Newspaper readers woke up to full-page ads of Prime Minister Narendra Modi “endorsing” Reliance Jio, a day after RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani unveiled its plans. India's newest and most anticipated telecom operator from the Ambani stable, Reliance Jio's roll-out details were announced by Mukesh Ambani at the 42nd RIL general meet on Thursday. With rock-bottom data rates and free voice calls, and a superior 4G infratructure, Jio is expected to radically change the Indian telecom sector.
Several editions of English dailies, Times of India and Hindustan Times, carried front-page advertisements of Reliance Jio featuring the Prime Minister with the captions, “Dedicated to India and 1.2 billion Indians.”
Below the picture of Modi the ad reads, “In the journey of time, there comes a few life-changing movements. Our Honourable Prime Minister’s inspiring vision of Digital India is one such movement. Jio is dedicated to realising our Prime Minister’s Digital India vision for 1.2 billion Indians. Jio Digital Life will give the power of data to each Indian, to fulfill every dream and collectively take India to the global digital leadership…”
Opposition leaders and many other hit out at the Prime Minister, some calling him a “stooge” of the richest man in India. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has always been at loggerheads with the Centre, launched the attack on Twitter.
.@narendramodi has once again proved that he's a reliance stooge.
Another question is whether such an advertisement is legal. According to the National Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) 1950 - No person shall, except in such cases and under such conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government use, or continue to use, for the purpose of any trade, business, calling or profession, or in the title of any patent, or in any trade mark or design, any name or emblem specified in the Schedule or, any colourable imitation thereof without the previous permission of the Central Government or of such officer of Government as may be authorised in this behalf by the Central Government.
Idea - Abhishek Bachchan— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) September 2, 2016
Airtel - 4G girl
Vodafone - Kutta
Jio - Modi
Some, however, called it "smart" advertising on the part of Reliance Jio.
There were several others who came to the defence of the Prime Minister, pointing out that Modi was endorsing his “Digital India” campaign and not Reliance Jio.
Modi is on the Reliance ad because Reliance has dedicated Jio to the Digital India Campaign. READ the ad before pointing fingers!— Nalini. (@facepalm92) September 2, 2016