The field is set.
The elections season is gradually approaching in India and the political atmosphere is tense with anticipation. All the major players are geared up using every trick up their sleeve to win the battle that will declare them kings and Queens for another period of 5 years. Congress has managed to consolidate its power for ten years now, winning two elections in a row, with current PM Manmohan Singh being the first prime minister after pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to secure such a feat. But now the country wants a change. And the propaganda is all set to make it so.
But this year, with the usual chats, discussion, blame games, advertisements and various other methods of influence, social media will also be a major player. This year, a huge population of India has attained the voting age. And as such, the political parties are targeting such majority through a new tactic. That is, propaganda via social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. And, social media will play a great role to influence this generation. As it is, we can see various pages on facebook depicting the various faults of one party, or the aspirations and promises of another. Various edited photographs are circling around to discredit the current leaders and highlighting them in negative lights, while putting forward the contenders of the upcoming elections in the spotlight as saviors.
Is this a good strategy?
Yes, indeed! Youth of today spend most of their time on online networking sites through their laptops or smart phones. And as such are exposed to such cant elements. This definitely influences their choice and makes them reconsider that yes, if so many people are saying something, they must be correct. If someone is told the same thing again and again, they will after some time, start to consider it the truth.
A unique way to win over the country.
The 2014 elections are unique in this sense that this is the first time a new platform is used to target an audience that in general does not care about the country politics and is not interested in it. But, in the social networking sites, the political ideas are wrapped up in humor, colors and half truths that appeal to the public. People are encouraged to vote and influenced whom to vote for. This is a complex game that the PR managers of the political parties are playing correctly, if the many heated discussion on facebook pages is any indication.
Of course the fights on battle grounds such a television shows, newspapers, public arenas is going on. But the fight has also managed to infiltrate the virtual world. In some ways, social media will play even a bigger role than rest. As the older generation is tired and experienced in the ways of politics and politicians, the youth will be a major deciding factor in the upcoming battle. And they are already influenced by the propaganda going on throughout the country which is specifically crafted to win over the youth.
What a show business!
Truly it seems like our politics is not less than a show business. The 2014 elections are indeed much awaited. As it remains to be seen whether social media can influence the fate of a country.