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Poll Strategists Alone Can't Help Win Elections Without Party Karyakartas

21/05/2016 1:30 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP) leader Sarbanada Sonowal, center, waves to his supporters after party won state assembly elections in Gauhati, India , Thursday, May 19, 2016. India's ruling Hindu nationalist party made dramatic gains in elections in the eastern state of Assam but trailed in four other states, the election commission said Thursday. Local parties dominated the results in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala states, while the Congress won in Pondicherry. (AP Photo/ Anupam Nath)

Over the past two years, media seem to have attributed far too much credence to poll strategists. We wish to debunk several myths around this media frenzy.

Every political worker brings with him a great set of experiences and ideas. In a party of more than 25,00,000 karyakartas in BJP Assam Pradesh, thousands of ideas were at play in full fruition, sometimes not even for a transactional benefit, prior to and on election day. Who would decide which one was professional and which one was not? Every bit of experience added to the richness of this mandate seeking exercise. Undue credit to a few is an unprofessional assessment of these synergetic efforts.

Data crunchers have the capability to offer prescriptions based on numbers. But what about chemistry which works to translate prescriptions into suggestive reality? A silent but sustained socio-political and socio-economic revolution has been simmering on in Assam over decades through Ekal vidyalays, Lok Jagaran Manch and so many other organizations. Millions of swayamsevaks have sacrificed their lives on the altar of selfless service in tribal areas of the state to see this day. Can professional data crunchers's one time dashboard substitute these sacrifices?

the DNA of that system is embedded in the blood and sweat of these selfless swayamsevaks and karyakartas

Young professionals add some dynamism and sense of urgency to an election process but in no respect one small, short term team claim to be a "king maker". Even before the concept of campaign managers came into play, political parties fought and won elections. They organized rallies, held big karyakarta meetings, managed hoards of volunteers. Are we saying they were not professional enough?

Every person working in this space should have the humility to respect the emotions with which people come out and vote. Voters are not consumers. The battle for ideologies is bigger than what market dynamics can ever fathom. Marketing tools and the knowledge to utilize those tools pumps in efficiency in the system, but the DNA of that system is embedded in the blood and sweat of these selfless swayamsevaks and karyakartas.

Elections are a massive public exercise which requires Herculean efforts at various organizational levels. Undue credit to a few is an unprofessional assessment of these synergetic efforts.

Lastly, in the dance of democracy, people have been and will always be the king makers.

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