Even as it continues to face vehement criticism for its handling of the COVID-19 situation, the Narendra Modi government is attempting to create an atmosphere of positivity.


Late on Monday night, the official Twitter handle of Mann Ki Baat, Modi’s monthly radio address, sought suggestions for its next edition. The next Mann Ki Baat will be aired on May 30.


The Mann Ki Baat Updates handle tweeted, “This month’s #MannKiBaat is back again – to celebrate the power of positivity and the strengths of 130 crore Indians! Have any inspiring story to share with PM Shri @narendramodi?”


From its inception, the government has used the Mann Ki Baat platform to spread a sentiment of positivity. An All India Radio survey in November 2018 claimed that most listeners of Mann Ki Baat felt that “spreading positivity in society” was its greatest contribution.


In addition to seeking suggestions, the Mann Ki Baat handle on Tuesday shared quotes by Modi in a previous edition of the programme on Yoga. Modi has passionately promoted Yoga, including as a means to guard against COVID-19.


On Tuesday, the Mann Ki Baat handle tweeted, “… in this time of corona crisis, ‘Yoga’ – today, is also more important, because this virus affects our respiratory system the most.” Another quote shared by the handle was Modi saying, “There are many types of pranayama that strengthen the respiratory system in ‘Yoga’, the effect of which we have been seeing for a long time. These are time-tested techniques, which have their own separate significance.”


Modi had made these statements in his Mann Ki Baat address in May last year.


Last week, the Hindustan Times reported that 300 officials of the Central government participated in a workshop that aimed to to improve the government’s image. The workshop, reportedly, aimed to help officials “create a positive image of the government”, manage “perception through effectively highlighting positive stories and achievements”, and making the government “be seen to be sensitive, bold, quick, responsive, hard-working etc”.

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