 months of UPA - 2 tenure - the PM spoke 8.5 times a month ! This comes out to be 2.125 times a Week! Which in lay man terms is  Once in Every 3 Days! Which is a fairly good record!

The Prime Minister also speaks on Public Platforms such as University convocations, Ministry functions, Domestic and International Visits, his replies in the Parliament

This data if counted on the PM's website reveals that since May 2009 to Aug 2012, Dr. Manmohan Singh has given 430 Speeches! Which is 10.75 per month ! Which is 2.68 per Week ! Which is again once in 3 days !

Since both these interactions are different, the net figure is all the more astonishing! Our "media shy" PM has spoken almost TWICE in 3 days!

Since the PMO uses twitter since the past January 2012, and till this hour had 952 tweets- yes mostly those same press releases and speeches - But a lot more data too- like graphs- pictures- essential parts of his speeches etc ! We should take this data with a pinch of salt, but still!

In 198 days of PMO stay on Twitter till now, and 952 tweets ! It's Safe to say that  "PM" tweets almost 5 times a Day ! Which is again, an answer to all his critics who ridicule his Silence!

The Congress Party has had almost 20 Conventions till now, and the PM has spoken in each one of them. We have had numerous state elections and PM spoke addressed atleast 3- 4 public meetings for every state!

The PM may not have given many individual interviews, but has had press conferences for News channels, News paper editors and has been giving sound bites on many Govt functions such and regular ceremonies in the Rashtrapati Bhawan!

What we must introspect is that, due to influx of mass media and social media and our daily connectivity to the world, We expect our PM to talk everyday, and all the day!

In a Democracy, political leaders articulate their views in the Parliament , but if the PM of the country is not able to speak, due to obstructionist attitude of a few , and Parliament fails to function! Where else would he speak? Given a chance on atleast two distinct occasions - the PM has displayed his flair of public speaking when given a chance!

Dr. Manmohan Singh virtually lifted 350 million people out of Poverty , due to Liberalization of the Economy! He provided an average growth of 8.4 % to India during UPA -1 . He was re elected for this ! India under him became the 3rd Largest Economy in terms of PPP- GDP ! India is Still the 2nd Fastest Growing Economy in the World! Despite all the global slowdown and the Euro crises, despite all the internal mess, despite so many allegations of "scams" this Govt is dealing with!

I think the point is - Do we want to question the PM's "silence", Or Do we want to hear from him , what WE WANT to hear ?

Clearly, the "Silence" argument is debunked here by facts ! Rest you be the judge!

21 comments:

Ali Mujtehadi said...

Makes sense! The "silent PM" tag is false, indeed.

PritamKothadiya said...

very well written.. I think the Americans as well as NDA specially BJP should read it everyday before they start cribbing about our Hon.Prime Minister.

Sane Dreamer said...

These stupid statistics do not matter! You must be out of your freaking mind to think that the PM himself composes the tweets tweeted from the official PMO account the press releases issued by his office. Get real man! Stop misleading the country.

Secondly, what matters is how the leader of the govt. connects with the masses of the country he governs. And as is visible, there has been zero connect. Random tweets and press releases are not really relevant to people. What they really want to know is that what the PM has to say when it comes to massive scams like #Coalgate where he himself is under the scanner. The Congress party can send their spokespersons to TV studios but why can't the PM clarify on his alleged role in this scam himself?

AnirbanFromRLF said...

On the issue of WaPo we can surely ask them to Go to Hell. We can fight as much as we want amongst ourselves, but when it comes to outsiders, we should put up a united front. The article is bad at places when it gets personal.

On the larger issue of the silence of the PM, do not see why he is under an obligation to chatter. If any answer is required from him, the forum is the Parliament which continue to be stalled by leaders of those who seek answers.

But if "Silence" is used in the sense of his lack of firmness, there is a point .... Which perhaps will always exist in a situation where the real seat of power lies outside the PMO.

Abdulla Madumoole said...

You have done a very good compilation of figures and logical too. But I will go a step further, I say Prime Minister of this country need not be very vocal, what we require is an efficient CEO. I always prefer an effective hard worker to that of just a loud speaker. Of course, PM's thinking, strategies, decision everything is to be communicated but that need not come direct from PM's mouth. Pachauri in PMO is doing an excellent job now. Those who claim MMS is silent, is actually enjoying his silence secretly, for obvious reasons.

Rati Parker said...



Congi Chamcha... AGAIN Defending the indefensible!! typical! What good are statistics if ppl of d country did not "hear" him??!
Dear CONgress chamchas... Wake UP ..PL READ this too! http://ratiparker.blogspot.com/2012/09/open-letter-to-congress-chamchas.html

Aman Alam said...

