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1. Politics begin to interest you more and you start keeping track. Unless you were a hardcore political lover from the beginning, admit it, this is a new found interest for you.  You start following news articles and watch channels to keep updated on the latest issues and finally understand what all the ministers are there for. Having likeminded or people with the same interests as yours (talking about classmates and department people here) you get a chance to discuss all the information you have digested, form your own opinions about them and grow your knowledge about the state of politics in the nation and around the world. On the other hand, if you had consciously chosen political science and have already been doing all the above since you could understand news, then you have probably developed a wider understanding of the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ of the polity.

2. You learn to think critically of every issue that you come across.

One of the benefits of studying the subject is that you learn to develop a critical mindset. You do not willingly accept everything that you hear and learn to question every policy or programme put forward by an authority whether it be the college political party’s or the governments’. Repeated practice of putting up debates or counter debates in class lectures helps polish this line of thinking.

3. People assume you know the Constitution of the country like the back of your hand.

Yes, we are students of political science and no, we do not know the constitution by heart. It is not necessary that we know each and every law there is out there.  It has been in my experience that people have asked me numerous times what certain laws and rights are. Although I have been more than happy to give them a satisfactory answer (and at times blank looks) all knowledge about rights and regulations are not always on the tip of our tongue.

4. “Political Science? Oh so you are joining the civil services!”

This happens more than a lot. Maybe not just for Pol. Science students but it’s a definitely for us. Sometimes there is not even an ‘if’, just a “Have you started preparing?”. Although once in class almost everybody raised their hands when the teacher asked for civil service aspirants, it does not hold true for all. It is no secret that many of us have taken major in this subject because it was the best option for us given our percentage. Pol. Science is not just a stepping stone to conquering the UPSC exams. I have seen many students who are more interested in other activities like photography or doing social service. It is just one of the many assumptions that we have to deal with.

5. You slowly develop your own political philosophy and your set of beliefs about the world.

Reading about Marx, Kant, the works of Mill and other thinkers of the political world and their ideologies, beliefs and theories puts before us a plethora of conceptions to go through. At times we find ourselves agreeing with some and at sometimes not so much. Over time, as we articulate our thoughts and views we find them parallel to the views of some other thinker. And as such, slowly we develop our own ideologies, political or otherwise. Political Science as a subject can be really challenging and given the vast nature of the subject, sometimes it may seem like an impossible feat. Even for the subject lovers who might at times be daunted by the vastness of the course, the circling conceptions and debates which do not have definite answers. But at the end of the day, it helps us see the world in a different light and with a new found understanding which is worth it. Featured image credits: www.itimes.com Arindam Goswami [email protected]]]>

The boy looked into his mother’s eyes, silently pleading. This was where he was from, but he did not want to grow up here. He did not want to fill his father’s shoes. He did not want to lead the life laid out for him. He wanted to grow up and get the world. He wanted to make his mother proud. But..

He would grow up to be a rapist.

He was born in a village, in one of the many villages of India. The name did not matter. They were all the same. The men ruled, earned the food, selected the breads and decided the layout of the plate. The women veiled their faces, cleaned the houses and laid the plates. From the very start, he was taught that he was to be the man of the house- the one in charge. He often listened to his mother, but ultimately did what his father said. He did not understand this skewed dynamic. His father came in and out at odd hours and no one seemed to raise a finger.

As he grew up, he somehow adjusted to this implied understanding of the sexes. The men decided the rules and the women played by it. When they didn’t, the men forced themselves on the women and no one batted an eye.

It never changed.

Men had an innate power, supremacy. They danced to their own tunes, listened to their own demons and satisfied their insatiable hunger.

It wasn’t his fault really. He was born in a system where men could do anything. He was born in a system where the very runners of the system discarded women as objects of chained will. If a woman does not agree, rape her and if she had any physical connections before marriage, hang her. An alleged rape was garbed as a relationship gone wrong. Hence, the woman was now trying to avenge her petty self by asking for a death sentence to a man who forced her to have sex with her. Boys will be boys, they say. Men will be men. And women? Well, they can be whomever they want to. As long as the men rule, they will end up being nothing.

