It all started with Narendra Modi’s Chai Pe Charcha. Then Rahul Gandhi obviously followed suit. And subsequently Arvind Kejriwal and AAP imitated the American fund raising dinner models. There were dinner with Kejriwal offers at a price tag of Rs 20k, while Coffee with Yogendra Yadav were priced at Rs 5k. Naturally, the Indian passion for free soon saw these dinners coming for free, but the main point is the idea having small targeted discussion groups to formulate your strategies have become institutionalized.
Wonder, how many of the IT traders attended any of these sessions. It’s just not only about displaying your political hues, but sometimes these sessions could help you become a more important stakeholder in formulating government strategies. While it is true, most of the elections in India are still won on the basis of caste and quota and other considerations, hopefully these charchas and dinners will gradually lead to institutional formation of pressure groups. If that happens, it will be a positive fallout of these elections.
Another upheaval created this time seems to be around the usage of social media. While social media was already there earlier, these are the first nationwide Lok Sabha vote that is happening after social media has become mainstream.
Now the Election Commission does not know how to get the electoral Code of Conduct around the social media. You can impose the interaction of the candidate, but how do you restrict the conversations of the supporters. Unless, you don’t impose a complete ban on social media.
And that we know is just not impossible, but it is a pipedream. Even the Election Commission needs to attune itself with the times and devise ways whereby though politicians are allowed to use social media, but restricted from leveraging it to create unrest or foment trouble.
Unlike the common masses who constitute voters, the social media users are definitely literate people and therefore even politicos with malafide intentions will not be able to use FB or Twitter to cause big damages. It is time, we as conscious citizens start using thr social media effectively to keep a rein on our politicians and take a more active role in influencing governance.