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  • Lead India: Love this; Hate that!

    Lead India: Love this; Hate that!

    Even though I haven’t followed the campaign closely, I have my questions about The Times of India’s – Lead India initiative. I could point to some gaps, but this post isn’t about that at all.
    In times when I find most advertising flat, and uninspiring, comes this ad, part of the Lead India campaign. I am talking about the ‘Tree’ ad – I just LOVE this one – it gives me goose pimples every time I see it. But then the same campaign recently released their next film, with Amitabh Bachchan reminding us that India is set to take off, all we need now is our hero, who we are waiting for, and WHO will show us the right direction. There doesn’t seem anything wrong with that, isn’t it does there?
    But why then, everyone time I see this ad, I cringe and feel disturbed. Why?
    There is a hidden paradox that I notice in what the two ads seem to be saying. They are promoting the same initiative, but driving messages in different/ opposite directions.
    Read on and tell me if you agree/ disagree:

    1. Uprooted tree and boy: Every time I see this ad play (mostly at one or the other movie that I am out to watch) I feel elated, motived to bring about change. It says ‘I’ need to make the beginning…
      A tree has come uprooted and is blocking the road. Everyone is impacted but prefers to wait, until our little boy decides to take things in his hands…others join in. Watch the ad, if you haven’t seen it yet:

      When I wrote my previous post about the CSR opportunity in the Delhi -Expressway Toll Plaza Crisis, I was somewhere inspired by this ad too, as by my own thoughts “Agar ham nahin karenge toh kaun karega?” (If we don’t do it ourselves, who will?).

    Cut to the second ad:

    1. Amitabh Bachchan See it first (my apologies in advance to our non-Hindi speaking readers… I will try to capture the essence, but not sure if I will succeed fully. Let’s see):



      “…India is poised to take-off…, all that is needed now, is the search is on for someone who will give it the right direction and show it the correct path leadership. All that we are waiting for now, is the charioteer, who will lead us to victory. All that we need, is a leader who will bring to life dreams of our youth and who takes us to that peak, where the whole world is at our feet. THAT person is right here, right amongst us, and who will suddenly rise and whom we shall hand the flame and -proudly-ask to…’Lead India’.”
      This is a person, or God? If this person did not show it the path, India will not find direction? This one person will bring to life dreams of our youth? They do not know how to reach them, themselves? Why do we want the world at our feet? Why can’t we stand on our two feet and enable others too? Why do we want to ask someone to lead us? When did India become dependent on any one person? And today’s India?

    Where the ‘tree’ ad says that each of us have the power to change, that “impossible is nothing”, that there is God in each of us, the latter seems to almost suggest towards an Avataar, a deity, who we should wait for and accept as our guide, our leader.
    I know that’s not the intent of the initiative, but even then… I find “God within each” eminently more appealing . What say?

    Disclaimer: Views of authors are personal and do not represent the views of Blogworks, or any of its clients.

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