BJP's 'Beef Biryani' to Congress' 'Beef Janata Party': Online video wars in Karnataka
Before battling it out in the Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are already engaged in an online video duel. Armed with videos dripping with wit and sarcasm both parties have taken the social media battle from tweets and posts to audiovisual format- all in a bid to conquer more social media space.
On Sunday, the Congress posted a video terming the BJP- "Beef Janata Party". The 1.19 minutes video called out the BJP's hypocrisy around beef as business and in politics. "Parrikar wants to import it, Yogi wants to export it, Rijiju wants to eat it, Som wants to sell it. Do not mix Beef and Business. Mixing Beef and Politics, a definite YES! Enough of your hypocrisy @BJP4India," said a tweet accompanied by a video. Witty lines, photos and quotes of BJP leaders on beef was the highlight of Congress' video aimed at mocking the BJP.
#BeefJanataParty— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) January 21, 2018
Parrikar wants to import it, Yogi wants to export it, Rijiju wants to eat it, Som wants to sell it.
Do not mix Beef and Business. Mixing Beef and Politics, a definite YES!
Enough of your hypocrisy @BJP4India pic.twitter.com/f6DMDzreOi
The Congress' video tweet deeming the BJP-Beef Janata Party came two days after the Karnataka BJP IT cell accused the Siddaramaiah government of sleeping over the plaguing issue of farmer suicides. In BJP's inimitable style, the video began with Prime Minister Narendra Modi talking of farmer welfare. With newspaper clippings and statistics showing farmer suicides in Karnataka, the BJP accused the Siddaramaiah government of turning the state into a killing yard of farmers.
"Videos with sarcasm and wit seem to attract more view and have the potential to go viral than text or images," said a senior office-bearer from the Congress Social Media Cell who requested not to be quoted. "Facts, humour highlighting issues are our interest. No personality attacks but focus will be on failures of the Central government towards Karnataka, Yeddyurappa versus Siddaramaiah's government and Modi's Gujarat model versus Siddaramaiah's Karnataka model," the functionary added. A team of two people- one to write a script and another to edit the video- takes a day's time to produce each of these videos.
The Karnataka BJP's IT cell put out its first witty video against the Siddaramaiah government on January 18, 2018. The video on "recipe for Beef Biryani" took potshots at Siddaramaiah as well as Dinesh Gundu Rao- working President of the KPCC. The 1.39 minutes video accused the Siddaramaiah government of cooking beef biryani- a reference to minority appeasement- with scams from his welfare schemes including Anna Bhagya and Indira canteen, communal violence and killings of Hindu activist and water politics over Cauvery and Mahadayi.
Siddaramaiah led Congress govt has been the most anti-Hindu Govt in the history of K'taka. CM himself has repeatedly boasted of his anti-Hindu image. But of late, he has been trying hard to prove his Hindu credentials. But it is too late Mr. CM . Start packing your bags! pic.twitter.com/vdT9BTfVcL— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) January 18, 2018
The BJP too agrees that video sells. "Visualising content helps reach out to more people. Social media was all about text earlier and then came poster but now it is moving towards videos. Also perhaps because of increase of consumption of data," said a senior volunteer with the BJP IT cell. The BJP aims to create videos highlighting the failures of the Siddaramaiah government, contributions of the Narendra Modi government to Karnataka and achievements of the BJP government in the state under the Chief Ministership of B S Yeddyurappa. The BJP claims that apart from merely viewing and sharing videos online, people download the content and share it on mass messaging apps like Whatsapp, Telegram too.
The BJP's video was, however, in response to a Congress video on Yogi Adityanath. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is turning into BJP's star campaigner in Karnataka ahead of the assembly elections. He has addressed rallies twice in the state already and is expected to address a dozen more. The Congress mocked the saffron icon with a humorous video dated January 11, 2018.
Here's a recipe for a BJP star campaigner. We don't recommend it. pic.twitter.com/j5lIAvc4Oa— Congress (@INCIndia) January 11, 2018
The online video battle is expected to continue in poll-bound Karnataka. With the social media cells of both parties working overtime to fight over online space and popularity, new ideas, creativity, professional support and a wee bit of humour are at an all-time high.