Friday, January 03, 2014

Jaago Re

As the holiday mood had set in and fervor for revelry had begun to grow, the cheeriness that began with the jingling bells and red nosed reindeer's spread beyond Christmas, taking the festive spirit along. In all this excitement, everyone remembered – to make those “almost never to be kept” resolutions. Resolutions that are made with zeal and forgotten once everyone wakes up on New Year morning; all dreary eyes and puffed up with a bad hangover. Three days into the New Year and resolutions are already being broken. But this time a resolution needs to be made and kept. Not by one, nor by two. By everyone who calls themselves Indians. Because 2014 is different; from the year that has gone by and symbolizes the fate of the country for the time that will follow. 

2014 is the year India goes to polls. To elect its representatives, those who will be its face to the rest of the world, help it grow and protect it from the dangers that lie ahead. This is also a year that sets in on the brinks of change.  A change that took birth towards the end of 2013 and stays poised to grow well into next year; a change that mobilized India’s most crucial yet dormant population to vote – The Indian Youth. 

The Delhi assembly elections in December 2013 saw the common man pour out on the streets to vote. For what could possibly be the first time, the youth and “urbanized” population stepped out of their cozy homes and stood in the voting lines. These were votes that used to never see the light of day, these were the votes that made things matter and brought about a change. 

While the change was momentous, there was an open secret behind its success.  The presence of a medium that was relatively new for the Indian Political System, but one that had fast taken residence across Indian homes - Social Media.

What the Delhi elections proved was that Social Media was here to stay as a crucial enabler to raise awareness amongst the voters and motivate them to vote.  It also signaled the critical role social media apps would play in the case of the larger monster lurking in the corner… The Lok Sabha Elections. 

The Indian Youth has woken up, but four months are a long enough period to make some yawn. There is still a lot more that needs to be done to further the cause and keep the youth motivated to vote for the larger pie and if there is any mean of doing it, it would be through social media and social mobile apps. 

Campaigning: Creating dedicated pages on popular social networking sites such as Facebook to publish areas of concern and a manifesto that details out the roadmap when and if the party comes to power.

Creating awareness: Publishing statistics around how voting is crucial and current state of affairs across instant messaging apps such as Twitter, WeChat and WhatsApp. 

Conferences: Bringing the youth from different parts of the country onto a common medium such as WeChat video calls and others to interact, brainstorm and exchange ideas.

Volunteering: Introducing the youth to the activities that go into an election process and motivating them to volunteer in any way possible.

Information Localization: Using custom publishing techniques to push relevant and localized content to the youth on the election news in their constituency along with the national level data onto mobile phones

Video chats: Facilitate video chats with candidates in the concerned constituency to give prospective voters more clarity on who they should vote for.

“Mobile” word of mouth: Using instant messaging apps such as WeChat, introduce recommendations by friends on news and information that has inspired them to consider voting. In addition create “friendship groups” for friends to discuss and exchange views.

Surveys: conduct surveys using social mobile apps to understand the pulse of the youth. Spread survey results across groups to encourage participation and motivate them to vote.

Sentiment reporting: Conducting sentiment analysis to analyze the response of readers and voters from across social mobile apps and sharing the views expressed back to the readers. 

Live reporting: Using features of social mobile apps such as “Moments” from WeChat, ground work data and live feeds of election news/campaigns can be shared with the votes.

With these, only the surface would have been scratched. Social Media and Social Mobile Apps have an infinite potential that can be leveraIged in myriad number of ways. From developing new mobile apps to target certain segments to inventing on demand content, there is a long way to go in using this versatile medium to mobilize Indian youth and ensure a historic change as far as elections are concerned. 

The country has been through a lot since independence. Non-qualified leaders, inefficient governments, toothless administration and corruption across all offices and systems… each and every facet has consistently pecked into the very core, rendering it hollow and weak. It is but a matter of time, before the nation’s backbone comes crumbling down, never to rise again. If there is anyone who can help it survive, it is the Indian Youth – the future of this country, the pillars on which it hopes to base its new foundation.

The means are within reach, all that is needed is to take the step in the right direction. It is time not just to hope for change but to BE the change. It is time to take matters in our own hands.

Jai Hind!

This post is written for Indian General Elections using Social Mobile Apps contest hosted by Indiblogger in association with WeChat


  1. I liked it a lot dear... Good luck! :D

    1. Thanks Namrota :) Was away all of this weekend, will hop over now to read yours :)

  2. seriously we hav no right to sit and whine when we cannot stand up and try to make a change, however minute!

    1. absolutely! one of my friends mentioned the other day that all who stay in rentals should stop taking fake rental receipts to save tax on HRA... :)

  3. Excellent write up. I found gold reading your blog content, many things I found here amaze me. Good work you guys.

    1. Thanks Vinayak, it is always goo to hear that :). Hope to give more such content to read in 2014!

  4. Delhi elections did prove the youth can tilt the favor to any one party. Politicians better take them seriously and campaign well targeting them.
    Good points Seeta.
    All the best!

  5. Nicely presented & apt points Seeta.
    Best wishes for the contest :)

  6. Oh! Hey! Was it not enough getting SMSes from all and sundry marketing agencies that you add the politicos to the mix as well? :) I am all for elections and voting in the right candidate but PLEASE leave some room for the privacy of the citizen as well :)

    ATB for the contest :)

  7. Well said, today's youth is India's future and tapping the potential with these social media apps which is their 'lifeline' is the need of the hour. All the very best for the contest, Seeta :)


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