I wonder if any of you have seen the new Swachh Bharat Abhiyan advertisement featuring Kangana Ranaut.
Kangana Ranaut has donned the Avataar of Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth.
The advertisement shows a number of people praying to Goddess Laxmi and then throwing garbage on the streets, and when they look back, they see that Laxmi has disappeared from the photo frame.
Towards the end of the advertisement you can also see Kangana Ranaut urf Godess Laxmi riding pillion on a motorcycle, waving Tata Bye-Bye to all concerned, without wearing a helmet and throwing the message of “Road Safety” into a dustbin.
The concept of the advertisement is that if you litter and dont keep your surroundings clean, Goddess Laxmi will leave you and go.
Cute, hain na??
Rubbish, I say !!!
Cleanliness has nothing to do with any God or Goddesses but has to do with hygiene.
Those trying to justify this by throwing around the term “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”, should realize that this term was coined in 1778, the traces of which can be found in Babylonian and Hebrew religious tracts and was used to play on the superstitious sentiments of people who work only on the concept of “Fear of God”.
The only parallel that can perhaps can be drawn from this advert is “Health is Wealth”, but I am sure this could have been done without trying to play on the superstitions of the masses.
Public Awareness advertisements should be focused more on the actual ill effects, which occur due to a certain action, than trying to delve into the area of hocus pocus.
If you dont keep your surroundings clean, you will fall ill, have diseases, your family will probably succumb to various health problems. I have serious doubts if any Gods in your photo frames would leave you, waving at you, while riding a motorbike.
When the Government leads the people of their country on the path of superstition, it is creating the exact opposite of “Awareness”.
But then again, coming from a Government whose Ideological Mentors believe that pee from a Holy Cow gives you Gold and that burning Sandalwood during a Yagna will produce Oxygen instead of CO2, one shouldnt expect anything different.
Now, I am looking forward to seeing advertisements of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao with Vidya Balan dressed up as Godess Saraswati sitting in a race car, whooshing away….without wearing a seatbelt, ofcourse.
I am sure there would be a lot of people who dont mind using a little bit of superstition to achieve a cause if it is good, but this is exactly similar to telling your kids to not stick their hands in the electric socket because “God will punish you”, rather than taking the pains to explain him that he will probably get a “shock”.
One cannot possibly condone the propagation of superstition by playing on the religious gullibility of the Junta, to achieve a required end, without any certain guarantees either, just because its the easy way out.
I wonder if the people in America or Europe dont litter on the streets because they think “Jesus will strike them dead”
The right way is always a bit difficult and takes more time than the wrong one, but the ultimate results are always desirable.
Disclaimer: I am not sure which God is supposed to leave you if you dont have a Toilet in your house…… any inputs on this would really help me recommend the script for the next advertisement of “Har Ghar mein Sauchalay”.