And just when this asphyxiated landscape began changing colors, it was dragged right back into the abyss of depravity. The very public and downright insulting and ridiculous remarks by Abu Azmi and Mulayam Singh Yadav are testimony to the illusion that we all perceived as progress. Our society is still as dolled up with the salacious paint of inhumanity.

And so, the boy, now a man ended up in the same system. In the sad excuse for a life that he led, he raped three women, impregnated one, married another and spent the last leg of his miserable life condemning rape victims and upholding the frivolous and instinct driven nature of men. He could have been so much more. But he grew up to be a rapist.

Lok Sabha Elections 2014 are here. The voting  scheduled to take place in nine phases throughout the country from April 7th,2014 to May 12th, 2014 has already started. The first phase constituting of 6 of the 543 seats being contested for, saw a voter turnout of a whooping 79.5%. The graph has of course risen and is  a healthy sign for the Mandate 2014.

A mega turn out like this could mean resentment in minds and desire for change in hearts of people. Only as the process unfolds further we shall know, whether this trend continues in the phases to come and if it leads to sustenance of current throne holders or formation of anti incumbent government. However, another aspect to attribute this turnout could be the increasing glamour quotient of election contenders  and an upsurge in technology driven promotion.

As glamour embraces politics!

Indian politics is no longer what it used to be decades ago. Nor is the image of Indian ‘neta’ same any longer. The white kurta dhoti guy with specs resting on his nose and hands resting on his round belly, wearing a Nehru jacket and a Gandhi topi atop his head ceases to exist in real and is only to be found in works of fiction.  Indian leaders today are dynamic,brand conscious,completely informed, well dressed and nowhere less as the demarcating line between politics and glamour industry is gradually disappearing.

Bollywood celebrities like Dharmendra Deol, Hema Malini and Late Sunil Dutt have been into politics for decades.  This year too,  numerous Bollywood celebrities are looking for a decent second innings in politics. Kirron Kher (BJP Chandigarh), MNS candidate Mahesh Manjrekar, Samaajwadi Party’s Kamaal Rashid Khan, BJP’s Smriti Z. Irani (from Amethi) and Paresh Rawal (from East Ahemdabad) are some of such names who’ve been a part of the glitzy industry and now wish to serve the people. In addition Congress is also fielding veteran actors such as Ravi Kishan, Aparijata Mohanty and Nagma as contenders from their party.

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Also, 2014 elections witnessed an inflow of young and fresh blood into the system with numerous ticket receivers being representatives of the youth of the nation. Gul Panag (AAP Chandigarh), Babul Supriyo( BJP West Bengal),  TMC’s actor Indraneil Sengupta,  AAP’s Jaaved Jaaferi and Rashtriya Aam Party’s Rakhi Sawant are few famous people to name. The list isn’t just limited to Bollywood  but also famous sports personalities like former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif, famous footballer Baichung Bhutia and magician P.C. Sorcar Jr. are also contesting Lok Sabha 2014 polls.

As the glamour quotient of politicians is rising,  India is eventually having leaders with better personalities and perspectives. Also, the celebrities have their own fan base, which helps them  to garner support in this new arena. The goodwill of celebrities comes handy for the party too, and as people have seen them and heard of them, the celebrities eventually have an advantage over their fellow contenders who are relatively unknown. In the elections of 2014 too, some celebrity seats like Amethi shall be interesting to keep an eye on.

In Social Media’s Ambit

The Lok Sabha Elections 2014 are the first ones to come after internet, smart phones and social networking sites like Facebook & Twitter have become household names and their updates have become the topic of dinner table discussions. No matter any other industry has or has not, but politicians have very well exhausted this unique methodology to reach out to the people at relative ease and cost efficiency. All major politicians and parties have launched their Facebook pages and Twitter handles that keep the party supporters and public updated on movements and activities of their leaders.

Arvind Kejriwal, who is being considered the pioneer of this new trend, has used it smartly enough, that within few years of its formation and function, the party tops the Twitter followers list, leaving behind the traditional twin parties – INC & BJP.

