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.
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.
The author can be reached at email@example.com