Vikas Dubey news and PM’s Leh visit- How headlines are managed in India

Syed Ali Mujtaba

I may like to preface my thoughts with the popular slogan “Modi Hai to Mumkin hai.” I may like to pose the question why PM Modi chose to fly to Leh, knowing well about Vikas Dubey’s feat?  My hunch is this was a planned visit made to manage media headlines.

I like to speculate on why PM Modi chose to fly to Leh on Saturday at about 5 AM, knowing well that at 1.30 am, Vikas Dubey had ambushed 8 policemen in a village, about 50 km from Kanpur.

My premonition is this trip was planned in haste by the BJP media managers to manipulate the headlines in India. At least for some time in the day till Vikas Dubey may have been killed in the encounter.

 And this news flash could have salvaged the ignominy of UP police under the BJP government from where most votes are pocketed by the ruling party evoking national pride.  

Imagine if PM had not gone to Leh, the news played on Saturday morning on the TV could have been the bellicosity of Vikas Dubey and a rebuke at Yogi Adityanath government of presiding over a jungle raj. This La Galwan story could have been milked all day by the TV channels.  

As the day may have progressed, this news could have had huge negative political fallout for the UP government that BJP media managers might have found hard to manage. So, in a swift move they sent PM Modi to fly to Leh in order to take out the steam from the Vikas Dubey story. 

The calculation was TV channels may remain busy covering PM’s Leh Visit evoking nationalist ‘mantara’ braving China’s fury. And by the time he gets back to Delhi, Vikas Dubey might have been killed in the encounter. 

The story so far we all know but what we do not know is that such exercise was done to make headlines in India. “Modi Hai to Mumkin hai.”

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai.   He can be contacted at

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