The war is also on social media. From cartoons lampooning rivals to promotional picture collages and videos, student parties are going all out to campaign on social networking sites and messaging apps before the student council elections on September 7. Add to that parties targeting rivals and mocking their strategies, the battlelines are fast getting blurred.
Facebook and WhatsApp are the newest weapons of ‘mass destruction’ but the route to winning the elections has also thrown up some ‘creative gems’.
PUSU’s online campaign
The Panjab University Students Organisation (PUSU) has started an aggressive online campaign targeting rivals and are uploading cartoons mocking them on their Facebook page daily. Their particular choice is the Students Organisation of India (SOI), the Akali student wing.
In one of the cartoons uploaded on Wednesday, it shows SOI representatives riding a bullock cart supported on the shoulders of PU students. They also depict SOI using gunmen for their security on campus.
Besides, PUSU also uploaded its digital report card claiming to have provided numerous facilities to university institute of engineering and technology (UIET) including independent placement cell, internal examinations 2004, branch sliding, improvement and arrear examinations, recarpeting of parking lot, hostel reservation (2010) and WiFi, among others. All the major student bodies are aware that UIET is the largest votebank during the elections with over 2,500 votes.
Recently, PUSU also invited students for an open debate through Facebook, where an NSUI member commented, ‘Challenge accepted’.
Social media, an effective tool
All parties are making sure that their Facebook page is updated with some activity or the other on an hourly basis. Parties have been uploading their memorandums highlighting how they were raising student’s issues on campus.
All student bodies operating on college campuses have also made Facebook pages to reach out to a larger number of students. Student leaders believe that social media not only helps supporters approach them, but students also get to know about these organisations.