‘Political Actors’ are using TFM as a force-multiplier to woo rural voters

Traditional Folk Media (TFM) is termed as the most effective means of communication in today’s world since it not only helps to connect people with their tradition and culture but also helps in reviving the lost culture of society. At a time when election campaigning is at full swing, ‘political actors’ are using TFM as a force-multiplier to woo rural voters. Be it the folk music of Rajasthan Khela-Kayal where a satirical song praises the candidates or Rahul Gandhi’s folk dance with locals of Ranchi in Jharkhand during the Congress president’s rally thesehelp in building momentum and attract the attention of the public.

Assam is also not lagging behind in use of TFM in political campaigning. Nalbari district administration started with an innovative campaign in March, wherein a group of 50 women dressed in traditional finery sangBiya Naams (marriage songs) to inform the people about their voting rights. Apart from Biya Naams, dhuliya, putala-naach, ojha-paliare also on the cards and special scripts and lyrics have been prepared accordingly to promote voter awareness and free and fair election. Campaigners are also making use of Dhamailat Silchar town to influence women voters in various areas.

Bengal’s folk art Patachitra was used by Akhilesh Yadav as part of his poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh to promote the Samajwadi Party and his works as a chief minister. The scroll, also accompanied by a song recorded in Hindi, displayed works of Metro Rail in Lucknow, bicycles and laptops for students and his other works.

Though folk media attracts a small audience, the impact on them is at a much deeper level, inviting audience participation. But when we talk about elections onlytime will tell whether the voting drama is a hit or miss at the box office!

- Dr. Moushumi Bhattacharjee

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