Business Standard

How slogan war energises BJP, Congress for 2014 poll battle

As India heads for 2014 polls, parties will look to the right blend of words which resonate best with the electorates

Related News

Long before Twitter taught India the power of 140 characters, netas mastered the art of thinking in less than 140 characters. The 16th Lok Sabha election campaign is churning out new slogans and catchphrases. It seems that the and the are neck and neck in the battle to allure voters with catchy phrases. 
 
In August, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate unwrapped the saffron party’s new slogan, Nayi soch, nayi ummeed  (new thinking, new hope) in Hyderanad. He gave a clarion call to the electorate to rid the country of the Congress (Congress mukht  Bharat). Unveiling his vision of the government, he said its only religion should be 'India first', its mantra should be the Constitution, its belief should be 'Bharat Bhakti', its power should be people's power and its worship should be the welfare of 125 crore people.
 
The rallying cry of Congress this time is: Poori roti khayenge, 100 din kaam karenge, dawaiee lenge aur Congress ko jitayenge  (eat full roti, work for 100 days, receive free medicines and vote for Congress). 
 
Almost a year before the in 2004, Congress president Sonia Gandhi took a leaf out of Indira Gandhi's book and gave the Grand Old Party a leftward tilt.

She recast her mother-in-law's populist 'Garibi hatao' war-cry with the of Congress ka haath, garib ke saath -- which was supplanted by the more expansive Aam aadmi ke saath for the 2004 Lok Sabha polls.
 
In India, political catchphrases regularly provide the passion, interest and zeal needed to engross observers and voters alike. This has ensured that the history of  Indian politics is peppered with such memorable slogans as garibi hatao (eradicate poverty) India Shining and Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan (hail the soldier, hail the farmer).
 
A good slogan can bring together people usually separated by caste, religion, region, and language. Former Prime Minister Gandhi's garibi hatao campaign in 1971 resonated with the nation and secured a landslide victory for her Congress party. 
 
Many opposition parties united to form the Janata Morcha (People's Front) which campaigned under slogans such as Indira hatao, desh bachao  (Remove Indira, Save the Nation) and Sampoorna Kranti  (Total Revolution). The bloc swept to victory in the 1977 election.
 
However, if there were an award for the worst strategic blunder in Indian elections, the BJP’s India Shining campaign of 2004 would surely qualify for it. The Congress punctured the BJP’s much-hyped campaign with a rhetorical question: Aam aadmi ko kya mila  (what did the common man get?).
 
In 1996, the BJP came to power on the back of several well-known slogans relating to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose corruption-free image made him an ideal face for the  party. Sabko Dekha Bari Bari, Abki Bari Atal Bihari (we have seen several others, but now it's Atal Bihari's turn) was the catchphrase among BJP supporters. 
 
Trinammol Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee ran a successful poll campaign with Maa, maati, manush (Mother, motherland and people) in 2011 and came to power in West Bengal.
 
The BSP’s journey from a Dalit-only party to one that actively wooed Brahmins is marked by its slogans. From the antagonistic Tilak, taraju aur talawar, inko maro joote char  (It called upon the Dalits and backwards to shoe the brahmins, the banias and the thakurs) to inclusive canvassing such as Hathi nahi Ganesh hain, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh hain (It is not just an elephant, it is Lord Ganesha, It is Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Mahesh), the BSP has travelled quite a distance.
 
RJD boss Lalu Prasad was adept at providing one-liners, couplets and rustic humour that kept his audience in splits. Jab tak rahega samose mein aloo, tab tak rahega Bihar mein Lalu. The flowing rhetoric kept him in power till the infamous fodder scam caught up with him.

There was a time when Dalits would raise the slogan, Upar  aasmaan, neeche Paswan  (you can rely on the sky above and on Ram Vilas Paswan on the earth below).
 
At the national level, the story was no different with two main national parties (Congress and BJP) tried their best to make a mark on the minds of the electorate in  2009. One party said: Aam aadmi ke badhte kadam/ Har kadam par Bharat buland. The other went: Har haath ko kaam / Har haath ko paani and Strong BJP, Strong India.
 
However, elections are not only about hectic political sloganeering. Parties don't miss a chance of taking swipes at each other as well. Will all the new and innovative slogans be the game changer for parties or will it be a case of full of sound and fury, signifying nothing?

Read more on:   
|
|
|
|
|
|

Read More

Govt to stick with austerity despite looming election

The government will have to rein in spending and cut subsidies to meet its fiscal deficit target, the finance minister said on Monday, underlining ...

Advertisements

Columnists Rss icon

Nitin Desai

Nitin Desai: Planning Commission Mark II
Nitin Desai

If in 2017 yet another five-year Plan has to be formulated, then the new institution will not be very different from the present Planning ...

