DailyPost 2739

The current Lok Sabha elections are by far been the most awaited elections in recent times. The wait has been on for at least 18 months, with things being prepared, oriented and talked about in the same manner. With few years of Covid and one and half years of preparation, how much and how well, the electorate took the center stage in the last five years of governance is anyone’s guess. The state governments added to the woes already on the platter. It has been told that the leaders, elected representatives have to bit dust during elections, get into real India, face insurmountable challenges in the dust and heat to come our victorious. Now no more.

Social media transformed it all more than a decade back. Fast forward to today it is reel to surreal. Political strategists added a new dimension to the already muck ridden elections. One they did not come for free and secondly; they came with a huge bandwagon with a hefty price. A supposedly modern team, which had nothing to do with the Indian reality, election outcome or governance, took over the war rooms, as they say. Gloss and glamour were added to dusty, badly lit, shabbily worn, ramshackle India. Desi style highly priced ongoing election rock concert.

IT descended to the political parties, known as IT team. Venomous in normal times, they could not stop spewing blood during elections. As if the election battlefield was devoid of content, narrative and facts to be attended, they created content, did all surreal research to emotional drama, brought them out into sleek expressions of videos, audio, posters, banners, social media, radio and TV adds and what not. Killer ads have hit the screen already. Make believe icons could be easily created and so could their accomplishments, achievements and stories. A multimedia presentation. FMCG culture in the blitzkrieg mode. No population can manage carpet bombing, but the Indian electorate has been managing it election after election in recent times.

One TV show talks of political stock exchange, use of data analytics at best ephemeral. Someone carries election on the plate. Media festivity and huge money. Lots who nothing to do with politics and governance are made candidates. Winnability is in. Chartered flights to address the poor and downtrodden, keep calling them matured and make hay while the sun shines. Criminality is never talked about at one end of the spectrum and at the other end everyone is mum about the use of black money in elections. Some white or black no one knows, till declared illegal. Talk of real governance, parameterized, is a straight no. National Election Debate on any topic again straight No. What have the electorate gained with every passing election, while every other stakeholder has reaped a bountiful harvest? Forcing the electorate to feel surreal while he delivers the real vote is the election game.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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