SC BAN ON ADS WITH POLITICIANS' PHOTOS
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, May 17: Putting stress on the importance of respective roles played by both the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister in a country like India, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Sunday said a Chief Minister represents a State like a Prime Minister represents the tion.
Gogoi was referring to the recent judgement of the Supreme Court which has prohibited the use of photographs of political leaders, including ministers, in advertisements issued by the government and its agencies, saying that it leads to promotion of a persolity cult. However, the apex court has permitted the use of photographs of the President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and departed leaders, including Father of the tion Mahatma Gandhi, in such advertisements.
“In a democratic country like India, both Prime Minister and Chief Minister are elected representatives of the people. When a person is elected as Prime Minister or Chief Minister, some welfare schemes are needed to be announced by him or her and for it, publicity is needed. In such publicity drive, the need for carrying a Chief Minister’s photograph cannot be denied. If it is not allowed to carry the Chief Minister’s photograph with such publicity materials, it may create problems and raise a question mark on the federal and democratic structure of the country.”
Gogoi said equal importance should be given to the Prime Minister as well as the Chief Minister to strengthen the democratic spirit.
Holding that government advertisements in connection with an event along with the photograph of a State or party functiory has a tendency of associating that individual with the achievements sought to highlighted, the Supreme Court had said that such media blitz has a “potential of developing the persolity cult” around such State functiory.
“Photographs, therefore, have the potential of developing the persolity cult and the image of a one or a few individuals which is a direct antithesis of democratic functioning”, Justice Ranjan Gogoi said pronouncing the judgment, adding, “We are, therefore of the view, there should be an exception (in carrying the photograph along with the advertisement) only in the case of the President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of the country who may themselves decide the question.”