Indian National Congress’ loathing of social media & the strategy to win 2019
For the entire last year, I kept thinking only one thing: What is Congress’ strategy to win 2019? I could see BJP’s plan to win the election. They have been highlighting their good governance model. I am not at all validating if what they say is true or not. My point is that they had a strategy. They say they delivered a scam free government, built millions of toilet, most roads, provided the necessary power infrastructure to the last village of India, provided gas connection, made economic reforms, promoted cleanliness so on and so forth. And of course trying to built Ram Mandir.
What is Congress’ strategy?
I was thinking they would be showcasing the work they did in Punjab or Mizoram like Modi highlighted his work in Gujarat back in 2014. But there is not even a single word about that. Even at the time when they were left with only one or two states and were in a dire need of winning elections, they didn’t do anything exemplary in those states. Even to exaggerate the work, you need to do some work, I guess they did nothing at all.
The so-called politicians like Kanahiya Kumar, Jignesh Mewani or Hardik Patel made a lot of noise on behalf of Congress, but cannot win a national election for Congress.
Mr. Rahul Gandhi have blatantly lied, mislead people, made impractical and false promises in his live interactions at different places and not once but several times. During his speech at some place he said, we will connect all the MRIs, some place he said Coca Cola was invented by a shikanji wala, Modi gives money to ten fifteen businessmen, Rafale is a scam, it costed 500 crores or 526 crores or 570 crores or 700 crores, HAL was making Engines for fighter jets. Modi gave 30,000 crores to Ambani. He waived loans worth a lakh crore of a few friends but is not waiving loans of farmers. Recently he claimed to offer 72k to poor. The list can go on and on and on and on. I already wrote about a couple of his frustrating speeches before. You could read about them here: The Magician becomes the Hat!!! or What lies beneath the Mask? or A Role Model or A Wrong Model
He recently claimed that Manmohan Sing’s government conducted three surgical strikes. I am waiting for the speech where Rahul Gandhi is going to claim that India did ASAT tests a couple of times during UPA regime.
So, when in today’s India all of their claims have been refuted, everyone and anyone can access internet and verify that these claims are false, can Congress even think of winning 2019?
Unfortunately for us, but yes, they can not only think of winning but they might actually win 2019.
We overestimated the reach and impact of social media platforms and internet. Jio sold connections for free for the entire year. I was under the impression if not everybody, most of the people can access whatsapp and internet. Fake news narrative also embolden this belief. A few journalists, a few writers, a few bollywood stars, Indian National Congress, Separatists, Communists, Pakistan, everybody claimed that fake news on social media is helping BJP or rather BJP is using social media to win elections. “Whatsapp University”. Social media is such a big menace.
But how many people have access to social media in India?
As per a source, in a country of 1.3 billion plus people only 462 million people have internet access out of which only 250-300 million are active social media users. Out of this number 8% are in the age group 14-17. Plus, the number says active users and not unique users i.e. if I have two whatsapp numbers, I think there would be two active numbers but only one unique user.
In short with around 900 million voters we have less than 200 million voters who have access to social media.
How many of those 200 million will vote? I don’t know, neither do you.
Social media provides the users with a hint. A person gets a hint that there are more than one version for the same thing, there is something more to what is being said. Knowing what to look and where to look is extremely important. If I don’t know xyz exists, how would I even think of gathering more information about it.
So how are the other 700 million people getting any sort of hint. They would buy whatever is being sold to them. Not because they don’t have the ability to think but because they don’t have a reason to believe that Mr. Gandhi “GANDHI” would lie to them.
People attending Rahul Gandhi’s speeches and interactions will not verify anything, first, they don’t have access to social media and internet and second they will trust him. Mr. Gandhi along with the party knows this. Now you know why Mr. Gandhi without any worry has been giving different numbers in different speeches. He knows people don’t know what he said on other place. This exactly is the reason why Pt. Nehru, Indira Gandhi kept on winning elections term after term. There was simple no cross checking. What ever they said was the only truth. There was no other perspective.
Social media gives a different perspective to the users. They at least know that there are two sides of the same thing, they have to decide which one is true or lets say which one to believe. This exactly is the reason why Congress has been trying to demonize social media.
Anything that does not go with there narrative is called a fake news. Mainstream media made it worse. They circulated incomplete news blurring the line between a fake news and an incomplete information.
In short, in the face of fake news on social media propaganda, Mr. Gandhi blatantly spread fake news in broad day light in his live speeches and interactions. Even if we assume a most simple use case where the voter turn out this year is 70% and it is uniform, there would not be more than 140 million voters who would have social media access. So much for social media hounding.
If you don’t trust me, pick up any of the Rahul Gandhi’s speech and cross check for the facts he mention.
Thanks for reading!
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An FPGA/Embedded Systems Development Engineer working on ADAS / Autonomous Vehicles and interested in Indian Politics.