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Team M Brand: LOW VOTE %, GREATEST DELIVERY, By Chanchal Chauhan, 19 May, 2014 Print E-mail

Events & Issues

New Delhi, 19 May 2014

Team M Brand


By Chanchal Chauhan


At the end of the grueling 2014, Narendra Modi wins the race to reach 7 Race Course Road, getting spruced up to receive the nation’s new Prime Minister. A rewind of a television interview with the team of organisers for marketing the Modi Brand for the Elections-2014 provides an interesting strategy to achieve the goal. Is the team’s work over, or will it be full-time in operation even after the Modi Government is in place?


The team honestly termed Modi as a ‘brand’ and explained how they coined slogans with the help of the best brains in their respective branch of technology to spread the message through all sorts of medium, spaces and created a ‘wave’ to catch the imagination of the Indian electorate, who were treated as the prospective buyers. And lo and behold it worked. Nothing succeeds more than success. All other vendors of their small wares were ignored by the buyers.


The people had swallowed the bitter pill of all sorts of corruption, price rise, unemployment and misery caused by the policies of the UPA-II brand dictated by the international finance capital holding the reins of our economy. This brand, after the usage of ten years, proved to be injurious to peoples’ health, which yearned for a fresh brand, which at least would assure them of curing all ills and side-effects. Through aggressive marketing the M brand emerged brainwashing the people that their life would be a paradise on earth under a ‘strong leader’ known as Narendrabhai Modi and whose ‘Gujarat model’ is a testimony for all to see.


Yes, the people across the regions did buy the logic, the sellers of the M Brand reached every home and hearth while others in their limited time and space just spoke against the ‘model’, or tried to sell the outdated brands, acceptable to none. Some opponents tried to convince the prospective buyers that it was a false propaganda, there was not an iota of truth about the ‘model’ being proffered for sale and there was nothing new in it.


But the opponents failed to provide any solid alternative ‘brand’, each projected themselves as a crowd of quacks or ‘Jhola doctors’ and each one of them had no special brand in their shoulder bag. The electorate had enough and did not trust them. Most of them reached out to the people only during the election season, and that too without any ‘brand’. So they are to blame themselves for their failure to attract the electorate.


The producers of the M brand chalked out their marketing plans well before time. One may recall Independence Day of 2013, wherein a grand parallel Red Fort was created by a Tent house and from its ramparts the Brand itself started its campaign and TV channels were managed to telecast live the speech of Manmohan Singh on one side of the screen and that of Narendra Modi on the other. And within the next two months following that one event, the Brand was launched with much fanfare. And this launching was also well before the time of declaration of Election 2014. Others were left far behind.


Since then, the producers of Brand M left no stone unturned to market their product to capture the imagination of the people. Where ever one looked, advertisements of the Brand stared one in the face: be it the streets, roads, lanes, highways, newspapers--in any language, the Brand M advertisements were there. Or for that matter be it the media, or TV channels, or programmes on the radio, surfed the internet for any website, the Brand M advertisement was there. The Brand turned itself into the ‘Omnipresent’ and was deified by the last leg of the campaign.


The expenditure on the ad blitz would be mind-boggling as well as raise the question where the huge amount poured in from. Will the Election Commission ever take note of this extravaganza? It is in a stupor. Recall that it announced it wasn’t afraid of any individual or party, when threatened by producers of Brand M, – misleading at the end and . To borrow a line of English poet T.S. Eliot: ‘I will show you fear in a handful of dust.’ After all, the M brand has turned into the ‘omnipresent’.


Clearly, the sellers of other brands are demoralised, they are in disarray. Those who changed sides and rode the bandwagon of the M brand are the happiest lot of all, ready to reap the dividends of showing their willful surrender to the producers. They are the past masters of remaining men of all seasons.


But there is a riddle, beyond the comprehension of the common man. According to statistics provided by the Election Commission, the BJP got only 31% of votes polled in the whole country and got 282 seats that are more than required for the clear majority with this meagre percentage. This percentage clearly shows that the vast majority of Indian people did not vote for the ‘strong leader’ as is shown to us by the media claiming the BJP victory as ‘clean sweep’ or ‘Modi wave’ or ‘Modi Tsunami’. This claim has little substance.


How does this happen? A regional party, AIDMK got 37 seats with 3.3% of total votes polled while the Samajwadi Party with 3.4% vote share got only 5, and the CPM with 3.2% got only 9; and look, the Bahujan Samaj Party with 4.1% vote share got none while Telugu Desam with 2.5% of vote share got 15 seats.


This puzzle shows that our electoral system is faulty and needs corrective measures. As suggested in an earlier piece, if a system of proportional representation is adopted, it will benefit all political formations except independents, who have to form a party because ours is a democracy based on party system. But will it really be free and fair election reflecting the choice of entire people? To make it happen, a strong movement by the civil society is critical as was done for RTI and Lokpal. Only then the clear verdict of the Indian people may reflect itself in elections.


This electoral reform will also curb money and muscle power as the voters may cast their votes anywhere in the country, without the fear of being ‘harassed’ at their residence or localities. Additionally, this system may also curb the malaise of rigging, bring an end to personality cult and perhaps dynastic rule. The voters will then vote for the Party of their choice on the basis of its policies and principles and not for any individual posing as the liberator or any ‘avatar’ or even a deity. Till then team for marketing brands will continue to be in business. ---INFA


(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

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