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So you had a setback? Congratulations. I am not crazy, I really mean it. Though they tend to have depressing effects, setbacks are a necess...

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Bharat and his Youth Campaign


Indian General Elections 2014 with social mobile apps 

The turning point for Mr. Bharat

All they can do is chat, chat and chat. If they can use their fingers to chat, then why can't they use the same finger to vote?”Mr. Bharat went on and on about today’s generation and youth. He threw his morning newspaper on the front table.
What’s the use of talking to me?” Mrs. Bharat continued her dusting. She concentrated on a tricky corner of the wall. “I’m no longer young.”
No one would believe that looking at you.” He leaned back in his chair.
Flatterer...” Mrs. Bharat blushed. She looked up at her husband and said, “I am serious. It is no use of talking, if we can’t do something about it. You should try reaching out to the youth, persuade them the importance of vote. I know you can do it.”
This vote of confidence instead of boasting his ego annoyed him.“I’ll go out for a walk.”
He knew she was right. But, how could he connect with someone who thought viral was good? And today's youth didn't read newspapers with the exception of those who planned on giving UPSC exams.
He was already having difficulty with his children. How could he talk to someone who talked with their fingers instead of their mouth? Once a while message was alright with him, but he couldn’t understand how they managed all day. And he couldn’t understand half the words. Their English was so incomprehensible to him, that he considered it some remix,alien language.
As he walked down the lane, he remembered an episode from months back. He wanted to buy a gift for his daughter, Bharati on her eighteenth birthday. These days he found it hard to keep up with her likes, and thought to ask his son, Chota Bharat.He decided to use his newly learnt mobile skill and sms his son instead of calling. His son replied back 'idk'. He spent the whole afternoon in office trying to solve this cryptic code. He wanted to call his son and ask him the meaning. But, his son had recently started complaining, how he was misunderstood by his father. That call would have been an admission of that fact and was out of question. Instead, he asked his much younger colleague.
What is idk?”
I don’t know.”
Mr. Bharat was rather relieved. It wasn’t his understanding at fault. Either his daughter liked something rare or his son had made a typing mistake. “ So, you don’t know either. I-”
No, no, no. I meant, it means I don’t know. See i-d-k =I don’t know.”
Mr. Bharat had never been so embarrassed. It was a short form. Why couldn’t people write abbreviations in capitals with dots like in his days? He would never be able to connect with this tech savvy generation.
Aaaaaagh!” The scream broke his reverie.
Another accident. He saw the bike lying beside a pothole and the crowd gathered around a young boy. He couldn’t see the boy’s face but a familiar face of Chota Bharat hovered in front of his eyes.If things don't change, it could be him.
He had taught his son to walk, to talk, to ride a bicycle. Now, it was his turn to learn something from his son, to talk the language of the youth. The only way to stop these things was active citizens. Everybody needed to Vote for India. Besides, the Supreme Court had already solved the problem of those who think there aren't any deserving candidates: NOTA option.

Social Mobile apps and election campaign

“Dad, you want to what?” Chota Bharat asked, his eyes narrowing.
Mr. Bharat knew what his son was thinking. He must be suspicious of his father’s sudden interest in the Internet.
 “I want to reach out to the youth...to promote voting. There are twenty year olds who still haven’t got their electoral Id cards. I want to start a Youth for India campaign."
“Use social mobile apps.” Chota Bharat said, ignoring his Identity card remark.
“Facebook.” Bharati chirped. “You can promote anything with a facebook page.”
And then, began his process of learning social mobile apps and using them to promote 'Vote for India' with his 'Youth for India Campaign'.He had never thought that a mobile, which he hardly used, would be so essential for promoting voting.

Facebook


Facebook seemed to him like a youth directory. Everyone was on it. And the funny part was, like wasn’t just an emotion, it was a button. Did it mean that, now you could switch feelings on/off by pressing a button?
“Let’s make a cover.” Bharati said.
He joined his children with enthusiasm. It had been years since they had done anything together. It turned out that the cover was a banner. They added pink colour to pacify Bharati. He was happy to find out that her favourite colour hadn't changed. Chota Bharat designed it, he himself added the words and Mrs. Bharat approved it. It was a family venture.
A family venture: Mr. Bharat's cover photo

He kept check on the facebook page but to no avail. He couldn’t believe he was waiting for a stranger to scribble on his wall.
When he met Bharati in the evening, she said, “Dad, you didn’t share anything.”
Mr. Bharat was an only child. He believed in brotherhood and all, but to share his clothes with strangers he considered taking it too far. He scratched his head. Maybe Bharati meant bribes. He had seen political parties vying for attention with gifts as election approached. Was he supposed to bribe people to vote for their own country?
However, Bharati soon explained the remark. She seemed enthusiastic to take over her brother’s job of teaching him.
“You need to update status, share pictures and videos.”

