In an effort to connect with the youth and shift from traditional methods of campaigning, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started distributing comic books highlighting Narendra Modi’s journey from his childhood to becoming the prime ministerial candidate of the party.
According to senior BJP leaders, the traditional methods such as hoardings, posters and pamphlets do not have a recall value and hence are not as effective as booklets or graphic novels.
Confirming the move, state unit president Harsh Vardhan said: “We are using new and youthful campaign tools that resonate with long-lasting and refreshing impact on the people, especially youngsters. It is an integrated approach for the campaign where we are using tools that have a greater recall value also”.
One such book — Bhavishya ki Asha - Narendra Modi — has little anecdotes such as how Modi had a Muslim friend from his school days called Jasood Khan Pathan and how he used to bring sweets for him. The book does not mention the Gujarat riots but talks about the development that took place during that period.
Party insiders said that if this initiative was successful, the same comic book would be distributed in Varanasi.
To counter the ‘chaiwala’(tea-seller) comments about Modi, the book shows a young Modi selling tea at railway stations.
“This was an important issue raised by the Congress. Following this, the party had launched a Chai Pe Charcha inititiative where Modi connects with the masses,” said a senior BJP leader.
Sources in the BJP said that order for 10,000 copies had already been placed and these would be distributed in all seven parliamentary constituencies. “Books or pamphlets engage the reader and people end up reading the entire thing. We want to ensure that the focus is entirely on Modi as the entire campaign is about him,” said a senior BJP leader.
“The book has not been written on the behest of the party. A publisher has produced it and we decided to rope it in for the Delhi elections. Apart from the BJP, other organisations are also distributing these books,” said a senior BJP leader.