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 AAP tops the list in popularity ratings based on Twitter followers of the three major parties in India.         

This can be attributed to Kejriwal’s spontaneity with updates and posts, leaders’ humorous twitter conversations and patience of accepting sportingly even the negative most regards and gestures with utmost grace. He was also seen engaging in a conversation with the attacker, an auto driver Lali who allegedly slapped him in his rally. The video footage have been posted online, pictures uploaded on Facebook, indeed the best way of social media marketing.

Arvind Kejriwal tweeted a parody song made to mock his frequent staging of Dharnas, refering to it as an ‘interesting song’ on February 16th, 2014.

Numerous social media websites like Facebook & Twitter have been carrying out surveys and online opinion polls to provide insights into what voters feel.  Facebook has been showcasing leading parties and candidates status at a glance, while Twitter is running ‘#ElectionTracker2014‘. Another social media platform, Social Samosa, is carrying out another election tracking mechanism that shows politician popularity in terms of positive/negative mentions on Twitter/ Web for voters to judge

Another interesting trend observed in terms of unofficial online promotion, has been of the ‘Norinder Mudi’ memes, that combines random lines with the jingle ab ki baar, Modi sarkar. The idea has gone viral, and off late, similar memes on Arvind Kejriwal have also begun to circulate in social networking circles.

Image Courtesy: Facebook Page 'Norinder Mudi'

 

Not only has social media eased the way of reaching the masses, it has also led to some tiffs, jibes and cold wars among competitors. The recent Kirron Kher – Gul Panag face off on micro blogging website – Twitter has been an example of the same.

Thus in all, the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, have been different in all terms, from participation to promotion. The trend till date is encouraging, and it is hoped to continue, for Democracy is a religion, elections are the festivals, wherein everyone is supposed to celebrate and participate. Don’t merely exist, make your say count, make a difference, for there is ample information available,  in news dailies and on TV, on radios and with experienced people, and now even at  a distance of a few clicks.

Make an informed well thought upon call. I am a first timer like you, but trust me, that ink mark on my finger, I think it’ll all feel good. Happy Elections!

Every political process comes with a set of questions. On the 7th of April, the country went on for what is being labeled as the biggest general elections in Indian history. While on one hand, experienced players such as Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC) are battling at the forefront, a newly formed Aam Aadmi Party is also claiming to bring in notions of change. In the previous general elections, the total voter turn out was 57 percent and only 12 percent of the youth made it to the polling booths.

 

In this context, we went around the campus for MTV India’s Rock the Vote campaign to understand how much Delhi University students know about this political process everyone is talking about – the Lok Sabha elections. Before the the city goes for polling on 10th April, we felt there were few questions that should be answered, few concerns that should be resolved. In order to make sure you use your vote to the best of your ability, this post is all you need.

How many seats are there in the Lok Sabha?

The maximum strength of the Lok Sabha as envisaged by the Constitution is 552 – upto 530 members to represent the States, up to 20 members to represent the Union Territories and not more than two members of the Anglo-Indian Community to be nominated by the President, if,  in his opinion, that community is not adequately represented in the House. However, the present composition of the Lok Sabha has 545 seats, with 543 open to elections and two seats up for nominations by the President.

How many constituencies are there in Delhi?

Delhi has a total of 70 constituencies in the Vidhan Sabha and 7 constituencies in the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha elections taking place on 10th April, 2014 will witness elections taking place for the seven Lok Sabha seats in question.

Who is standing for elections in your constituency?

With NCT Delhi being divided in seven constituencies, it is important for a voter to know who is standing in their constituency before you vote. Here is a list of all the candidates standing in different constituencies. In order to know more about a candidate (including their financial assets), just click on their name.

Note: All data regarding the contesting candidates is sourced from Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR)’s portal – myneta.info.

