By Artika Raj:
A little birdie (shaped like a newspaper) tells us that the BJP is going to go all out in the battle for the Capital, and the latest in the ‘Mission – 60’ is the idea to launch a dedicated BJP Call Centre to get voter feedback. Smart idea that, and one that our Election Commission put to good use when it came down to receiving election related complaints back in 2012. As Delhi gets set to go into elections next year, each party, with brooms and without, is going all out to sweep the voters off their feet. Youth Ki Awaaz manages to catch the man-of-the-hour, the State President of BJP in Delhi, Mr. Satish Upadhyay himself, running in-between meetings as we imagine, to confirm these unconfirmed reports and tell us more.
Reader alert: We swear we’re upto no good and our questions here are possibly not what Mr. Upadhyay heard. His answers of course are sacrosanct. You the readers are smart enough to figure.
Matlab of course there is no end to how much feedback a Dilliwala can give, but why the need for yet another feedback mechanism, kuch alag?
“Currently, we have a website where we take feedback from people, about their point of view regarding the various problems in Delhi, and we’re of course getting feedback directly from people. But soon we’re going to start with a call centre where people will be asked about their problems. Not just that, we will use it to call people and inform them of the party view, interact with them and to establish a two-way communication. That is the main purpose behind it.”
Humaari madhur vaani jaayegi kahan, where will this feedback go?
“Voter feedback will go into the making of our manifesto, reflecting the people’s point of view on various problems and what they are saying about it. We will use that as input”.
Election khatam toh phone line khatam? What else will the friendly folk at the BJP Call Centre be able to do?
“See, this call centre will have multiple uses. Abhi isse hum use karenge for our membership campaign… the membership drive that is on right now. After that, with the election in mind, we’ll use it for messaging purposes, to encourage interaction and feedback etc.”
You were the DUSU Vice-President once upon a time. So you know we guys are important, right?
“The youth are very important to us. Approximately 40% of the population is youth. What they need in Delhi, what they want… that Delhi should have more colleges, increasing the number of wi-fi zones… there are a whole lot of things that we’re going to come up with in the manifesto.”
We’re the Smart generation, like bhaari type smart. We have everything on our fingertips. Is politics getting smarter too by harnessing the digital media?
“Definitely. Digital Media ka ek bada role iss sare election system mein aa gaya hai. Whether it be WhatsApp, through websites or SMS or Twitter or Facebook for that matter… indeed a big role is being played by the digital media because bahut quick hai. Especially something like WhatsApp where you don’t even have to pay any money, which makes it all the more easier for people, and people use it.”
Of course, for those of you who are not completely in love with the idea of yet another phone call disturbing your afternoon siesta, TRAI ka jugaad hai na! All ye of little faith in the power of feedback need to do is dial 1909 and register with the National Customer Preference Registry. You can block unwanted calls either partially or completely, depending on whether you’d like to hear from specific kind of people. The whole thing can take a couple of days to come into effect and to find out more you’d be better of visiting the TRAI website. Meanwhile, we wait. As the Delhi face-off gets ready to go down, we wait and we watch.