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Commercial Advertising Instead Of Strong Political Manifestos: Can We See Through Them?

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By Pushpit Sinha:

Open the morning newspaper, switch to any TV channel, log on to any social site like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. and you’ll find pop ups, promoted videos and pushed/forced advertisements of “Har haath shakti; Har haath tarakki” and “Ab ki bar Modi Sarkar”; irrelevant, insignificant recorded messages from faces of major political parties wooing us for our votes. As if this wasn’t enough they even penetrate into our lives by decorating the whole city and highways with their party colours as if they were their drawing rooms and that they have owned the streets and roads. Look anywhere and you’ll find tons of examples of propaganda, brainwashing, agenda-setting, frame-building and so on. This propaganda has gained so much importance that issuing manifestos for the general public is probably the last thing on their minds. Therefore, we see manifestos being published on the day polling had already started. Don’t we really need to read these well in advance in order to form our opinion and cast our votes? Well, they probably don’t think so.

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My concern here is not to question the parties about their party funding or the sudden growth of the INR. It is an accepted fact now that even if you question them by filing an RTI application you won’t get a reply. Even a high court finding won’t deter their ambitions. This is the state of our so-called Republican form of Government. Take this article in The Hindu, for example. They don’t consider themselves accountable to us by any sense. Then what is this all about if we can’t ask their source of funding? What I’m trying to propose is a step ahead of this. I’m going to talk about bringing a change in the whole system of this fake over-the-top propaganda.

1. Why do we need full page advertisements and TV commercials to frame our opinion? Shouldn’t their work be their only advertisement? Why don’t they debate on our issues and then ask for our votes? All such advertisements and propaganda must be banned and made illegal. There should be independent annual appraisal audits of the work performed by the parties comparing them with the promises made in their manifestos and the same report should be uploaded on Election Commission’s website, and not on the party’s website, for our viewing. In that way their work will talk for them and their manifestos will become of utmost importance to them. Framing and issuance of manifestos will be taken more seriously then.

2. All corporate funding must be banned. Parties must accept funds only from individuals and that too in every form but hard cash. This will ensure and promote more accountability and transparency. They will be more inclined towards working for us rather than pleasing and favouring certain selected corporate houses only.

3. All media houses and news channels must disclose the names of their promoters and the shareholding pattern because the nation wants to know. How can you scream of being independent and fair and yet run BJP/Congress commercials in your breaks? The nation wants to know why you telecast full political rallies with a running ticker “Video source: Congress/BJP” and blackout a person who legitimately questions your independence and fairness? It’s a well-accepted fact that there can’t be any wave without media coverage and propaganda.

Let us ask this question to ourselves. Are we really that dumb that political parties will influence our votes by just doing window dressing and fake propaganda? Is the youth of this country in such ignorance and apathy that they’ll attend and promote any political rally for a few hundred rupees? We are being exploited by them. Couldn’t each starving child of this country be fed by the amount which is instead being spent on creating fake waves and agendas? Think and ask yourself.

You must be to comment.
  1. Rhythm Sachdeva

    Rahul Gandhi has spent 500 crore in the recent elections just to bolster his public image. My question is does this act of his has really improved his image or has degraded it?

    1. Pushpit (@actually_PS)

      Dear Rhythm the question here is not whether the Rs. 500 crores spending improved his public image or not. The point here is how can ECI even allow such spending for publicizing yourself. It’s such a ridiculous way of spending the tax payer’s hard earned money. Public image is improved only by living with & for the public at large.

  2. saumya

    awesome article….worth reading but more than reading people should understand the crux and should actually ask them the questions written in the end. but unfortunately the youth of the country is busy in boozing that they dont even bother know the facts behind the scene. its pathetic that i even know the people who are unaware of Delhi CM’s resignation and fall under the bracket of so called “potential youth of the country”. what can you expect from this lot. if they dont see the advt i am afraid the youth can tell you the name of parties forget about their work.

    1. Pushpit (@actually_PS)

      The youth of this country will waste no time in rating a recently visited place/restaurant on Facebook but will never bother to rate their own MP/MLA as for us it makes perfect sense to spend Crores of Rupees on advertising to inform people that you want to get rid of poverty. Because who wants logic? Jo TV pe zyada dikh raha hai wohi acha hai for us.
      And very few people understand the modus-operandi behind this corporate funding. It’s just a profit making venture for the private companies as investment in a project is made only when profits/gains are expected in future. A political party favoring a corporate house when it comes to power is the best return/gain that anyone would expect. Coming back to this extravagant unaccounted spending on self-advertisement by major political parties, sadly this amount will be recovered only from us, the general “aam” public after the party comes to power. So by any means and sense “acche din NAHI aane wale hai.”

  3. Pushpit (@actually_PS)

    The youth of this country will waste no time in rating a recently visited place/restaurant on Facebook but will never bother to rate their own MP/MLA as for us it makes perfect sense to spend Crores of Rupees on advertising to inform people that you want to get rid of poverty. Because who wants logic? Jo TV pe zyada dikh raha hai wohi acha hai for us.
    And very few people understand the modus-operandi behind this corporate funding. It’s just a profit making venture for the private companies as investment in a project is made only when profits/gains are expected in future. A political party favoring a corporate house when it comes to power is the best return/gain that anyone would expect. Coming back to this extravagant unaccounted spending on self-advertisement by major political parties, sadly this amount will be recovered only from us, the general “aam” public after the party comes to power. So by any means and sense “acche din NAHI aane wale hai.”

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