[tabgroup][tab title=”East Delhi”]

Candidate

Party

Criminal Cases

Education

Age

Arun Thakur Samyak Parivartan Party 0 12th Pass 39
Deepak Kumar IND 0 12th Pass 31
Dr. Nabhit Kapur Naya Daur Party 0 Doctorate 26
Jagannath Tiwari IND 0 12th Pass 39
Jai Ram Lal JKNPP 0 10th Pass 79
Kumar Vivek Gautam IND 0 Graduate 32
Mahesh Giri BJP 1 10th Pass 39
Manjeet Singh IND 0 Graduate Professional 26
Manju Chhibber RPI(A) 0 Graduate 58
Mohammad Shakeel Saifi BSP 1 Literate 42
Mohammed Naeem IND 1 10th Pass 37
Mohd Naseer Peace Party 0 8th Pass 39
Mohd Shahid Siddiqui AITC 0 12th Pass 51
Ompal Singh Kalyankari Jantantrik Party 0 Graduate 44
Padam Chand IND 0 10th Pass 61
Praveen Kumar Bhartiya Jan Manch 0 8th Pass 33
Prem Singh Socialist Party (India) 0 Doctorate 57
Rajesh Ambedkar National Congress 0 Graduate 45
Rajmohan Gandhi AAP 0 Post Graduate 78
Ram Briksh Mall Hindusthan Nirman Dal 0 Post Graduate 58
Sandeep Dikshit INC 0 Post Graduate 49
Shakeel Ahmed Jai Maha Bharath Party 0 12th Pass 32
Virendra Mayer Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya) 0 Graduate 60

[/tab] [tab title=”West Delhi”]

Candidate

Party

Criminal Cases

Education

Age

Babu Singh Dukhiya IND 1 Graduate 57
Charan Jeet Singh AIFB 0 Post Graduate 46
Deepak Kumar Rashtriya Janadhikar Party 0 8th Pass 30
Dinesh Kumar Akhand Bharat Samaj Party 0 10th Pass 34
Har Gobind Arora SHS 1 12th Pass 42
Istak Khan IND 0 5th Pass 38
Jarnail Singh AAP 0 Post Graduate 41
Jarnail Singh S/O Gurbax Singh IND 0 8th Pass 59
Jarnail Singh S/O Rajinder Singh IND 0 10th Pass 44
Karam Chand Lathwal Bhartiya Pragatisheel Congress 0 Post Graduate 48
Mahabal Mishra INC 1 12th Pass 59
Parvesh Sahib Singh BJP 1 Post Graduate 36
Raj Pal Singh BSP 0 Graduate 51
Rakesh Kumar Bhartiya Janta Dal (Integrated) 0 10th Pass 31
Sunil Sourabh IND 0 Post Graduate 45
Uday Kumar Singh Bahujan Mukti Party 0 12th Pass 31
Virender Mohan Vats IND 0 Graduate 56

[/tab][tab title=”Chandni Chowk”]

Candidate

Party

Criminal Cases

Education

Age

Abdul Amir Amiro IND 0 5th Pass 44
Ajay Kumar Khemka Kalyankari Jantantrik Party 0 Graduate 41
Altaf Husain Bhartiya Janta Dal (Integrated) 0 12th Pass 40
Ashutosh AAP 3 Post Graduate 48
Ashutosh Mudgil IND 0 8th Pass 38
Balram Bari IND 0 8th Pass 47
Bir Singh Soni IND 0 12th Pass 46
Dhan Raj Chauhan Naya Daur Party 0 8th Pass 53
Dildar Hussain Beg IND 0 12th Pass 44
Dr. Harsh Vardhan BJP 2 Post Graduate 59
Dr. Tarun Kumar Vishva Shakti Party 0 Graduate Professional 33
Gagan Rastogi IND 0 Graduate 30
Hariom Sharma AITC 0 10th Pass 49
Jag Mohan Singh Bakshi Atulya Bharat Party 0 12th Pass 54
Jagjeet Singh Bharatiya Gaon Taj Dal 0 10th Pass 0
Kapil Sibal INC 0 Graduate Professional 65
Md Afaq Jai Maha Bharath Party 0 5th Pass 49
Mohd Mursaleem Peace Party 0 12th Pass 39
Musarrat Jahan Rashtriya Janmorcha 0 Graduate 49
Narendra Kr Pandey BSP 0 12th Pass 48
Rashmi Kashyap Bhartiya Pragatisheel Congress 0 10th Pass 55
Sanjay Gandhi Braj Vikas Party 0 12th Pass 0
Surender Singh IND 0 Graduate 42
Tariq Mirza RPI(A) 0 8th Pass 29
Vijay Shankar Chaubey IND 0 12th Pass 42

