WHOSE SPOKESPERSONS, ARE THEY?

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WHOSE SPOKESPERSONS, ARE THEY?

In today’s day and age of media, having a spokesperson certainly makes sense, and organizations after organizations keep professionals coming from media and mass communication background or groom their own officials into becoming one, from those who have a penchant for communication. People coming from the media background are trained in the organization’s functioning, culture, lingo and communication style, and they do their job with a flair, in a purely calibrated manner. We have White House press secretary to our own MEA spokespersons over the years. The way US top army brass conducted itself with the international media in the Taliban / Afghanistan military engagement won them accolades, the world over. What a way to face the world, crisis after crisis!

Every organization has the right to have its own spokespersons, to take them to the world consistently. They take the philosophy, acts and deliverables of the organization to the outer world. Every political party is well within its rights to have their spokespersons and any number of them, as required. Democratic India breathes and lives on the distribution of powers between legislature, executive and the judiciary. There have been efforts for decades now of lawmakers making their way surreptitiously to the executive power play and they have been making the best out of it. Today, most of India feels that they are executive heads in some way, and can influence the executive making nearly totally. But, even more intriguing is the relationship between the ruling party and the government.

How many of us can decipher it with functional and operational clarity. Party spokespersons coming day and day and year after as the spokespersons of the ruling party, by extension, of the government, is not in tune with the mandate of the constitution. This is in the backdrop of clear cut distribution of powers. As the opposition parties don’t have the executive powers of the government, things run fine, there is only one role to be played. It is a wheel within wheels game, working in the interests of all ruling political parties and all governments. There is a smokescreen that is created to the detriment of the government. In functioning, government is in a way, a non-political arrangement of governance, taking take care of every issue and every individual to best of its ability, based on the law, policy and programs. Operationally, there is nothing political about it and permanent executive which is non-partisan, objective and empirical delivers it. The policy relates to the manifesto of the ruling party, within the ambit of the constitution, that’s it!

The political party spokespersons of all parties in power, given covering fire to the government for inaction or lapses, is not the right trend. Governments are professional organizations, with depth of knowledge, expertise, acumen, experience and communication capabilities. They know the gamut of decision making and know the best way to make it known to the world. They can for sure fend for themselves, their spokespersons, and the officials can do a commendable job. The shrill, tone and tenor of prime-time debates, spokespersons and anchors alike, bring down the value of serious governance being provided to the nation. Even otherwise, what is the locus standi of the party spokesperson to talk about law and order incidents, court actions, government policies, decisions, enforcement, lapses and accomplishments. It is left to the government to defend what it’s doing. If the spokesperson’s utterances create issues beyond the realm of the concerned political party, what can be done? How does the government intervene? They don’t belong to the government. The well laid our parameters are the best way to play democracy.

WHERE DOES PARTY SPOKESPERSONS CHARTER START AND WHERE DOES IT END?
Sanjay Sahay

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