01 August, 2021

Prakash Javadekar, 63

I&B minister (till revamp) 4/10; Succeeded by Arun Jaitley in November

Prakash Javadekar, 63

The affable Maharashtrian, one of the more personable BJP faces on TV, was rewarded for his role in stitching up an alliance with the TDP. But the story of Javadekar being told by the PMO to change from jeans to “something less fancy” while on his way to the airport for a conference abroad, showed nothing can be taken for granted even under a very fashion-conscious PM—and that ‘Big Brother’ is watching. Always. After taking charge, Javadekar said the I&B ministry should be wound up, but when the phone call came at midnight on November 8 that he was being shifted to the “more important” environment ministry, it showed how much emphasis the Modi sarkar placed on messaging. By replacing him with finance minister Arun Jaitley, who has more friends in the media than any politician in his party, the carrot-and-stick were being dangled before media owners, many of whom have plenty to hide: fall in line or else the taxman will follow. The broadcast of Modi’s ‘Man ki Baat’ on All India Radio and the telecast of RSS supremo...

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