Youtube/Pinterest/Instagram


Bharati explained that Instagram and Pinterest were apps which are used for sharing moments. He realized, he could use these apps along with the previous app to spread his message in pictures.
He had fun making images, that were called memes, with his little daughter.

Santa votes, too.


Image created with Bitstrips



 Youtube- an app to create and share videos. Videos seemed a good way for promotion.She showed him some videos.
                                 Video courtesy: I vote for a better India channel

Mr. Bharat was pleased with the ‘The power of Vote’ video made by ‘I vote for a better India’. He realized, there were many like minded souls.
When Chota Bharat returned home, Mr. Bharat proudly showed him his progress, which it turned out, his son already knew thanks to connectivity of social media. It was a joyful dinner at Bharat house. Mr. Bharat was talking and for once, his children were paying attention.
"I have many slogans. I could go and shout them outside." He exclaimed.
Bharati looked appalled as if he had grown horns.
"Dad," Chota Bharat rolled his eyes. "Tweet it."
Mr. Bharat was stunned. Was his son asking him to shut up in a new lingo? They might have disagreements, but his son was never rude. Or to his horror, did he really mean it? As kids, they loved mimicking the birds and he had to do it, too. He was never good at it, and he hoped Chota Bharat wasn't asking him to mimic a pigeon.

 

Twitter

Chota Bharat was trying to initiate his father to Twitter, a social mobile app where you Tweet your thoughts to the world in 140 characters or less. He showed Mr. Bharat some sample Tweets.

His slogans could very well be tweeted. He needed to add an appropriate hash tag. He could have the satisfaction of shouting slogans without getting a sore throat. If everyone tweeted with #VoteForIndia, voting would turn into a new trend.  And voting was an important step in getting the best of democracy.

 

Google+

 

After facebook, Google+ was easy to understand. Google plus page was similar to facebook page but it was better because of hangouts, hangouts on air and Google plus events option. With hangouts, he could have a hangouts session with some of his followers and answer the questions, they had about voting process and elections. It was as good as a live meeting. He even hosted a “Youth for India- Why should youth vote?Google plus event with hangouts on air.

 

WeChat/Whatsapp/BBM

Mr. Bharat couldn’t figure out the use of the chatting apps for the campaign. He had already messaged his contacts and ask them to vote for the Indian general elections in 2014. This was easy with a broadcast messaging feature. He couldn’t keep on messaging them and spam their inbox. It would only result in them blocking him.

  Group Chat

 

He loved the group chat feature of the chatting apps. He started a voting discussion group. This was better than a live session because people could read messages later if they weren’t free at that moment. In this respect, he loved WeChat because it allowed to add 100 people to group chat. He figured rightly, the more the better.

WeChat

He needed to reach out to more of the youngsters. He needed to expand his horizons.He couldn’t just crash a party, though if he did that, the looks on his children’s faces would be worth seeing. He needed a better and awesome way. He sat there thinking and shaking his phone.

 

Shake 

 He couldn’t believe what the screen said: “Looking for people shaking their phones...”  
There was an app which would connect people who were shaking their phones! He must have inadvertently touched and opened WeChat app. It was like a fairy Godmother had listened to him and decided to connect him with the cool kids.
There were so many youngsters shaking their phone and thanks to WeChat, he could connect with them.
 
Image Courtesy: wechat.com

WeChat combined public profile and chat features to give the best of both the worlds. It had a public profile which featured moments, a sticker shop with numerous free stickers and connectivity to facebook, along with individual and group chatting. Besides, it also had unique and amazing features like Live Chat, Shake, Drift Bottle and People Nearby. And it can also be used on web.

Drift Bottle

The Drift Bottle feature seemed like a fairy tale. Mr. Bharat threw in bottles with his messages, and he did get replies too. Do you want to know the messages and their outcome?
Image Courtesy: wechat.com
 
I don't know either. Did they get a happily ever after or are they still whining about their future? The answer is in your hands or rather in your finger. Cast your vote and redefine your future.

People Nearby

With People Nearby, it was easy to search like-minded people to enlist in his campaign. He could also connect with other people nearby and impress on them the importance of voting.   

Live Chats  

 

This feature was very handy when he needed to clear doubts of the youngsters regarding Voter Ids and voting. He could explain them easily and answer their questions.
Mr. Bharat was excited to tell his kids about WeChat. "That's how we chat, dad" chorused Bharati and Chota Bharat.

Why should youth vote?

Mr. Bharat was pleased with his Youth for India campaign but he realized that he had missed the most important part, why a youth campaign, and why should youth vote for India. So, he started a blog, ‘Youth for India’ to explain his objective. Here are some posts from his blog.