Very well written.
First, USA is not anyone's big daddy, and thus they don't have any right to comment on any country's inside matters.
Second, your points are all so valid.
If they're expecting PM to speak on things like CAG report on Coal, Parliament is the place for it; but the hooligans don't let him speak there.
Manmohan Singh is a genius, yet humble man, and unfortunately is facing the stupidity here.
Pity on the countrymen who absolutely fail to get the bigger picture of things and keep cribbing about what their brains are fed with.

Aman Alam said...

In IT world's terminology, we call it (what you did) as Link Building, a part of Internet Marketing :D

And, I don't find any reason to believe that India's GDP is lowest in a decade. Do you have stats?

Azher husain said...

I guess you should stop blabbering garbage and be real !! If the bloody damned opposition is not letting the PM to make a statement.. why why do you point your fingers at him and not at opposition..? The PM eill make a statement to the ppl wen he feels its right to and its his right.! No one can force..

Azher husain said...

@rati parker... aur aap kya hain ? Bjp ki chamchi?? Pseudo Indians!!

Your bloody opposition could not find any dirt on him ,so they are resorting to these cheap tactics and want to create these fake allegations of Sonia's puppet / robot / silent PM ..and other garbage.!

When you subscribe to the amercan views reg the PM, kindly accept the American views on ur PM in ever waiting .. maut ka saudagar modi that he is dangerous and is responsible for the riots.!

Azher husain said...

Well written Rachit ! A tight slap on those who criticize the govt BLINDLY !.. pls ask these godforsaken BJP controlled by RSS to print out and paste it on thier walls and chest ! Unpad gawar!
. Wasting such precious time of parliament and not letting the govt make a statement on the floor of the house.

Sane Dreamer said...

Rachit Seth, author of this grossly misleading blog post, at least show the decency of responding to the comments of the people who are critcizing your post or will you continue to take delight in the fact that some of your 'you-scratch-my-back-i-sctratch-yours' sidekicks are orgasming at this deceptive rhetoric of yours?

Azher husain said...

@ sane? Dreamer! ... am suprised you are still loitering around here so desperate for an answer in which you BJP chamchas are bashed..!So yeah for ppl who are intellectually challenged and orgasm at BJPs sensless arguments pls reead the posts above ! And yeah if you can't digest facts !!!

Azher husain said...

@ sane? Dreamer! ... am suprised you are still loitering around here so desperate for an answer in which you BJP chamchas are bashed..!So yeah for ppl who are intellectually challenged and orgasm at BJPs sensless arguments pls reead the posts above ! And yeah if you can't digest facts !!!

Sane Dreamer said...

@Azher. Looks like nobody told you that at times it's better keep your mouth shut and let people wonder if you're fool than to remove all their doubts by opening it. Either rebutt the points i have raised in my first comment else scoot!

Vijay Singh said...

It is not a fight between UPA and NDA !

It's a fight for India .. Stats' are speaking about corruption and other ill happening around us. We all are almost silent like our PM is.

Disrupted Parliament is surely a black spot on our democracy for which NDA and other parties are not worried. They must be SILENT so that we may LISTEN what UPA wants to clarify and let the governance happen.

JB said...

a) Please also calculate how many times he spoke when the scams were occurring.
b) Please also calculate signal to noise ratio.
c) Please also calculate how many questions he or the PMO takes directly and answers.
d) Please also calculate how many are rambling monologues.

Thanks.

JB said...

a) Please also calculate how many times he spoke when the scams were occurring.
b) Please also calculate signal to noise ratio.
c) Please also calculate how many questions he or the PMO takes directly and answers.
d) Please also calculate how many are rambling monologues.

Thanks.

Santosh Maheshwari said...

@JB He did not speak when scams were occurring but he takes action. And I hope you have heard some where actions speaks louder than words.

Sumeet Mahendra said...

It's sort Of kidding not blogging. How'd anyone believe on irrational statistics and data provided by a novice while discarding the daredevil cover story of world know Magazine "Time" … !!

here's a reminder
www.time.com/time/covers/asia/0,16641,20120716,00.html

Mayank Panwar said...

Oh GOD..!! cant believe educated ppl like u dont even know the basic difference between Press Release and Interacting with ppl.. let me tell u our great PM has not even won any election in his life.. back door PM he is.. press release and tweets as "interactions".. ROFL.. nothing can b more insaner than that..

Also add how many times he talked to his wife Mrs. Gursharan Singh,also how many times he talked to his chaprasi in PMO or his family members.. add them all too in ur "statistics"

and the funniest part of ur blogpost is that u r just pushing that "oh lok I have debunked I have debunked".. no Mr Seth u have not debumked but made a fool of urself.. anyways nice try. Jai ho Sycophancy..