Book title: Conflict Communication: Chronicles of a Communicator
Author(s): I. Ramamohan Rao
ISBN: 9788182748743
Publication Year: 2016
Binding: HB
Pages: 200
Price: Rs. 595
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 Overview

About the Book:

In a democracy, communication between the government and the people of the country is essential so that the contours of Government policies and activities are made available to all in the country. Effective communication of government decisions to the people builds support for the government and generates better acceptance of its programmes.

Communication is particularly important in conflict situations. Conflict may be in the battlefields, pre-war, during the war and post war, internal disturbances such as insurgencies. It could even be political. The book conveys the experiences of I. Ramamohan Rao, who served the Government in various capacities for five decades as a communicator, most of them in conflict situations.

He also interacted with media representatives since the late 1950s, when news media was limited to teleprinter news agencies, newspapers and the All India Radio, and in a minor way, Films Division. In the eighties, national broadcaster Doordarshan made an entry and became an effective medium. The entry of private television stations after the Gulf War in the 1990s changed the face of the media. Private channels were established in the country, and television became a channel for communication and entertainment all over the country. Kargil was the first war, which was in a sense, televised.

The arrival of the Internet in the late 1980s and the social media in the 21st century has changed the scene altogether. The book gives us a close look at the developments in the country during the last six decades; the way Prime Ministers of the day handled the media, the role played by government media in dissemination of information in conflict situations like India-Pakistan wars in 1965 and 1971, and proxy war in Kashmir. The book would be interesting to PR professionals, young Indians studying public policy and serving government officials who need to communicate with the media. Though the book is a chronicle of one man’s experiences, the varied scenarios and the complex web of communication patterns makes for an interesting reading.



About the Author:

I. Ramamohan Rao is a widely respected name in media circles in India. He joined the Press Information Bureau in 1956, and was later inducted into the Indian Information Service when it was created and headed the organization for a little over seven years before he superannuated. Rao has been a communicator in various capacities, right from the times of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. 

He served with the United Nations Emergency Force in the Gaza Strip and edited the Sand Dune, the weekly magazine of the Force. Rao was involved in the communication facilities during the Chinese Aggression in 1962, the post war efforts to rebuild the defenses of the country, and reporting on conflict from the field as a Public Relations Officer during the India-Pakistan War of 1965, and the Defense Headquarters in Delhi during the 1971 India-Pakistan War, which saw the emergence of Bangladesh.

Later, he served as the head of the Information Division of the Research and Analysis Wing, and Chief Editor of the Indian and Foreign Review. On return to the Defence Ministry as Director of Public Relations, Ramamohan Rao was actively involved in projecting events like the Asiad, the Non-Aligned Summit and the Commonwealth Heads of Government meet in Delhi. He headed the News Services Division of the All India Radio during the turbulent years, which saw the Blue Star Operations and, the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Rao was the Principal Spokesman of the Government of India under four Prime Ministers: Rajiv Gandhi, V. P. Singh, Chandrashekar and Narasimha Rao. He was actively involved in counter propaganda in Sri Lanka, when India sent peacekeeping forces to that country. Later he played an effective role in countering a proxy-war promoted by Pakistan in Punjab and in Jammu and Kashmir. He was also involved in assisting communication efforts during and after the Kargil Operations. Ramamohan Rao was also a visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. For the last one decade, he has been actively involved in interacting with young journalists in the multi-media news agency,  Asian News International. His experiences as a communicator would be useful to communicators, journalists, civil servants and academicians. 



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