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Campaigners = Cheerleaders
Money spinning politicians have become promotional machines
If election is termed as a sport then campaigners would surely be cheerleaders. Election campaign is turning out to be the most glamorous part of modern election exercises in India. Political parties go left, right and centre to cash on to their campaigns and let no opportunity go by to praise them. The whole trend of expensive and extensive campaigning started after BJP’s India Shining campaign.
This year newspapers were filled with advertisements from ministries of health, social justice, food processing, science and technology, commerce and human resource developments. Each state government too gave full page advertisements boasting about their achievements in leading dailies. Be it about some half-completed flyovers or some airport developments or even gloomy 2010 Commonwealth Games, incumbents bluntly took credit for everything. A whopping $40 million was spent on the “Bharat Nirman” pre-election campaign by UPA while the BJP invested $70 million on Advani’s campaigning alone. As if these tangible forms of campaigning were not enough to redefine the definition of election campaign then few ministers went ahead and made futile and controversial promises as well. Vilasrao Deshmukh assured Muslims that the Government would give them preference in police jobs. The campaigns further saw promotion in all possible ways, be it through creating interactive web sites, re-composing famous songs or even calling in stars and celebrities to perform and even dance. The whole pomp and show of election is never less than any Bollywood star-studded event. And why not? With everything getting commercialised, how can one even think that election campaigns will remain a mere road show? Keep watching, there’s more to come.
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