I stumbled upon the Tamil version of Indian President’s Independence speech last night, on television. I have never bothered to listen to what the President says, on the customary Independence Day eve speech…it’s called the ‘address to the nation’. I listened to it for about 15 minutes and felt it was largely filled with the usual, predictably motivating jargon.
Next stop…Prime Minister’s speech. No different.
Here’s a word cloud of Indian President’s speech for the years 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007, in that order.
And…here’s a word cloud for the Indian Prime Minister’s speech, for the years 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007…in that order.
1. I agree that a word cloud is not the best way to judge these speeches, but doesn’t it look like these speeches are created out of a speech generator fed with the standard set of words?
2. More than all these brands on social media in India, the biggest brand is still Brand India. If we talk of brands sounding authentic in public (not just social media), why shouldn’t Brand India’s communication, that too, on a day as significant as Independence Day, sound more authentic and interesting?
3. Why should this speech seem so customary and like a formality? Why can’t someone think of something interesting and make it watchable…and hence, memorable? For instance, this year’s speech could have been relayed live from Leh, where people suffered. Why shouldn’t the Prime Minister speak live from Leh, address their plight and link it to national priorities? This is just a random, impulsive example – I’m sure there are enough qualified people in the government to think of interesting ways to make this speech ritual far more meaningful.
4. This speech and Doordarshan may never be about TRP, but just for the heck of it, has someone tried the TRP ratings of these speeches year after year? How many people end up watching this? Is there anyway to know? RTI, perhaps? I don’t know.
No, I’m not advocating that this speech, the last bastion of the governmental rituals on television, be made into a commercial mockery. Not at all. But, if we consider the change in communication for brands via social media – from one-way/talking down…to conversational – why shouldn’t the government machinery, acting as custodians of brand India, get into that ambit too?
Why should that conversation be restricted ONLY to they speaking and we responding via ‘votes’?
Word cloud courtesy: Wordle.