Can social media be a gamechanger in 2014 Indian Parliamentary elections?
July 19, 2013
New Delhi — There were days when elections were fought on rallies, posters, slogans and freebies. And people responded to these traditional election tools used by politicians and the political parties of all times.
But with changing times and technological advances, both political parties as well as politicians have learned the art of modern technologies to woo voters; or at least make an impression that they keep abreast with latest communication tools of the Internet age.
The transition from traditional methods to electronic (including online) is no doubt a completely new phenomenon having its roots in last few elections throughout the country.
Earlier, people would not see political parties seek votes by advertising on television or showcase their achievements by surrogate advertisements flashing on channels every now and then. But times have changed; and so have our political parties and politicians.
Contemporary politicians seem to be using all methods to prove their hegemony in online world, as if fake or genuine no longer matter.
Even as social media facilitate direct communication between a sender and receiver, it has been used less for the purpose and more for showing maximum number of followers: fake or genuine.
True that social media plays important role in political campaigns, but it doesn’t and it cannot guarantee transforming the same into turnout on polling day; same what used to be the case with election rallies.
Notwithstanding, it will have its effects since urban youth and middle class heavily rely on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google etc for debate, sharing their thoughts and following political parties and politicians for latest update in political circles. They may or may not agree with tweets, orFacebook posts, but for sure they form an opinion on every issue.
With 2014 Lok Sabha (Parliamentary) elections approaching near, politicians have realised the importance of social media and greater online presence including maximum ‘Followers’ and increased ‘Likes’ on social media sites.
Narendra Modi has emerged as the ‘most-mentioned-politician’ on social media channels. The Gujarat chief minister is followed by Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal respectively. Among the 20 political leaders who figured in a study conducted by Indian consultancy firm Blogworks from January to April 2013, BJP leader Arun Jaitley finished last.
If analysed carefully, the study reveals how political bigwigs have captured the social media space with greater presence in the web world.
Be it Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Arun Jaitley or newly-entered politician Arvind Kejriwal, everyone has their online presence through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or email newsletters. Read the rest of the story in the Daily Bhaskar.
From → Analysis