The 2019 Election Will Be Fought on Social Media: Decoding the BJP-Congress Meme Wars

Politics

The 2019 Election Will Be Fought on Social Media: Decoding the BJP-Congress Meme Wars

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

I

n the last 20 years or so, sliced bread has become the second best thing to happen to the human race. The first is social media. It has walked in all guns blazing, holding a Tide pod in one hand, and handing out mildly talented individuals the opportunity to become “influencers” with the other. The effect social media has had on society and our relationships is a discussion longer and more complex than an entire season of Splitsvilla. But the effect it has had on Indian politics ahead of the 2019 general election campaign, has been as in your face as the final outcome of a season of Splitsvilla.

Both the BJP and the Congress have prepared for this year’s election by gathering some of the finest software engineers and rejected advertising employees the world has to offer, putting them in a room together, where they can eat samosas from their bike helmets, wear their socks up to their knees, and impulsively tweet stream-of-consciousness thoughts. The output of these gatherings, or IT cells as they are officially called, is quite similar to those “kya aap love life se pareshan hain?” texts — garish, repetitive, and rarely grammatically correct.

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