Toxic political campaigns through high octave polarized communications losing their persuasive power soon!?

Sekar Chandra
Accordingly Pappu’, ‘Panauti’, ‘Paapi’ elections in india are seeing political parties wrestling hard to outwit their opponents with all kinds of abuses and name calling. It is a new low every day. The trend of political name-calling has existed in the US since the presidential election in 1940. The indian political parties have, however, imitated this western trend well and almost copied their ways of electioneering.

They have now mastered the art of running a toxic campaign through ways to launch personal attacks by demeaning the family members of political leaders, and sometimes by including their caste and community in the political word-play. Instances of name-calling and hurling abuses are not limited to social media campaigns though. Top senior leaders have lent their support to such ideas and contributed to the toxic electioneering. Name-calling, for instance, dominates the election campaigns.

Uncivil messages, use of un-parliamentary expressions by politicians have become more and more common in the last decade. Personal attacks are now almost regular occurrences in an increasingly polarized political environment.

Recently, at an election rally, rahul gandhi said the indian cricket team would have won the match had the ‘Panauti‘ not been there. The address was meant for PM narendra Modi, whose photos, memes and posters trended on social media with the same name. The saga of name-calling continues, with the Opposition parties calling Modi ‘Ravan’,’Rakshas’, ‘Yamraaj’ and so on. The bjp leaders did not stay behind though. They used different names for different politicians. They refer to women politicians as ‘Surpanakha’, ‘Foreign Agent’, ‘Mumtaz Begum’ and so on. This election, the campaign strategies by the political parties moved even a step further. They have now started adding photo-shopped and morphed posters of bollywood films as part of their social media campaigns.

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