[/tab] [tab title=”New Delhi”]

Candidate

Party

Criminal Cases

Education

Age

Ajay Makan INC 1 Post Graduate 50
Anjuman Agnihotri IND 0 12th Pass 53
Ashish Khetan AAP 0 Post Graduate 38
Biswajit Ranjit Chatterjee AITC 0 12th Pass 77
Dalchand IND 0 8th Pass 52
Devi Singh Rashtriya Jankranti Party 0 Post Graduate 33
Dheeraj Puri SHS 0 10th Pass 35
Ghanshyam Dass IND 0 10th Pass 57
Harkrishan Das Nijhawan IND 1 12th Pass 50
K P Sankaran Menon IND 0 Doctorate 68
Lakshmi Narayan Bharatiya Bahujan Party 0 8th Pass 46
Lukman Khan IND 2 5th Pass 52
Meena Singla Poorvanchal Rashtriya Congress 0 Graduate 44
Narendra Singh Rawat IND 0 12th Pass 43
Naveen Chandra Naya Daur Party 0 Graduate 40
Nikhil Sablania IND 0 Graduate Professional 34
Padmaja Kandukuri IND 0 Not Given 50
Pradeep Varma Bharat Vishal Party 0 Graduate Professional 49
Ramanuj Patel Samyak Parivartan Party 0 12th Pass 36
Ratheesh IND 0 Graduate 26
Ravi Kumar Gupta IND 0 12th Pass 66
Rubina Khan IND 0 Graduate 27
Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi BJP 0 Graduate Professional 46
Solomon George BSP 0 Post Graduate 50
Sujeet Jha Bhartiya Janta Dal (Integrated) 0 12th Pass 30
Sunita Chaudhary JKNPP 0 10th Pass 36
Swadesh Ohri Atulya Bharat Party 0 12th Pass 72
Ved Prakash IND 0 10th Pass 56
Vishal Khosla IND 0 12th Pass 51

[/tab] [tab title=”North East Delhi”]

Candidate

Party

Criminal Cases

Education

Age

A.K. Aggarwal Agar Jan Party 1 10th Pass 47
Abdul Sami Salmani BSP 0 Others 58
Ali Husan IND 0 5th Pass 40
Amit Kumar Sharma IND 0 Graduate 38
Anand Kumar AAP 0 Doctorate 64
Dan Bahadur Yadav IND 0 Graduate 50
Dharamveer Singh Rashtriya Ekta Party 1 10th Pass 50
Dinesh Pal Singh IND 0 8th Pass 35
H.K. Mahendru IND 0 8th Pass 78
Harsh Kumar IND 0 Graduate Professional 38
Jai Prakash Agarwal INC 0 Graduate 69
Manoj Tiwari BJP 0 Post Graduate 43
Mohd Arif Siddique AITC 0 Illiterate 26
Mohd Hasnan Khan JKNPP 0 5th Pass 33
Mohd. Hasnain IND 2 10th Pass 55
Mukesh Kumar Arora IND 0 Graduate 40
Narendra Sharma SUCI(C) 0 Post Graduate 68
Om Dutt Sharma SHS 2 12th Pass 49
Pradesh Kumar Ambedkar National Congress 0 Post Graduate 31
Rajan Lal Bharatiya Republican Paksha 0 Graduate Professional 36
Ramesh Singh Siral Naya Daur Party 0 8th Pass 40
Roshan Ali National Loktantrik Party 0 Not Given 56
Vinay Bharatiya Sarvodaya Kranti Party 0 12th Pass 29

[/tab] [tab title=”North West Delhi”]

