Warm-up for Dance of Democracy gets a new make-over.

To the best of my memory, to the best of my parent’s memory or any other Indian citizen’s memory, the political campaigns have been all about mikes and speakers. It has been all about the promises being made by the politicians at the top of their voices (whether fulfilled or not is another discussion altogether), garland being showered to politicians and enormous crowd gatherings with thousands of hopes to listen what the government will offer. It has been about how effective the rallies and speeches were, until the 2014 general elections.

In 2014, political parties have discovered the virtue of campaigning using new media. A new tool to the campaign had flooded the campaign strategies and the face for the biggest PR campaigns in the world was changed forever. In 2014 general elections Facebook and Twitter played a pivotal role in disseminating information about the political parties. Especially, Narendra Modi used it to his advantage more than anybody. Till the time parties realized the power of digital media the war was already won. The political parties as a whole used the digital media only after the 2014 general elections. Congress started after general elections 2014, BJP in 2015 followed by Trinamool Congress and AAP.

By now everyone thought this year would be the same as digital hashtags, trending hashtags, mocking each other and the elections would be over. Little did we know the parties were not done yet. Ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the memes short explainer videos, parody- you name it and everything is being pulled by the ruling party BJP and opposition party to project themselves.

Instagram has become the new kid around the block now. #Pollgram is the recent trending hashtag. If we look at the stats, BJP enjoys a premium position with BJP4India having 1.5 million followers and Congress merely having 3.75 lakh followers. That doesn’t mean that the game of Congress is weak. The strategists for the parties are leaving no stones unturned for projecting a favorable image for their respective parties.

Till date, we have seen that movies like Gulal, Rajneeti and many other movies had political overtones. Many movies portrayed the side or a chapter of a political leader’s life. But little did we know that the movies will be used as a political tool by 2019. To the extent, we see today the medium of Cinema is also being used as a tool for campaigning. Do you really think that the biopic RaGa, PM Narendra Modi, Thackeray are a coincidence to happen? If yes, then I am really sorry you need to buck up your game of knowing about your country. The campaigning for election has gotten all together to a new level we couldn’t even think of. Congress has recently launched a video series called‘ Pun ki Baat’ a spin-off of PM Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat. Narendra Modi’s web series has also been launched.  A new tool has been discovered and it’s been used left-right and center. Maybe the box of the future has more to offer. Film medium appeals to a mass audience. It slowly percolates the ideology to mass audiences. A family audience watches a movie and now a day’s web-series are the new cool. So, you can imagine the extent to which the audiences are targeted, that too focused audience. Each medium used to create a favorable image that is seen in the big screens as well as on your 5-inch handset.

Political parties are busy fine-tuning the messages and sharpening their outreach to appeal to a segment that could make or break their fortunes in Lok Sabha elections.: 



If we want to understand how young voted for two national parties in the last four Lok Sabha elections look at the figure: 

Out of 900 million voters, 84 million voters are first-time voters. That is 9 % share of new electorate voters which is 15 million higher than the population of 159 countries, that is how huge our democracy is. We can understand how the magnitude about the crores of money, burning the midnight oils to develop a strategy is not easy. The plan to convince the biggest democracy, to percolate a message to drive an ideology is itself a humongous task. And with the advent of the new ways emerging to campaign for elections, we have to see what next is stored in the box for us.

(Courtesy: India Today)

-Veena YJ