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Satire and cartoons are parties’ latest political weapons

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 30, 2013
First Published: 00:05 IST(30/11/2013) | Last Updated: 01:16 IST(30/11/2013)

Satirical cartoon strips, caricatures and posters have struck a chord with voters as well as political parties ahead of the Assembly polls.

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While artists and cartoonists have been traditionally highlighting problems of the polity using their art, political parties seem to have realised the potential of the medium and they are using it to target their opponents in the run-up to the December 4 year’s Delhi Assembly elections.

Realising the potential of the tool, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has started putting up posters across the city featuring caricatures of political leaders and highlighting issues such as price rise, corruption and women’s safety.

The publicity cell of the Delhi BJP has now gone a step ahead and released a comic booklet, satirising the Congress party and the leaders. All the candidates have been given several copies of the booklet who are now distributing it in their constituencies. 

“All the candidates are distributing the booklet. We realised that slogans and posters were not the only way of communicating with voters. Hence, rather than raising slogans we wanted to highlight the issues through satires as that hits the emotions of the people. All the issues that have been raised in the booklet have been put in a comic way so people are able to connect with them,” said Ashish Sood, who is in charge of the publicity cell of the BJP. According to sources, approximately 30,000 copies were printed in the first phase.

Issues such as rising prices of onions, power tariffs and the safety of women have been raised in the booklet.

“Ji haan aapne sahi sunna… Mujhe bijli ka bill bharne ke liye loan chaiye. (Yes you heard it right… I need a loan to pay my electricity bill),” reads one of the pages of the booklet.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too has been making use of the medium. On its Facebook page, the party has been posting caricatures of leaders from other political parties to take a dig at them. When Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said the centre was looking into charges that AAP was getting foreign funding, donations peaked. This was also illustrated through cartoons with Shinde being the obvious target.

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