Rahul Jacob

Rahul Jacob: Mr Xi's Big Lie
Rahul Jacob

Does anyone really believe that the Chinese are going to invest $100 billion in India?

Latest News

Editorial Comment Rss icon

Risks of inaction too high to ignore

India is being lax about the climate-change threat

More than fines

Road safety requires a more comprehensive approach

TWEETS @ POLITICS
@SinghRPN
.@DrYogeshUpadhya I need nothing more than your blessings, Sir. Thank you for this valuable gift
@milinddeora
Big shout-out to my friend Sachin Pilot who deserves much of the credit for @INCIndia's remarkable performance in Rajasthan
@digvijaya_28
Hema Maliniji's remark against widows of Vrindavan Widows highly Parochial and uncalled for. She must withdraw it.
@thekiranbedi
(But @PMOIndia security is paramount for future of India) @ANI_news: V hav got a PM who doesn't need bulletproof glass while ppl...Amit Shah
@ajaymaken
Hmm Now we know Achche Din for whom- Favourites 145% richer NO CVC NO CIC NO LOKAYUKTA 'CVC:SC grills Govt letting secretaries decide..'
@MPNaveenJindal
Gr8!Congrats @8_SardarSingh "@TheHinduSports:Sardar Singh to be India’s flag bearer at Asiad opening http://t.co/6oiphlk7FH #AsianGames2014"
@Panda_Jay
My Twitter handle changed yesterday to @PandaJay 😊, please follow that..
@ShashiTharoor
#EmpireDebate begins at @UKSupremeCourt. Predictably, after turning away droves of keen folks, many empty seats. Latecomers most welcome
@Swamy39
@trramesh : once Xi returns home I will
@narendramodi
Here is the list of documents signed during President Xi Jinping's visit. http://t.co/A1NQrr4uh7
@abdullah_omar
Around 25 boats flown in to Awantipura air base for South Kashmir rescue ops and are being sent to the affected areas
@varungandhi80
http://t.co/8PWBEuNbw1
@ArvindKejriwal
RT @ashutosh83B: Speculation in Congress- deal between Sheela and BJP . Sheela will help BJP form govt in Delhi and BJP govt would not proc…
@PMOIndia
RT @MEAIndia: If we r sensitive to r opportunities & challenges, then I am confident we will fulfill r responsibility to make it a great su…
@rajeev_mp
RT @dhume: MT @AEIfdp: If #XiJinping hopes to cement ties with #Modi, he’s chosen a strange way to go about it. [Reup] http://t.co/czrohhSm
@quizderek
RT @suhelseth: No matter how unpopular I maybe but I am against all this gherao nonsense that students have become adept at. Harassing an o…
@
Wall St opens up, S&P 500 near record http://t.co/jf0NrsTQKP
@SushmaSwaraj
I told President Xi Jinping : Ge xia, wo hen huanying nin dao yindu lai. ( I extend to you a very warm welcome to India)
@arunjaitley
I wish Shri Narendra Modi, our Honourable Prime Minister a very Happy Birthday. I pray for his good health and long life.
@MVENKAIAHNAIDU
Warmest Greetings to Sri Narendra Modi ji on his B'day. May God give him more vigour and energy to serve the Nation with each passing Bday.
@nitin_gadkari
Those interested may obtain exemption certificate from J & K Resident Commissioner in Delhi
@DVSBJP
Wishing a very Happy Birthday to our hon'ble PM Shri @narendramodi ji. May you be blessed with a great successful year ahead.
@umasribharti
चन्‍द्रशेखर राव को बधाई. तेलंगाना राज्‍य का मेरा संकल्‍प एवं सपना पूरा, तेलंगाना की नदियों का ध्‍यान रखेंगें.
@AnanthKumar_BJP
Bhoomi Pooja for Gorata Hutatmara Smaraka, Gorata Village, Basavakalyan Taluk in Bidar District yesterday... http://t.co/xnN469se3f
@smritiirani
@ccsindia our school assessment framework takes into account learning outcomes.
@drharshvardhan
RT @HCJamesBevan: Just met @drharshvardhan, Health Minister, who led #India's fight against #polio. UK/India cooperation in #health is stro…
@Gen_VKSingh
RT @PMOIndia: With this project, Govt. has sanctioned a major power transmission scheme for Arunachal Pradesh & Sikkim to bring them fully …
@Rao_InderjitS
Wishing Hon'ble PM Shri @narendramodi a very Happy Birthday! #HappyBirthDayPM
@nsitharaman
Thanks, everybody. Reached airport. Will get connected later.
@RSSorg
Tributes to Bharat Ratna Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya on his birth anniversary. http://t.co/e8E08zlNID

Back to Top