Close to Rs.5000Cr. is going to be gutted in election campaign by BJP & Congress in these ongoing legislative elections… it doesn’t matter who elevates to power, their top most priority will be to mint at least 100 times of what they have spent… - Jer
“Till last-minute air-sealed declaration of tickets from BJP and Congress best explains the falling loyalty factor among party-men. Politicians are no longer loyal to their own political parties as they used to be in the past. The emerging form of presidential (i.e. not federal) elections and necessity of service politics has forced-abandoned the ideology driven political leadership. If we compare political loyalty with product loyalty, whatever remains in hand is not an electoral politics but just an art of marketing. Leaders acts like some middle level managers of corporate companies. Even, these political parties these days routinely perform internal selling and external sales. Distribution of ticket is like; IPL bidding and contesting election has become as entertaining as IPLS matches. Branding is all it takes…
With rise of middle class… consumerism has become the single most public satisfaction. People care less about ideologies and long-term repercussions of their political choices. All they care, is what political parties can commit and deliver right on time. They are not sensitized about who, how and at what cost the committed services are being delivered; all they care is to measure the gap between commitment and delivery. At least in public discourse, these things are placed prominently, however, this is not a sufficient reason to decide whom to vote! So… if a voter can be managed as like a consumer then election management is merely two things. One, data analytics and two CRM (Customer Relationship Management). That means, a sales and marketing department of any corporate is enough for any political party to win an elections weather or not that party deserves any win. Which means, electoral politics has reduced at the level of a tele-shopping… where impulse buying and forced purchase are the norms of business.
Ambush marketing as a tool which was consumed to its maximum in 2014 general election is getting better yet delusive as much it is coming into routine practice. Whatever new BJP has brought to Indian politics is being adopted by new age congress. It is like Hit Refresh moment of Congress same as Satya Nadella moment of Microsoft. The fiercest weapons of BJP are now being used by Congress. For example, the advertisement stunts and free flow of liquid cash in promoting political propaganda etc. congress is adopting it to score over BJP. The advertisings of BJP and Congress are designed by the agencies master in designing FMCG ads. These ads sound more like selling Potato Chips, Health Drinks or Insurance Policies. Not an iota they sound like delivering any commitment from a statesman to its people. The aesthetics and narration of these ads exhibit real life characters in most superficial ways. Any sane consumer of ads can easily judge the intent and falsification of it. Even after spending millions, these promotions fail to sensitize people. These ads are far less impactful when compared to the hoax machines being run by the paid trolls from the IT cells of these billion-dollar political parties.
In the chat box public discourse, information spread by trolls and hoax machines gets more screen time than these ads. Social media trolling is rheostat instrument to gauge what kind of advertisement will work to woo voters. During one of my political campaign tours, I encountered with an 80-year-old villager somewhere from Amarpatan Vidhansabha of Madhya Pradesh. He had explained to me something any voter can easily figure out. He said “It doesn’t matter how tall these politicians commit or how emotional their ads are… since they spend millions in advertisement, they will only plunder our homes after winning.
“There is no free lunch in this world…” said another old man “… if they are spending millions in promotions, they will make billions once they assume power!”. People are extremely convinced that these politicians will never walk the talk. In these four state legislative elections, close to 5000Cr. Rupees is going to be gutted in various campaign and strategic events by these two political parties… so, it doesn’t matter who accedes to power, their top most priority will be to mint at least 100 times of what they have spent in fighting election. Worthless to say that people welfare is anywhere in their agenda.
Democracy used to be an event of people, by people and for people. After, IT revolution, it is all about by statistical analysis, for profit of investors and by street smart event managers. Advent of IT in election management has discredited the idea of secrete voting rights. It is now easily computable, which house of which street has voted to whom. The micro-management of voter’s data has enabled these political parties to link voter IDs, Mobile Numbers and their political preference into a single database.
Now days, prediction of who will vote whom has become a simple computer command. When Facebook and Google, with the help of AI, are able to suggest their respective users about which underwear one should wear and/or which perfume one should use, it hardly surprises that voter’s preferences can be deduced just by coding few lines of algorithms.
It is high time that election commission of India, implements some radical reforms. One, regulate online spending in campaigning. Two, reorganization of booth system, because a booth contains only 1000 to 1200 votes which is hardly 250 to 300 houses of a locality. With computer, it is very easy to figure out who voted to whom and thus endangers the life of a voter and tosses away the idea of universal adult franchise.