The Digital Drama: How BJP’s Tech Tactics Turned Tables Against Them

In the bustling world of Indian politics, the BJP had been a star student in the class of digital campaigns. They knew their way around tweets and hashtags like pros, playing the social media game to win big seats and hearts. But as they say in the land of tech and tweets, what goes online, stays online—and sometimes, bites back. This story unfolds how the BJP’s digital mastery became its stumbling block and sparked the rise of a new hero: independent media.

BJP’s Digital Dominance: A Masterclass in Modern Politics

Picture this: It’s the elections season, and everywhere you look, there’s a tweet, a post, or a video from the BJP. They weren’t just good; they were the wizards of the digital world, conjuring campaigns that reached millions. Modi himself became somewhat of a social media celebrity, and his digital footprints were everywhere, influencing from big cities to remote corners.

They had the game plan down pat—spend big on ads (a whopping INR 4.5 billion in 2019), personalise messages, and make sure they were the first thing you saw online in the morning. This strategy wasn’t just about spreading news—it was about making the news. By the 2019 elections, it seemed like their digital charm had worked, securing them a mammoth 303 seats.

Enter the Underdogs: Independent Digital Media

Just when the BJP thought they had the digital arena under their thumb, the plot thickened. New players entered the ring—YouTubers, bloggers, and online news platforms, who weren’t just watching the show but wanted to run it. Figures like Dhruv Rathee and Ravish Kumar started pulling in viewers in the millions, not by shouting the loudest but by asking the right questions.

These weren’t your everyday news folks; they were the new age digital detectives. They took the BJP’s narratives, flipped them over, and showed the other side. Platforms like The Wire took up stories no one else would touch, diving deep into facts, uncovering the layers beneath. They weren’t just giving news; they were making sense of it, one fact at a time.

The Twist: When Digital Backfired

With every action comes a reaction. The more the BJP pushed their digital agenda, the more these independent voices pushed back. They started fact-checking, analyzing, and critiquing every byte of digital content the BJP produced. It wasn’t just a battle of narratives anymore; it was a battle for credibility.

By the time the Delhi Assembly Elections in 2020 rolled around, the winds had shifted. The BJP’s digital fortress saw cracks as voters, especially the tech-savvy youth, started leaning towards the voices that resonated with authenticity rather than authority. Despite a heavy digital artillery, the BJP secured only 8 seats out of 70.

Lessons from the Digital Battlefield

This wasn’t just a setback; it was a lesson in digital dynamics. The BJP’s story teaches us that in the age of instant information, influence is fragile, and control is an illusion. The rise of independent media is a testament to the power of diversity in voices and narratives in shaping public opinion.

As we scroll through our feeds today, the digital drama continues to unfold. The stage is set for a future where battles are fought not just in polling booths but in the comments section of a viral post. The key players? Anyone with a smartphone and a story to tell. The BJP’s journey from digital darlings to a cautionary tale is a reminder: in the digital world, it’s not just about who talks the loudest but who talks the truth.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Shilpi Shukla
Shilpi Shukla's career, rooted in The Times of India and India Today, extends over two decades through media, journalism, and corporate communications with organisations like Roposo and Vedanta. Having contributed to global publications, she transitioned into digital strategy and communications, influencing various industries. With expertise in storytelling and digital acumen, Shilpi champions financial literacy, gender equity, and positive workplace cultures, integrating her values into her work across natural resources, technology, and e-commerce sectors.

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