Candidate

Party

Criminal Cases

Education

Age

Basant Panwar BSP 0 8th Pass 46
Bhup Singh IND 0 Graduate Professional 77
Dharamraj Bhartiya Pragatisheel Congress 0 8th Pass 40
Inder Singh Asankhya Samaj Party 0 10th Pass 51
Jodhraj Paharia IND 0 Illiterate 65
Kamini Kaur IND 0 8th Pass 49
Krishna Tirath INC 0 Graduate 58
Rajesh Kumar Rashtriya Bahujan Hitay Party 0 10th Pass 41
Rakhi Birla AAP 0 Post Graduate 27
Ram Karan Sauran IND 0 Graduate 60
Shailender Kumar IND 0 Graduate 34
Sunil Chhikara IND 3 Graduate Professional 42
Udit Raj BJP 1 Doctorate 56
Vijay Kumar RPI(A) 0 Graduate 39

[/tab] [tab title=”South Delhi”]

Candidate

Party

Criminal Cases

Education

Age

D K Chopra IND 1 Graduate 68
Devinder Kumar Sehrawat AAP 0 Post Graduate 48
Dushmanta Kumar Giri IND 1 Doctorate 54
Hafiz Mustaq Jan Samanta Party 0 Illiterate 53
Kiran Pal Singh IND 0 8th Pass 63
Mohan Kanuga JKNPP 0 Post Graduate 66
Naresh Kumar IND 0 Illiterate 50
Ombir Bharatiya Bahujan Party 0 12th Pass 51
Rakesh Kumar IND 0 10th Pass 42
Ramesh Bidhuri BJP 4 Graduate Professional 52
Ramesh Kumar INC 0 10th Pass 58
Ruby Yadav IND 0 Post Graduate 33
Sanjay Kumar Rai BSP 1 12th Pass 47
Shahid IND 0 10th Pass 38
Shri Chand Tanwar CPI 0 8th Pass 68
Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury AITC 0 Post Graduate 49
Sumant Kumar IND 1 Graduate 51
Sunil Kumar IND 0 10th Pass 38
Tej Pal Singh IND 0 10th Pass 38

[/tab][/tabgroup]

What is NOTA?

Let us assure you, this word being thrown in political debates has nothing to do with terrorism (please watch the video below to understand further).

None of the above (NOTA) is an option on the EVM for people who are not satisfied with any of the candidates running in their constituency.  You should know it is not akin to ‘Right To Reject’ where if a certain percentage of the voters choose the latter option, the elections are cancelled and all the candidates have to be changed by the parties. In India, even if a majority of the voters choose NOTA, the candidate getting the most number of votes will win the contest. (No, a hung parliament or President’s rule do not follow a scenario with majority of votes casted for NOTA)

There is something called a manifesto (and you should read it)

An election manifesto is a document released by a party or candidate with the agenda of what all would one seek to fulfill if brought to power. Irrespective of whether these promises are actually converted to actions, in order to make an informed choice, it is only sensible to go through what each party is promising. After all, you don’t want to support a party or candidate that have something against your beliefs in their agenda, right?

To make things easier, here are the links to the manifestos of the three major political parties: Indian National Congress (INC) | Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) | Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) 

To see more videos of how Delhi University answered our questions visit DU Beat’s Instagram account. Share your opinions with @du_beat and @mtvindia using #RockTheVote.

Politics was not so murky and abysmal before the 1990s, or apparently it didn’t look so, but with the evolution of media, a wave of transparency has transcended on each decision-making body and also on the decision makers of this country. The 21st century has seen the advent of investigative journalism, and with it, that of blame games and revolutions.

The past decade witnessed the trend of ‘an uprising media’, which has now become the face of India. More appropriately, it is the tool in the hands of citizens, to check the wrong-doings of the so called ‘public workers’. Many scams have been unearthed, many bad policies reviewed and many politicians sent to jails for their ill work , all has been made possible due to the ever-efficient media and its wide outreach.