 

Post-1

Youth for India
Everybody loves to talk about the misguided youth. The truth is, Indian youth doesn’t need directions. He seems direction-less because all the directions are leading to nothing. Instead of showing directions, we need leaders, who concentrate on building worthwhile destinations where the directions would lead, and a strong infrastructure.

How will such leaders arise? When will people start seeing the youth in their true light, as individuals who love to enjoy life along with following their responsibilities? The simple fact is it won’t happen unless the youth themselves make it happen. A pre-cooked food might be tasty but is seldom healthy. Similarly, the government formed without your actual participation wouldn’t be bothered about you.

-Bharat.

 

Post-2

 

Why should Youth Vote?
  • Gain control over life
    Every kid wants to grow up so that he/she can control their own life. And 18th birthday marks a milestone in that respect. You are legally in control, but that control is an illusion if you don’t vote. More than your parents, teachers, your life is controlled by the government rules and regulations. Voting gives you control over the people who make rules for you. If you don’t like the laws, you can change the govt. every five years. The only way to gain real control is to vote.
  • Stop political interference in educational institutions
    The educational system has become a mess. Many people get admissions via political influence. And it doesn’t end there. There are always some mishaps in the admission process. Sometimes, students aren’t even aware that the institution they are admitted has lost recognition. This news is usually delivered on the verge of exams. The institutions then expect the students to do something to save the college.
    If you want them to stop messing your future, take control of their future. Cast your vote.
  • For your safety
    Do you know why the political parties are bothered by youth and their late night dinner and parties? No, they aren’t that worried about culture. They need to take cultural point of view to defend their inability to provide good internal security and safety for the citizens. Most of the youth have a busy day full of lectures, projects and submissions. Sometimes, this work continues late night, too. So, if they party late once in a while, that cannot be a license to point out the girls’ characters and blame them if they are attacked. A good govt. would provide for our safety instead of looking for people to place the blame. You need to vote for a good government.
  • The exam you always dreamed
    Don’t you always hope after every MCQ exam that the answer you selected turns out to be the right one? This is your chance. You get to decide the right answer. In fact, it is the only exam where you answer and someone else is worried about the results. Why miss a chance to vote?
  • Good working environment
    Are you tired of corporate servitude, the way they make you work for 20 hours a day and pay for 8 hours? Corporate laws are government domain too. Cast your vote for a responsible government.
  • The only way to make government notice your problems.
    Why aren’t any of the political parties really bothered about youth? They help those sections of society who they hope would elect them. And everyone knows, the youth doesn’t vote. The total youth population in India as of 2001 is 41.05%. Though this also includes kids from 13-18 yrs, it still would be a large number excluding them. If every youth votes, it would form the largest vote bank. No one who ignores the youth can hope to rule the country.

    Only you can bring about the change because you have the power to vote for it.
      -Bharat

He was still working on his campaign when Bharati and Chota Bharat barged in with something in their hands. He saw the object with misty eyes, their first Voter Id card. *This is a creative post written for the contest, Indian General Elections 2014 with social mobile apps organized by Indiblogger and WeChat.

22 comments:

  1. That is an amazing post with great effort Kiran. It will be a shame if it is not recognized. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Farida. Good luck to you too.

      Delete
  2. Wow! That was real comprehensive. You must be a social media guru. Best of luck for the contest.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. Best of luck to you, too.
      Social media guru....he he. That was what I had researched to promote the blog, initially except for the chat apps thing. I hope Mr. Bharat has greater success than me.

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  3. Wow, this is an amazing post! learned so many things like negative voting, and the fact there are so many apps available. loved how created a story with all the information :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot. :) I loved writing about it. This is one contest which goes along with my theme- change. :D

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  4. Great effort kiran !! I loved your reply to DEBAJYOTI too !! We both are on the same boat !!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. I know, It's fun to write about our country. It's really nice when we there is a contest which promotes social awareness. Keep visiting.

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  5. That was indeed an amazing read. All the Best...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Namrota. All the best to you too.

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  6. I like how you included the various WeChat features for this campaign. Good ideas.
    All the best Kiran.

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    1. Thanks Indrani. All the best to you too.

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  7. Keep coming up with novel ideas such as these and am sure Mr. Bharat would be the epitome of success. :)
    All the best for the contest! :)

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    1. Thanks Poonam. :) All the best to you too.

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  8. A really good post with some humorous moments :-)

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  9. Kiran ji it's really amazing and magnificent step n I don't know you but I am really praying for you that with this kind of step may be we will change our India definitely n LOts of luck to you

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  10. A wonderful post with all the points, Kiran.
    More power to souls like Mr.Bharat & you!
    If all people are socially conscientious & vote responsibly, India will win:)
    Bharat Mata ki Jai!
    Congrats for winning :)

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    1. Thanks a lot Anita. Glad you liked it.
      Congrats to you too. It's fun to write posts like this which fit in my blog niche.
      Jai Hind.

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  11. very well written and well deserved

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