To mark the six years of Prime Minister Narendera Modi’s governance on July 5, Jammu and Kashmir unit of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is planning “virtual rallies” amid a plan to distribute 50,000 pamphlets highlighting Modi’s achievements and creating 20,000 watsapp grounds to disseminate the achievements of Modi.
Ground Report | Srinagar
According to media reports that BJP’s J&K unit is planning mega e-rallies to celebrate PM Modi’s six year’s stint in the governance. “In each district there will be a press conference on July 8 where in BJP leaders will highlight the achievements of Modiji and tell people about the work done in the past six years. Sector wise achievements will be highlighted in the press conferences where only two BJP leaders will be present,” they said.
A top BJP leader disclosed to KINS that in the pamphlets to be distributed among the people will have main thrust on revocation of Article 370 and carving of two Union Territories (UTs)—J&K and Ladakh.
On August 5 last year, GoI announced the roll back of Article 370 and also sliced the erstwhile state of J&K into two Union Territories. The announcement was officially implemented on October 31 with the appointment of two separate Lieutenant Governor’s for Ladakh and J&K.
BJP’s J&K spokesman Altaf Thakur said that virtual rallies are being planned to mark the six years of PM Modi government. “We are also planning to create 20,000 groups of watsapp while 50,000 pamphlets will be distributed among the people,” Thakur said KINS reported.
He said that e-rallies through video conferencing where BJP ranks will celebrate six years of PM Modi government. “BJP cadre will also distribute free face masks and sanitizers among the people across Kashmir while following the Covid protocol and social distancing,” Thakur said.
In 2019 elections, WhatsApp became the preferred choice to carry the message of the party to the people. West Bengal’s 90-million population use some 30 million smart phones making it a clear winner.
“Eventually, 55,000 WhatsApp groups were created which were monitored by the IT cell and through which content was pushed to the group members. It was a direct messaging platform that was generously used,” BJP leader had said.
Of course, it’s not that the party didn’t use Facebook and Twitter.
“Facebook or Twitter are based on algorithms. In case of Facebook, for example, when a content is uploaded, it first reaches out to, say, 10,000 people. Based on the response it generates from those 10,000 people, the content then either reaches out to a wider audience or dies down.
“But it isn’t the case with WhatsApp. With this direct messaging app, one can reach out to the targeted audience via one-to-one communication,” Pareek said.
On the other hand, WhatsApp is also more data saving as compared to other social networks. This feature is a crucial aspect particularly in rural belts where data accessibility and its quality still remain a concern.
India has 1.14 billion mobile phone connections and at least 200 million people with WhatsApp accounts. The Election Commission of India has raised concerns about fake news that can be used to manipulate elections with the Facebook Inc owned messaging platform. Separately, the IT ministry has also raised the issue, especially in the context of such news causing mob violence and lynchings. A wave of lynchings at least 30, across more than 10 states, in 13 months prompted the Supreme Court, which was hearing a case on lynchings, to issue guidelines to the states on preventing and tackling such instances. WhatsApp too, has made changes in the platform, including labelling messages as forwards when they are forwarded.