Are the days of political rallies over?

The extremely poor turnout at meetings ? even of those boasting the biggest names in politics or cinema ? has led to sociologists declaring the "death of rallies".

india Updated: Nov 27, 2003 11:58 IST

Political rallies seem to be fast losing their significance as a campaign tool during elections. The extremely poor turnout at meetings — even of those boasting the biggest names in politics or cinema — has led to sociologists declaring the "death of rallies".

"Since Independence, mainstream political parties have a record of betrayed promises. People have seen through their hollow promises and won't queue up to listen to the candidates. There is total disillusionment," said Dr A. Chakravarti, professor of sociology in the Delhi University.

JNU's political sociology department head Anand Kumar said the poor turnout was proof that parties were losing their links with the grassroots. "Delhi is fast becoming an apolitical city of neo-rich, uprooted people who have no community framework," he said.

Political parties are roping in popular stars in a desperate bid to attract people. But even that doesn't seem to help.

The electronic media may have a role here. The TV makes it possible to watch a rally from the comforts of your home.

While people seem to have abandoned netajis, the latter won't give up. If people won't come to them, they will go to their voters. Candidates are taking to to padyatras and door-to-door campaigning as alternative ways to reach out to people.

First Published: Nov 27, 2003 11:58 IST