Why the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is the most vicious and personalised
New Delhi, May 09: Issues have taken a back-seat clearly. The only narrative one gets to see in these elections are personalised attacks.
This is largely due to the strong polarisation, where the voter is polarised one way or the other. It would not be wrong to say that this has been one of the most vicious elections the country has ever seen.
Leading psephologist, Dr. Sandeep Shastri explains to OneIndia that there are multiple reasons for the elections shaping up the way it has. He says that this is one of the most vicious and personalised elections that we are noticing.
The polarisation in the society is strong as a result of which the voter has been polarised one way or the other. Parties have chosen personalised attacks and are evoking negative sentiments, he says.
"I am not holding any one party guilty of this. If parties have been staying away from main issues, it is probably because of their track record. Due to this factor, it becomes easier to make personalised attacks," Dr Shastri says.
"When this becomes the style of campaigning, there are two factors at play here. The one who is able to manipulate the communication techniques more effectively and also the one who captures the mind space. Unfortunately it is not about the issues, but about hyping controversies, hyping personal and counter attacks," he further adds.
"On who benefits from such a campaign, Dr. Shastri says that it would be difficult to say. The issue is people keep circulating in a group of one particular political party and do not get to see the narrative of another. None are willing to listen to the other side."
"Recently I was complimented by a former student of mine who commented after reading an article that I wrote. He told me that he finds it difficult to understand whose side I am on. I said thank God for that. Today there is an expectation that you need to take sides."
"Personal and counter attacks are by-products of polarisation. Ideally for any citizen, he should be able to see both sides of the narrative. Today all there is fake news and photoshopped images. Sadly there is no meaningful realistic rationale that is taking place. There is more of name calling, shouting people down etc. It is a very tragic commentary," Dr. Shastri says.