New Delhi: Call it circumventing the rules or sheer creative genius, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's latest advertisement asking citizens of the national capital to follow the odd-even scheme is a concept you just can't look over. In fact, a first look at the ad can confuse you if Kejriwal is trying to send across a genuine message or if the whole idea is to just mock at the law.
The shrewd manner in which Kejriwal gets his point across without showing his face to the camera, and all for a reason, has good reason behind it. A law that came into effect in mid-2015 prevents politicians from using government advertisements as a platform for personal promotion.
In May last year, the Supreme Court ordered a ban on all media advertisements that contained photos of chief ministers, ministers and functionaries of ruling political parties.
The Aam Aadmi Party founder has not been featured in a single government advertisement ever since. Soon after the court's order, Kejriwal's face disappeared from all 1031 anti-corruption helpline ads, a major AAP campaign at the time.
Kejriwal, it seems, now wants his voice to do the talking, literally. In the latest in the series of advertisements rolled out by the Delhi government on its odd-even formula, Kejriwal (or so it seems) appears with his back to the camera. He has his favourite maroon sweater on and dons the trademark muffler that has become synonymous with the Delhi CM.
Kejriwal, who is seen and heard speaking on the telephone in the ad, starts off with what was typical to AAP's advertisements at the height of the Delhi Assembly polls. “Namaste. Main Arvind Kejriwal bol raha hoon. Phone mat kaatna (This is Arvind Kejriwal...do not disconnect the call),” says the individual, whom we presume as Kejriwal for his voice, before he goes on invoke Gandhigiri to make his odd-even plan a success.
Kejriwal then narrates an ‘emotional' incident involving a civil defence volunteer who forced an odd-even violator to rethink by offering him a rose as he goes on to seek people's support for the scheme.
Not once do we see the narrator's face throughout the ad. All one can hear is Kejriwal's distinct voice.
In fact, it is the voice of Kejriwal that he and his team want to capitalise on in wake of the SC's decision banning politicians' faces from government ads. Remember the ad released by the government after the murder of a girl in Anand Parbat last August? That ad also had an audio message from Kejriwal with the visual of a candle in the dark.
This one goes a step further, with a man appearing as Kejriwal but not showing his face. We wonder what the CM will come up with the next time around.
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