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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Supreme Court has come up with a new guideline today, which prohibits the government and its agencies from using pictures of political leaders in government advertisements since it leads to promotion of a personality cult.

The bench, led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, has only allowed the use of photographs of the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, President and deceased leaders like Mahatma Gandhi for the advertisements.

The court stated that the use of photographs of political leaders not only leads to association of an individual with a project, but could also end up with a development of a personality cult, which is a direct injustice to democracy.

These advertisements are directed towards the public, therefore, it’s essential to know their opinions on this issue.

NewsGram asked the general masses whether the guidelines issued by Supreme Court are justified or not.

“I don’t understand how the Supreme Court tags this as an injustice to democracy? When a political leader is associated with a government scheme, the general people become aware that the person is the master-mind behind the scheme. Therefore, it becomes easier for the voters during elections to elect the rightful political leader. Through the use of photographs, these leaders make personal relations with the public,” said Shadab Malik, an entrepreneur.

While Shadab questioned the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court, Tanuj Mitra, a student, seemed to favor the guideline. He told NewsGram, “Indeed it’s an injustice to the democracy and often leads to dictatorship. We see all kinds of political leaders like Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalitha, Mayawati, Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao in Telangana and now Modi being represented as cult figures by their blind followers. The important thing is to notice how SC would curb this representation of larger than life pictures. SC should also review what kind of an agenda is being set by these advertisements. Associating cult figures, like the Father of the Nation, would lead to trivialization of the idol figures and would impact the perception of those figures.”

“The SC should also analyze the visual discourse along with photographs, which leads the public course of action. The center as well as the state should be responsible enough to not mislead the public and misuse the freedom of speech and expression. The role of the public relation offices, which conducts such advertisements, should also be brought under the scanner,” Tanuj added.

Aparna Pathak, a computer science graduate, too supported the decision of the top court and told NewsGram, “I think there is no need of those smiling faces whose size is more than the main concern of the advertisements. It is done only for the sake of securing votes in future. These advertisements are merely used as assets by ministers to deceive public at the time of polls.”


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