A week is a long time in politics, especially if you are a dead Congressman.
On May 21, the 20th death anniversary of the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, various ministries, departments and State governments unleashed an advertising blitzkrieg in the media.
Today, on the 47th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru, the sycophancy deficit is palpable: Just 24 ads amounting to 10¾ published pages in the the same 12 newspapers surveyed last week.
Meaning: India’s first and longest-serving prime minister gets 45 fewer ads (amounting to 30¼ pages) than his grandson who was in office for five years against Nehru’s 17.
Hindustan Times: 22-page issue; 4 JN ads amounting to 1¾ broadsheet pages
The Times of India: 30-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1¼ broadsheet pages
Indian Express: 20-page issue; 5 ads amounting to 2 broadsheet pages
Mail Today (compact): 42-page issue; 4 ads amounting to 2 compact pages
The Hindu: 20-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1¾ broadsheet pages
The Pioneer: 16-page issue; 3 ads amounting to 1 broadsheet page
The Statesman: 16-page isuse; 1 ad amounting to half a broadsheet page
The Telegraph: 16-page issue; 1 ad amounting to half a broadsheet page
The Economic Times: 32-page issue; 0 ads
Business Standard: 20-page issue; 1 ad amouning to half a broadsheet page
Financial Express: 24-page issue; 0 ads
Mint (Berliner): 32-page issue; 0 ads
Also, unlike dozen or so ministries and departments that were falling over each other to remind the nation of Rajiv Gandhi last week, just four ministries—information and broadcasting, women and child welfare, steel and power—and one State government (Delhi) seem to have taken up Nehru’s cause.