• Garima Gaur

Role of Social Media Platforms In Indian Politics

The introduction of social media gave a voice to the voiceless and broken common people who were derelict in the mainstream and typecast media. The popularity of social media largely increased because of the youth as they devote most of their time to different social media platforms and everyone including the political parties are aware of this fact and are trying to influence the young generation. With the help of social media, the political parties are able to get information about the likes, dislikes of the voters, and further manipulate them, especially the ‘swing voters’, whose views can be changed through manipulated information.

Today, almost all the political parties and politicians use social media platforms to communicate and campaigning purposes to influence voters, which in turn save them time, money, and resources and gave them a larger audience to interact with. Political campaigns are not limited just to buttons and banners that politicians use to reach their constituents.

The new political arena is full of infomercials, advertisements, blog posts, and numbers of tweets, Instagram posts, Facebook posts, etc. Politicians are now able to continuously convey their messages through endless infomercials and measure their communication through direct responses to their actions on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

Social media provides an innovative platform for political conversation. The power of political messaging is removed from the mass media model and tightly placed in peer-to-peer public discussion. The institution of social media has enabled unprecedented empowerment and arrangement of the "common man" to express political opinions. The positive development of social media is that the youth is talking and discussing about political issues.

Earlier, political discussions were limited only to those who read newspapers, watched news channels or participated in discussions in the street corner or in clubs. But at present, social interaction has made the youth of India discuss political issues. They take time to analyze and discuss politics. They now have their views on political happenings and also influence the decisions of the administration.

The evolution of social media in the Indian political space is accurate, palpable, and fast moving. Though it may not lead to massive changes immediately, it plays an important role in spreading political awareness in a developing country like India.

Indian politics has witnessed a whirlwind of changes over time and its reliance on social media to connect with people witnessing the other democracies and its impact. The Indian youth constitutes 40% of the total population and in terms of popular culture, the Indian political parties are sticking to the internet and social media to connect with the youth for their agenda and political events. Social media platforms have become the battleground of various political campaigns and we can witness a tremendous flow of different political opinions.

Social media- A way to reach out to the youth

It is no secret that today’s youth is highly interested in politics and the various ideas around them. Social media has become a platform for expressing and denouncing opinions and although politicians still use posters, cut-outs, leaflets and graffiti for their rallies, digitalization and being present over the digital platforms has changed the face of urban India and politics. Today, 2 to 5% of the budget for political campaigns for the major leading national parties is spent on social media.

Many political parties nowadays have a strong presence on social media and have been able to gain immensely popularity through it.

Social Media Strategy to Win Elections

Twitter is an amazing platform for political organization to distribute information through a global stream; be it debates or discussions. India is the third largest user of Twitter with an estimated 53.1 million active users. The number of people using this platform is very high and is becoming a great way to influence the elections and campaigns.

Recently, many prominent politicians have adapted to the norms and culture of social media. Their updates and feeds on various social media platforms about current events and happenings keep us informed.