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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Lifestyle

Poll campaigns get creative in the Capital
Hindustan Times
April 05, 2014
First Published: 20:15 IST(5/4/2014)
Last Updated: 20:20 IST(5/4/2014)

It’s not just boring campaign lorries in neighbourhoods and rambling on at rallies in procession grounds — poll fever in town this time is far more fun, pop and bling. As the entire country, including the Capital, gets ready for the Lok Sabha elections, here’s all that’s keeping young people politically engaged on the art, culture, ­campus, social media and tech fronts.

Around town
Giving a patriotic flavour to the city is the Flag Foundation of India that recently put up the national flag at Central Park in Connaught Place. Rock band Euphoria, singer KK and comedian Kapil Sharma ­performed in Delhi at events that urged the Capital to vote. In trying to raise political consciousness, there will be an election ­discussion today at IHC, Lodhi Road. Also, one is just a click away from diving into ­merchandise painted with political colours. Snapdeal, Flipkart, Tradus and Printvenue are some of the online portals selling everything from mobile covers and T-shirts, to wall clocks and photo frames, with pictures of politicians and party symbols planted on them.

Rock band Euphoria recently performed at Central Park in Connaught Place in an event that urged Delhiites to cast their vote; Game apps such as on Arvind Kejriwal (left) and Narendra Modi (centre) are popular among young people in town. Right: This artwork, called, Democracy, at the Lalit Kala Academy’s National Exhibition, draws a parallel with the country as a cow; Clockwise: The BigConnect by Shaili Chopra, 100 Things To Know and Debate Before You Vote by Hindol Sengupta, The fiction of fact-­finding: Modi and Godhra by Manoj Mitta, Unreal Elections by C S Krishna and Karthik Laxman


Campus buzz
Street play societies from colleges in DU and beyond are highlighting election-related issues with interesting acts in public places. A student-run newspaper, DU Beat, pokes bold fun at some of the top faces from the world of politics. Their posts — Winter Uniforms in Delhi University and Kejriwal to become the new Vice Chancellor, take a dig at Kejriwal and his peculiarities. Another one is politicians stay in DU hostels to know student problems. AAP, in their new manifesto, stated that it will lower the minimum age for ­election candidates from 25 to 21. Both BJP and AAP have also promised to scrap the four-year undergraduate programme in DU (FYUP) in their manifestos.

Art &  Books
The art and books scene is buzzing equally with ­election action. Some art shows, such as artist Sri Kesava Rao’s Demo-Cry, highlighted the plight of the common man. Another show, titled, Democracy — Possibilities & Impossibilities, discussed democracy through intelligent artworks. The ongoing National Exhibition at the Lalit Kala Academy showcases a few artworks that comment on the current political scenario. On the ­literary front, while there are books such as 100 Things To Know and Debate Before You Vote by Hindol Sengupta, which is a call to action, there is also The BigConnect by Shaili Chopra, tracing how politics and lobbying has now shifted to social media.

Tech & social media
Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are also seeing a lot of action through ­various spoof videos made on popular candidates fighting the ­elections this season. Some of the videos have gone viral and some have even seen over one lakh views just minutes after they were uploaded. Meanwhile, Angry Indians, Modi Run, Aam Aadmi Runner and Flying Manmohan are some of the game applications available, transforming leading politicians into gaming supermen. Some of these apps are just short of achieving a cult ­status among the youth.

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