Some of Zee Entertainment’s popular television shows are now blatantly pushing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image and the schemes that have been announced under the BJP government. With the General Elections just days away, the ruling party seems to be leaving no platform bereft of their covert or outright promotional activity on behalf of the prime minister.

Here are examples from two popular television serials, both on the Zee Entertainment Network’s group of channels, that are openly propagating Narendra Modi’s image and the Swachh Bharat campaign, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Gas Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana on their shows.

The Glorification of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

These clips tweeted by @Victimgames show an episode of Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain!highlighting the information that the government has built 9 crore toilets under its Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, saying that now Indian citizens no longer have to relieve themselves in public.

                          Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain! promoting PM Modi and Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.

That aside, the dialogue writer of the episode, which aired on 4 April, has the best of adjectives to describe the current PM (without naming him) in these words:

“Ek woh aadmi hai jo din bhar desh ki akhandta aur swachhta ki baat karta hai...” (And then there’s a man who talks about the country’s oneness and cleanliness all day...)

and

“Jaise hamari aaj ki sarkar poore josh kharosh se lagi hui hai ki bharat ki ekta aur akhandta ko khatra na pahunche, swachhta abhiyan ki baat kar rahi hai. Aaj ek karmat, sushil, gyaani, atulniya purush ki wajah se hum swachhta ki vatavaran mein saans le rahe hain.” (We have a government today that is focused enthusiastic about protecting India’s unity, that is talking about a cleanliness drive. Today, because of one hardworking, sincere, wise, extraordinary man, we can breathe in a clean environment.)

Another episode of Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain!, which aired on 5 April, plugs the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Gas Yojana, while publicising information that 5 crore households will benefit from it and that it will generate 1 lakh jobs.

                                      Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain! promoting PM Modi and Ujjwala Gas Yojana.

Again there is a glorification of PM Narendra Modi with a not-so-subtle reference to the ‘Modi hai toh mumkin hai’ slogan.

“Aapko pata hai ab kuch bhi namumkin nahin hai, sab kuch mumkin hai. Aur yeh sab mumkin woh kiye hain jo hum sab ke beech mein se nikal kar aaye hain (You know that now nothing is impossible, everything is possible. And the one who has made all this possible is one who rose up from amongst us),” says the wife to her husband in the show.

The ‘Mumkin-Namumkin’ Wordplay

An excerpt of another popular show Tujhse Hai Raabta tweeted by @MautKaPashindashows the main characters promoting the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, which has apparently (according to the show) benefitted more than 15 crore people across the country.

Once again there is a reference to the ‘namumkin’ and ‘mumkin’ – keywords from Modi’s slogan – in the show, and a dialogue that says that this would have been an impossible dream 5 years ago.

While Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain! airs on TV, Tujhse Hai Raabta is a part of Zee TV’s shows, both channels are owned by the Zee Group.

According to an insider, though the production companies involved in the scripting and making of these shows may not be supporters of the BJP, they would have no say when it comes to the content that they carry if the diktat to promote PM Modi and his schemes comes from the channel’s top management.

Remember, there is already a full-feature film on the PM titled PM Narendra Modi,an entire web series on Eros Now on Modi, a 24-hour channel NaMo TV dedicated to the PM, besides other media and news channels which unabashedly toe the state’s line.

Added to this, if the government also wants to push its agenda via TV soaps before the general elections, it just exposes an unhealthy streak of desperation in the current establishment.

Courtesy: www.thequint.com

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Southampton: Pakistan slumped to 126-5 before a third stoppage for rain led to an end to play on the first day of the second test against England at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.

Abid Ali struck 60 after being dropped twice early in his 111-ball innings and was comfortably Pakistan's top scorer on a tough day for the tourists in changing weather.

Jimmy Anderson was retained for the match, despite struggling in England's three-wicket win in the first test in Manchester last week, and the paceman repaid that faith by removing Shan Masood (1) in the third over and captain Azhar Ali (20) after lunch. It gave England's record wicket-taker figures of 2-35 and he is up to 592 in tests.

After the toss won by Pakistan was made under sunny skies, Pakistan began batting in overcast conditions and a shower brought up an early lunch. More rain came midway through the second session, which the tourists finished on 85-2.

And only about an hour was possible after tea, when Pakistan lost three wickets including Abid, who edged recalled seamer Sam Curran to Rory Burns at second slip.

Burns had been the second slip fielder to drop Abid before lunch, the right-handed opener having already been given a life on 0 by Dom Sibley's drop diving to his left at third slip.

As with Burns, Sibley made amends by taking a smart catch low down to remove Asad Shafiq (5) to give Stuart Broad his first wicket.

That brought Fawad Alam to the crease for his first test innings in 11 years after being recalled and it last four balls, when the left-hander was trapped lbw by Chris Woakes for a duck. A not-out decision was given but England reviewed and Hawk-Eye showed the ball was hitting the top of middle stump.

Babar Azam was 25 not out when bad light eventually led to stumps being called. Mohammad Rizwan was on 4.

Pakistan trails 1-0 in the three-match series. Another victory for England will clinch a first test series against Pakistan in 10 years, and a second series of this pandemic-affected summer having already beaten the West Indies.