Govt launches `India’s Story` to counter BJP’s UPA chargesheet

"Bharat ki kahani" (India`s story) detailing UPA`s nine years of governance was launched here Wednesday by Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari.

New Delhi: "Bharat ki kahani" (India`s story) detailing UPA`s nine years of governance was launched here Wednesday by Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari.

Cast in the form of media capsules, including audio-visual clips, it is an attempt to convey to the public details of the government`s achievements.

Unveiling the "Glimpses of India Story - Phase II", Tewari said they had attempted to incorporate people`s suggestions regarding the first phase launched May 22. He also said "There is a lot of difference between India Shining and Bharat Nirman stories. India Shining was a (imaginary) situation that the NDA government was broadcasting, while the Bharat Nirman is a small attempt to tell about the silent revolution that has led to empowerment of millions across the country.”

Tewari said the story attempts to convey the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government`s "building on political stability, social cohesion, strides in international relations and economic development".

The clips tell of government initiatives like the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, the Aadhaar identification scheme, the Real Estate Regulation Bill, the Land Acquisition Bill and the Food Security Bill. In cases where legislation is still being discussed like the Food Bill, the audio visual has a blurb saying it is not enacted yet.

The minister said the information and broadcasting ministry has the mandate to inform people about the government`s programmes. Though the unveiling comes in the run-up to general elections next year, Tewari promised the India story would continue. "This will not be the last, and not the least," he said exuding confidence.

He said the programmes have stood the people in "good stead" in the past nine years. "It is a silent revolution that has empowered millions in the country. The India Story is an attempt to articulate that," he said.

The minister said the UPA`s "Bharat Nirman" (building India) story was different from the India Shining of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government in that it is telling the story of government initiatives undertaken while the India Shining was like a "mirage" without any substance.

The BJP-led NDA government`s India Shining advertisement blitz before the 2004 general elections was different from the UPA government`s India Story launched Wednesday as the latter is based on real achievements of the government and is not imaginary, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said.

The NDA had lost the 2004 general elections.

Tewari said the India Story was launched by the ministry as part of its job to disseminate information about the government programmes.

The first phase of the programme was launched May 22 this year, as the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government entered the 10th year of its rule in its second stint.

Asked about the cost of the outreach programme, which is through audio visual clips, print ads, on radio and on social media, the minister said budgetary allocation was made to disseminate information about the government initiatives. In 2013-14, the allocation has been Rs.12.98 crore, he said.

Enumerating the achievements of the UPA government, he said the past nine years had seen "political stability, instability is a term that has almost disappeared", social cohesion "though there have been sporadic incidents here and there", internal security status has been "by and large stable", the country notched 8.2 percent growth in the 11th plan, the country made "significant strides in international relations".

He said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had failed to see the reality and "seems to be living on some other planet".

The objective of the current phase of the India Story is not only to communicate the benefits of the reforms, but to develop a sense of ownership for these initiatives among the people, said a statement.

The current phase of the India Story has been designed on an integrated model where each media unit of the Ministry would be disseminating information on common themes, i.e., Direct Benefits Transfer, Aadhaar, Food Security, Real Estate regulation, Land Acquisition Bill and Street Vendors Bill. Keeping in mind the varied reach of each medium, the content has been designed specifically to suit the communication needs and the dissemination process.

The multimedia initiative would be put across on traditional, print, outdoor publicity, special outreach programmes focusing on new media platforms with the objective of informing and apprising the public of the new policy initiatives undertaken by the government recently. For the print and visual media, the content is being developed in 11 languages, the statement said.