The Internet may have worked wonders for Obama in the US, but is unlikely to be even half as effective in India
In a nation where a quarter of eligible voters are now between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, the 2009 elections will see a potential 100 million young Indians heading to the polls for the first time between 16 April and 13 May. This isn’t any old India, as PepsiCo’s recent series of TV commercials suggests, this is “Youngistaan,” the Land of the Young. And just as the demographic reality of India’s youth bulge hasn’t passed soft drinks corporations by, neither has it escaped the attention of India’s political hopefuls. In the run-up to the elections, national and regional parties alike have been anxiously reworking their campaign strategies to appeal to youth – or what the media now chummily refers to as Young India.
At the heart of this drive is Obama-inspired online campaigning. Stirred by the Democrats’ success in the United States, India’s major parties have been eagerly integrating the internet into their election drives.
However, they have two big pan-India challenges to overcome: the myriad languages of India and the limited reach of the Internet. Read more here