India Today magazine’s latest edition, dated August 2, is 98 pages with a thick 24-page ad feature dedicated to the wonder that is the Yogi government. The run-up to the Uttar Pradesh assembly election is certainly going to bring when it comes to ad revenue.
The magazine doesn't make it clear page-wise that the 24 pages are advertisements. The only disclaimer is this small box on the Contents page. You'll also spot the word "Focus" at the top right of Karma Yogi.
Apart from that, one would have to be a very discerning reader to notice the font difference between India Today's journalism and the ads it carries for the UP government.
The ad feature elaborates on Adityanath's "dedication, commitment and vision" in fighting the second wave of Covid. Not just that, while the whole nation prepares for a third wave, we are informed that UP has achieved "success in neutralizing the third wave".
Don't miss the crown.
In case you want to get a sense of how Uttar Pradesh actually performed when it came to testing, . Kaul and Chintan conclude that testing result data from Uttar Pradesh does not pass the basic smell test.
But more on the India Today ad: we’re informed that women stay secure in the state thanks to anti-conversion laws. Curiously, the state's Hindutva activists' did not find a place of pride in this segment. For a complete list of Yogi’s achievements, there’s a nifty point-wise exploration on why Uttar Pradesh is Numero Uno. The greatest achievement to our mind is UP establishing itself as the “first country” in the teen tiny state of India.
For the record, UP is not the only state prone to spending taxpayer money on praising its achievements. There is the Congress government in Chhattisgarh that on government ads between January 2019 and June 2021. The Arvind Kejriwal government was also accused of on advertisements and publicity in the last two years.