Madhya Pradesh is in the throes of a political cyberwar. Last week, social media was flooded with a video clip of a morphed Shivraj Singh Chouhan thrashing his enemies, mostly top Congress leaders from the state.
Soon afterwards, a video clip surfaced with a morphed image of Kamal Nath as batsman hitting BJP leaders for six sixes in an over.
Not a week passes without the BJP or the Congress not coming out with a morphed video clip showing prominent leaders of either party attacking each other, sometimes even physically.
The videos are usually clips of movies with faces of actors morphed with images of leaders from MP. The original lines are replaced with lip synced versions of what the politicians would want voters to hear.
Elections in Madhya Pradesh are about five months away. The frequency of these videos appearing has increased as the state moves closer towards the polls. Both the BJP and the Congress have put together a team that would battle it out in the cyber world.
Last week, when BJP president Amit Shah was in Jabalpur, he asked party workers to work as “cyber yoddhas” (cyber warriors) to tell people about the work done by BJP state and Union government. There are a total of 65,000 cyber yoddhas who would be working for the BJP of which about 5,000 would be in Madhya Pradesh.
Taking the cue, the Congress too announced the formation of a group called “Rajeev ke Sipahi” under its Information Technology (IT) cell. The group has been so named in deference to Rajeev Gandhi who, according to the Congress, helped bring IT to the nation.
The sipahis in the Congress army are to counter any propaganda that they feel that the BJP IT has planted in social media. While the stated objective of the cyber yoddhas and Rajeev ke Sipahi groups is to apprise voters of the work done by the NDA government and previous UPA government respectively, in reality the groups have become generators of content targeting their rivals.
When the videos appeared initially, the Congress went about filing police complaints, but now they too seem to have taken the videos in their stride.
A video targeting Congress leaders is usually met with another video targeting BJP leaders that the Congress never acknowledges comes from its quarters.
“I don’t even look at these videos. I saw the ones that came out initially and found them amusing,” said PCC president Kamal Nath.
With the content of these videos based on ridiculing the opponents, gallantry is the last thing on everyone’s mind in this war.
(Courtesy of Mail Today)