The Bhartiya Janta Party led National Democratic Alliance government launched ‘India Shining’ in the run-up to the 2004 General Elections. It lost. The Congress party led United Progressive Alliance launched its campaign led by ‘Bharat Nirman’ in the run-up to the 2009 General Elections. It won. The Congress party is again gearing up for a massive campaign in the run-up to the next General Elections with the recently re- launched ‘Bharat Nirman’ campaign that, according to the reports, is expected to cost Rs 35 crore in the initial run of 15 days.
Do such communication management campaigns really help in gaining a significant chunk of voters?
Did the NDA campaign fail or the alliance’s governance fail?
Was the UPA-1’s governance win supported by a meticulously drawn communication campaign?
Or was there lack of a political alternative after the NDA government failed miserably to reach out to the larger India that was known as ‘Bharat’ in the perennial ‘India Vs Bharat’ debate circles; ‘Bharat’ that represents the majority of India – poor, poorly literate, poorly fed and poorly kept?
Did the NDA’s campaign and the governance fail to make the people of ‘Bharat’ understand that their misery owed more to the long run of the Congress party that had ruled the Independent India most of the time (almost 53 years of the 66 years of independence) and other party or alliance governments needed time and that the five-six odd years were just not enough to undo the rot propagated by the grand old party of India?
An event in making, with the Congress party led UPA alliance government facing the credibility crisis with series of scandals, controversies and scams, it is going to be an interesting observation to see if the Congress party is going to come up with a communication management strategy encompassing elements of crisis management working simultaneously on the measures to counter the massive negative publicity or it still believes in hard-selling its populist schemes like it did in the 2009 elections.
It would tell whether the Congress party had learnt from the mistakes of the ‘India Shining’ campaign in conceiving and designing the ‘Bharat Nirman’ campaign or if it was just akin to riding on the good show of the UPA-1 government.
But, was it really a good show of the UPA-1 government?
The country knows now that most of the massive scams today, the 2G spectrum allocation scam, the coal blocks allocation scam, the Commonwealth Games scam, irregularities in National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or in National Rural Health Mission or many other scams, have had their origin during the ‘good old days’ of the UPA-1?
Let’s wait to see. Let’s watch as the biggest event of the Indian democracy unveils!
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/