There are a lot of online campaigns going on behalf of several candidates for India general elections in 2009. The whole drama is very interesting. It looks like the campaign officers believe that the online campaign is going to work in India just like it did in USA. Evidently, they have not considered the % of citizens in India who use Internet and what % of it would actually go to the polling booths. The first place of course goes to Advani as PM. His cyber team has succeeded in bringing him in every single website (and it looks like these website owners do not know how to block a URL from appearing in their Google Ads).
Then there is Mallika Sarabhai who is contesting against L K Advani from Gandhinagar. I was kind of surprised to see her Facebook support group as I do not understand how it is going to help her win the elections in Gandhinagar. I’m just wondering, how many of the Gandhinagar voters are going to vote for Mallika Sarabhai just because of her online campaigns? How many Netizens are there in her constituency? How are the online campaigns going to work if the on-ground campaigns are not working? So I think she better use her time for on-ground work, encouraging people to vote, convince them of the politics of BJP, and how she can make Gujarat a better place. It just doesn’t matter a person from Thrissur constituency supporting Mallika Sarabhai to win from Gandhinagar through a Facebook group, because it is finally up to the people of Gandhinagar to decide whether she goes into parliament or not. And just to add, I really would like to see her win against L K Advani.
Then there is Shashi Tharoor, the poster boy of Congress from Kerala. I saw him today in the evening, campaigning outside a restaurant at Trivandrum and people have mixed reactions. Some say “he looks so handsome” and thus their votes might go to him. Youngsters see him as “an icon”, as he had served some top positions in the UN and they believe that he would be a refreshing change if he gets elected as he is an educated person. The others see him as “an outsider” who came to Kerala just to fulfill his political ambitions and do not know the on-ground issues and they even say that he doesn’t know to speak good Malayalam. An opposition to this says that alll politicians are contesting with their political ambitions and Shashi Tharoor is no exception, so there is no need to see him with a particular hatred. And add to that, the accused links Mr. Tharoor has with Coca-Cola company (read this in connection with Plachimada issue).
I really wish that Mallika Sarabhai wins in Gandhinagar against L K Advani. But I do not have a say there as it is up to the people of that constituency. So I hope Mallika does some work on the ground out there, rather than spending her time to create Facebook groups and raising her popularity over the Internet, if she is not contesting for the PM post.