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This is how technology influenced planet’s largest ever democratic exercise, the Indian elections

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India recently conducted the largest democratic elections with over 800 million voters, that the planet has ever witnessed. While the world media had a rubberneck on the whole of the dance of our democracy, the Indian media has been busy over declaring the Prime Minister well before the results and trying to woo their to-be “master”!

Meanwhile, we have no intention of adumbrating over the next PM of India, what interests us is the other thing for which this election will be going down in history (and no, it is not the dirty and loose talks of politicians)- it is the use of Technology!

This was the biggest democratic exercise ever conducted on our planet, and the use of technology in it, was also one of the rarest, and the biggest ever done.

With over 49 million impressions on Twitter related to Indian Elections (which is more than double of the total Indian Twitter users) to the sponsored advertisements and posts on Facebook, Google etc. the social media giants have fuelled the election campaign like never before. With Aam Aadmi Party being the frontrunner in the positive use of social media impressions without any expenditure, it lead to another parties suddenly becoming active after Delhi Assembly Elections.

Nothing much left to say about BJP, which has created a Modi wave in every possible way and on every possible platform, so much so that Narendra Modi might haunt your dreams saying “Abki Baar…”
Moreover, Congress which never had an online presence and infact talked about senseless social media censorship, was also seen fighting it out in the web-battle of more followers. The social media battle ranged from Twitter trends like #KejriwalkiKashi to #NaMoinVaranasi making it almost impossible to actually predict the youth swing.

The use of technology in 3D hologram rallies of Narendra Modi addressing over 100 places at a time was something never seen before in global politics and something hailed by NY Times, America et al. The expense and source of the same remains a debatable topic and I would not get in the same. But at the same time, the creativity in the campaign cannot be denied. Another feature of Narendra Modi campaign that cannot be skipped was “chai pe charcha” where he used the medium of satellites, DTH and internet to connect with groups of voters spread in remote areas.

All the parties aimed at a wider youth engagement and connecting people through use of technology and social media.

With personal Holi messages from Narendra Modi on Twitter and personalized automated replied from the handle of BJPIndia, the social media blitz was unprecedented in Indian Lok Sabha Elections 2014. However, the contribution of AAP in bringing this change in Indian Politics cannot be undermined, where the personal connectivity of leaders with the people gave a positive outcome.

Moreover “Call varanasi” and “call Amethi” campaign of AAP was an innovative technique of engaging supporters worldwide to help the leaders by calling the voters of these two cities and convincing them to vote for AAP.

In absence of a credible media and in a time where media is losing its accountability and trust, social media was seen as a fair means of promotion and reaching out to people.

While NaMo rhetoric claimed an inclusive development in the country, Arvind Kejriwal’s tall claims of eradicating corruption and even cleansing of Ganga in a technologically sound way, seem to be the decisive fronts in this election.

May 16 is going to decide the fate of the country and its future. This election has proved to be a blessing was numerous PR agencies, Indian wings of  social media giants and outsourcing industry. Hail Democracy! 🙂

Image by Flickr user Ben Sutherland under CC 2.0 License


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