The high-voltage Uttar Pradesh Assembly election is witnessing the use of age-old idea-propogation techniques by political parties busy with campaigning and mustering votes. Nukkad natak (street plays) and music/poetry have been supplementing the print/electronic media news, posters, banners and even rallies in the dissemination of political messages.
The most noticeable among them is the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has been in political wilderness in the country’s most populous state for almost a decade now, is utilising the traditional media to strike a chord with the rural electorate. The party has, so far, organised over 1,000 nukkad nataks across 275 assembly constituencies in the 52 districts that already went to the polls in the first five phases. “We have formed three nukkad natak troupes for performing in the poll bound constituencies,” BJP cultural cell co-convenor Uday Narain Mishra told Business Standard.
UP has a total of 403 constituencies across 75 districts and the polling had been scheduled in seven phases beginning from February 8 and ending on March 3.
As for the BJP, the themes of its plays underscore the achievements of party. They also highlight an “anarchy, corruption and hooliganism” prevailing in the state, he added.
Since UP is characterised by dialectical and cultural variations across its regions, namely Purvanchal (eastern UP), Bundelkhand, Awadh (central UP), Ruhelkhand and western UP, the plays are adapted and improvised in their presentation styles to suit local tastes.
The state is also seeing political parties organising kavi sammelans at some places, such as Allahabad, known for its literary heritage.
The BJP has also been running three video vans that relay messages by its top leaders, including Lal Krishna Advani, Vinay Katiyar, Rajnath Singh, Uma Bharti and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, in places where ‘star campaigners’ are not canvassing.
“Our activities will continue till all the seven phases of poll campaigning get over next month,” Mishra informed.