The polity of India is now as lucid as a diamond. Every new policy is now checked, if not by the policy-makers than by the media, the fourth pillar of democracy. Well, we all know what happened with the Augusta-Westland deal. Every strand of the deal was reviewed and put in front of the people to decide. What if media had not been there? The corrupt in this case would have run away with all the black money. Fortunately it was present, and thus the deal was put off for an internal inquiry.

This is just one example of the power of media when it comes to being a critic of Indian politics. There is another side to the story, wherein media has also helped the politics to incur a never before seen boom. Parties now reach people through the media. A 500 crore image makeover for the scion of one of the major political parties in India is not a lie. Political parties have been on both back foot due to the media revolution and at the front foot when it comes to improving their public image. The ‘Development model of Gujarat’, and ‘Chai pe Charcha’ are two such examples of the same, where through media, interested parties have tried for an image makeover. Not only makeover, media has also helped some budding parties to come at par with national ones as we saw in the AAP phenomenon.

So, it is understandably clear, how media can shape the politics and with it the future of this country. What has to be borne in mind is the limit in which it has to work. The past has shown us how media can change scenarios, what has to be ensured is such a change in the status quo is for the betterment of the people of this country. As ultimately, media is by the people, of the people and for the people.

Illustration credits: Megha Saraogi for DU Beat

Be it Rs 5 ticket to hear NaMo in Hyderabad or the Rambonomics of saving 15,000 persons during the Uttrakhand calamity, recent developments have underscored Modi’s position as first among  equals for the prime-ministerial post in the opposition Bhartiya Janta Party, for the next year Lok Sabha elections. His style of governance and vision polarises and unites the people across various sections in India, alike. Modi, an ardent orator with a right-wing bold approach, rose with the staunchly rising middle-class in India.

‘India- from a Nation of Snake-Charmers to a Nation of Mouse Charmers’- is one of the few quotes that appear at the top on Narendra Modi’s website. At the top of the home-page of Narendra Modi’s website, there are options like, ‘Write to Narendra Modi’, ‘Request an appointment’ and ‘Invite the CM to an event’. It seems, Modi is reaching out to his fans and followers like none ever did. Modi was in campaign mode prior to recently being appointed as the chairman of the 2014 Lok Sabha Election Campaign Committe of the BJP. In the face of Advani’s opposition to Modi’s elevation, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) stepped in to support the move. Since then, Modi has been on a campaign spree.

‘I am nationalist. I am patriotic. I am a born Hindu.’ Modi replied in a recent interview to the Reuters when asked about, who the real Modi is that people want to know.  On the goals the next government should achieve, Modi said that it would need to give people confidence, it should build the trust in people. Moreover, he said that polarisation in a democracy is bound to happen, citing the American example of polarisation between Democrats and Republicans.

The ghosts of 2002 Gujarat riots, that killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, continue to haunt him. He told the Reuters that religion should not be an instrument in the democratic process. He says, “For me secularism is, India first.” Still, his secular credentials haven’t many takers. Though, Modi is the biggest crowd-puller for India’s main opposition party, he appears to be a more divisive figure rather than a uniting one. This fact very well embodies in the reluctance of major National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition partners in supporting Narendra Modi. Janata Dal United (JDU), a key regional ally, has already cut-off its ties with the BJP. Shiv Sena, another major NDA coalition partner, has also shown its resentment after Modi’s elevation.

Modi’s marketing tactics can give even the best PR and marketing agencies of the country a run for their money. Though, Modi out rightly denies having PR agency, there is an army on social media projecting him as the unmatchable achiever. Modi is reigning supreme in terms of twitter followers, recently moving ahead of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. After SRCC, Modi recently visited Fergusson College, Pune. Modi, with his aggressive and bold approach, strikes a chord with the youths.

Most recently, a website narendramodiplans.com was taken down after it offended ‘certain people’ of the society. The website has more recently been started again by two people. They say, “There used to be a site on this domain which came under controversy and was deleted. We found this domain orphaned and thought that ideas must not die out of fear. We have no idea what was on the site before, except that it pissed off a lot of people. We are not averse to adding any ideas you have here. Shoot them off to [email protected] We don’t mind offending a few.”