Goafest 2018: Rajyavardhan Singh on fake news, Brand Modi, Indian sports
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore straddles two ministries – Youth Affairs & Sports and Information & Broadcasting – as Minister of State. He is also an Olympic Silver Medalist and an ex-Army man. At Goafest 2018, Rathore fielded several questions from Navika Kumar, Managing Editor - Politics, Times Now, on a wide spectrum of topics ranging from fake news, scams, and unemployment to economic growth, sports and Brand Modi as well as the Government’s preparations for the General Elections in 2019.
While speaking on the issue of fake news, Rathore said that in today’s time no news can be stopped, what with so many avenues available today such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
When asked by Navika Kumar as to whether the guidelines that were announced three days ago were an effort to gag the media, Rathore refuted it and said that today, the credibility of journalism was under a lot of scrutiny. He added that it was a challenge to take journalism to what it was earlier.
He further said that the fake news development also dispelled another myth of the people that the Prime Minister is in sole charge of everything and that he doesn’t allow any other minister to take control.
“All ministers are free to take their independent decisions. In the case of fake news order, when the Ministry took a decision, the PM overruled it within 24 hours and stressed that self-censorship was the best control,” Rathore affirmed.
When asked whether Brand Modi was still strong enough for the 2019 General Elections, Rathore remarked that brands should be reliable and strong enough to connect with the consumers. But since they are commercial and there is a lot of competition in the market, there are frequent comparisons done with other brands. “But when it comes to Brand Modi, you can’t compare him with anybody. To take this in an objective way – when your brands do well, there is an enhancement and increase in sales with better connection with the consumers. In Prime Minister Modi’s tenure, from 2014 till now we have 22 states under our belt. After 3 decades we are the single largest party that wasn’t there in the past. I think he is a phenomenon. There is always one who can change the destinies of others and everyone looks up to that person and I think PM Modi is one such human being,” pointed out Rathore.
When pointed out that this Government, which had started out with 282 seats in the Lok Sabha now had 278 seats, Rathore countered this by saying, “Our party never compromises on its objectives and directions. Politics can’t be change in just four years, but the change process has surely begun. Indian politics is changing and perhaps there will come a time when it will be described as an era as before Modi and after Modi, because politics will never go back to the way it was.”
Meanwhile, answering to an audience question on sports in India in comparison to sports in China, Rathore narrated his experience from the time he was training across various districts of China and the way both parents and the state supported these centres. He stated that it was ironical how parents in India meet all school teachers at PTA meetings, but not the PT (Physical Training) teacher. While in fact, the PT teacher is the one who teaches life’s lessons like to ‘get up when you fall’ and ‘work like a team and not alone’. “Parents need to understand there’s a massive amount of education that happens on the playground,” he maintained.