2019 elections are just months away and all political parties have been bracing themselves for the mega elections of the world’s largest democracy, which will probably have the world’s largest population voting for a democratic government. The fervour and intensity of days to come can already be seen in India’s political and media climate. While PM Modi began the New Year with a 95-minute long interview to one of the largest news agencies in the country, which is still being talked over, opposition parties have also upped their game, attacking the government and propagating their claims with a renewed vigour.
This is the digital era and election campaigns are led as much in the rallies and roadshows as in digital platforms. Over the years the number of Indians using and depending upon digital media content or their entertainment and information has only increased, and hence, digital media campaigns are going to be even more important for any political party.
The 2014 elections saw the BJP emerging as one of the foremost parties to run a well-organized digital media campaign. Apart from the party machinery that had roped in IT experts to plan, manage and execute their digital and social media game in during the campaigning days, there was also a significant group of volunteers that worked day and night to ensure BJP’s victory.
A group of volunteers took charge of not only taking the BJP’s and Narendra Modi’s message to a larger audience, but it also played a very important role in countering the one-sided media narrative that has been set by the ruling Congress and the elite leftist Lutyens circle.
The volunteers, who are not official BJP workers or party members but mostly professionals in various fields with a wide range of careers like IT experts, software engineers, CAs, entrepreneurs, lawyers and management professionals, helped in running a massive social and digital media campaign that eventually saw BJP winning with an overwhelming mandate and Narendra Modi taking charge as the much awaited prime minister of India.
In the 4.5 years since the 2014 elections, the volunteers have taken on the mantle of what is generally known as the ‘Right Wing’ on social media platforms. They have discussed and analysed issues, critiqued the Modi government when it seemed lacking in effort or execution and played a significant role in calling out the hypocrisy of the self-proclaimed ‘secular liberal’ cabal that had shamelessly whitewashed the crimes of the Congress rule over the six decades and had carried out a slow but vicious war of twisted narratives and false propaganda against the Indic civilisational identity.
As the 2019 elections loom close and the socio-political scenario in the country is again heating up, the volunteers have again gathered together in support of PM Modi. In tunes of the massively successful slogan of 2014, Ab Ki Baar, Modi Sarkar, the group has launched their campaign with a reverberating #ModiOnceMore.
Friends, it’s time to come together again, for India to continue on it’s path of development.Let’s unite to fight the good fight & ensure Modi Once More.I pledge my support to volunteer for NaMo and I nominate @iMac_too @c_aashish @Cawnporiah_ @alok_bhatt to pledge their support pic.twitter.com/5w2yzQNEKH
— Anurag Dixit (@bhootnath) January 3, 2019
The hashtag was trended among the topmost yesterday. After PM Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and almost all BJP leaders endorsed it, it was one of the most widely circulated trends yesterday. The entire ‘Right Wing’ of social media, seems to have risen up to the occasion, forgetting their occasional disagreements and differences of opinions, to support PM Modi for the 2019 general elections. There are also groups of NRIs who have started a campaign of their own to bring PM Modi in power again.
Our party is blessed to have the support of such hard-working volunteers.
My best wishes to everyone. Happy volunteering 🙂https://t.co/Vo5PaLEWzK
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 3, 2019
Apart from the group that focuses on information-rich social media campaigns to negate the malicious propaganda being run by the opposition and their media stooges, there also exists a support base of BJP and PM Modi that appeals to the rural masses in Indian villages. The rural population base is more tilted towards Whatsapp and youtube, rather than Twitter and Facebook and there is a plethora of YouTube videos, popular songs and audio-visual messages that is taking the Modi wave to the masses.
With the advent of PM Modi taking charge of the country, the entire ‘Hindutva’ narrative too, has taken a massive surge in social media platforms. There were numerous songs, videos, and messages speaking of the Hindu cause that have been immensely popularised among the masses. There are also meme pages, blogs, poems and speeches, artworks and even T-shirts that have enjoyed so much popularity that it can be safely said that social media in India has witnessed a Hindu Renaissance of its own.
These songs and videos are based on themes popular in social media. For example, there was a video that went viral a couple of months ago where a young girl proclaims that she has eloped with her boyfriend on her own will and would rather live a life of poverty with the love of her life than endure the restrictions her family subjects her to. Her style of speech and her preference of ‘Nun-Roti’ gained wild popularity on social media.
Some regional artists have made a song based on the ‘Nun-Roti’ theme. The lyrics of the song, mixed with the popular ‘Theek Hai’, proclaim that even if they have to survive on ‘Nun Roti’ they will make sure BJP wins. The song, shared by ApanMusic and sung by a popular singer named Lalu Sajan, has many versions and millions of views on YouTube.
Another version of the song, with the colloquial ‘Theek Hai’ and adorned with doses of innovative Bhojpuri rap is doing rounds on social media too.
Thik Hain ? pic.twitter.com/MT5IwXnGdj
— Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) January 3, 2019
After 2014, almost all political parties have realised the power and reach of social media in the country. Statistical reports say that by 2019, India is going to have 258.27 million social media users. With PM Modi’s Digital India push and Reliance Jio ushering the age of affordable fast internet in every region of India, more and more Indians are now active on social media. An effective, focused and powerful campaign is bound to capture the attention of Indians.