Culture, Governance

This poll reveals internet is the key driving force for India’s 2014 general elections

Times Magazine, which selects its “People of the Year” has concluded its Time 100 list poll yesterday night. Hundreds of thousands of people voted online for the nominated individuals they think have “done the most to influence the events of the year – for better or worse” and gave their consent on whether the individual should be added in Times top 100 list or not.

Amazingly, with Indian election going on, the polls witnessed significant contribution by Indian population – a force that is expected to hit a milestone of 243 million by 2014, according to a report released by IAMAI.

More than 3 lakh people voted for Aam Aadmi Party’s successor Arvind Kejriwal – in either a Yes (to be included in Time 100 list) or a No (not to be included in Time 100 list). Narendra Modi, on the other hand received over 5 lakh reactions – who unfortunately ended up in attraction criticism as a bigger part of the received votes. A significantly large percentage of people voted against the very idea of including him in Time 100 list.

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The two politicians attained top positions in the poll. Now if we compare these figures with immensely popular Pope Francis – the results were even more astonishing, and gives a clear impression that Internet is playing a big part in influencing this year’s general elections. Only 30 thousand people voted for People Francis who is also one of the most popular world-figure.

No wonder, internet has a significant part to play in 2014 general elections. As per a report released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), published by Times of India, of the approximately Rs 4,000-5,000 crore total advertisement and publicity spend, the digital platforms can expect to garner at least Rs 400-500 crore from political parties.

Over 814 million voters, including over 23 million in the 18-19 year age group, will exercise their power of voting for the first time and social media platforms are playing a significant part in targeting them. Politicians are taking part in Google+ Hangouts, using their social network accounts and messaging apps like WhatsApp to connect to the tech-savvy urban voters.

Internet provides an effective and a no-cost solution to tap a whole new segment of voters taking part in this election season, hence the increasing reliance on this medium.

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One comment

  1. 1

    A Software Powerhouse

    Yesterday , when I went to polling booth , there was a
    chaos , with a number of people complaining that their names were missing from
    the Electoral Rolls ( Voter Lists )

    As per news-reports , in Mumbai alone , some 50,000
    people returned home without casting their votes – including Deepak Parekh !

    Then there are some 300 million people who will simply won’t
    walk down to the nearest polling booths , and wait for 1 hour to cast their
    votes ( – assuming that some 40 % of the 814 million eligible voters do not
    exercise their right to vote )

    WHY ?

    Going out to vote is becoming a big hassle


    Sure , if Central Government and the Election
    Commission care to implement my suggestion for developing a mobile App ( – I
    called it , VotesApp / see .. )

    Or , just type in Google , ” VotesApp ”

    HELP ?

    > No need for
    930,000 polling booths / EVMs / Ink / Papers etc

    Every voter’s
    own mobile becomes a miniature EVM !

    > Nor any
    need to deploy 1,100,000 people to conduct the polls

    > No need for
    millions of Police / Military personnel

    > No need for
    months of advance preparations, across entire country

    > Voting can
    be completed in just ONE day – instead of over 6 weeks –

    and results
    can be declared next day !

    > Voting
    could be 95 % or more !

    > No worry
    for booth-capture / bogus voting

    > No worry
    for any terrorist attacks

    > Enormous
    saving of time for Voters

    > No need to
    declare a public holiday – costing thousands of crores

    worth of production

    > Central
    Government will save, at least , Rs 2,000 Crores .

    business-friendly BJP government comes to power , it would not

    hesitate to
    earn Rs 20,000 crores , by enabling 15 million Indian

    businesses to
    advertise to 814 million voters , thru this mobile VotesApp –

    sharply targeting
    by Gender / Age / Marital Status / City / Street /

    Education /
    Income etc

    If a tiny country like Estonia ( population 1.6 million
    ) can elect its Members of Parliament thru a VotesApp type mobile App , why
    can’t we ?

    Already 900+ million Indians have mobiles – all of
    which , will soon become Smart Phones

    And we call our country , a ” Software Powerhouse
    ” !

    * hemen parekh
    ( 25 April 2014 / Mumbai )

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