Election Fatigue! 5 reasons why we are already so exhausted with the race to Lok Sabha 2019!
It's impossible to escape the acrid politics, burning up everything from TV debates to newspapers, social media, even your cab ride!
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On April 11, when India went to the polls for the very first phase of 2019's General Election, 123 hashtags trended on Twitter.
It dipped to 91 on May 6 — the fifth phase of this long-drawn process.
Yes, we are tired. And to figure that, we don’t even have to look at these figures.
How much of #AyengetoModihi and #AbHogaNyay can we take!
Then, there is Arvind Kejriwal on every phone call and every radio channel you switch to, giving out details of how much tax Delhiwallahs are paying. The heat is excessive in Delhi, but we feel the situation is the same in every corner of the country. Not to forget Andhra Pradesh, which has also voted for its state Assembly.
Well before the inked fingers: This election has been in the air for quite some time now. (Photo: PTI/Reuters)
A long, long time
In 2014, the election was held over nine phases. This time, it’s a seven-phase election. But we're not even talking about the duration. Tell us, when did you start to smell the politics in the air? Was it the Karnataka Assembly Election? Or was it the five-state (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Mizoram) elections? Or was it when Rahul Gandhi hugged PM Modi in Parliament?
You won’t be able to ascertain the exact date and time because it's been there for a long time. And it's turned the air acrid forever too.
Of course, media
Obviously, there are a larger number of television channels, websites and mobile applications in 2019 than in 2014. And this has translated into 24x7 election coverage — who's saying what, who's reacting to that, who's wearing what, etc., etc. — all various shades of the same thing.
Plus social media
This brings us to the nub of the issue. Imagine this: In 2009, there was just one active politician with 6,000 followers on Twitter. In 2014, Narendra Modi reached 3.97 million followers. In 2019, almost every politician has an active Twitter account. Narendra Modi has 47.2 million followers.
You can clearly understand the difference it makes. Every issue is a Twitter trend — jokes, memes, Gifs — but no respite from politics.
Every other photo on Facebook is that of an inked finger while every comment practically on Twitter is someone showing an opponent their political finger, metaphorically speaking.
Not sweet nothings: The election is on your platter too! (Photo: Reuters)
From Nehru to notebandi
This is also the most all-encompassing elections we have seen so far.
Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi, Nathuram Godse, Mahatma Gandhi — everyone has a pivotal role to play. Just think of it. How many issues can your brain hold at the same time? You see something on Twitter, then you move onto something else on that TV debate, then read something else in the newspapers.
No wonder that we are tired. And another week to go.
While we rest...
Yes, there were IPL matches. But in-between them too came 'Ab Hoga Nyay' advertisements. You thought you'd take forty winks in your cab ride. But your co-passenger decided to ask that dreaded question, “Aur bhaiya, kya lag raha hai?” (What do you think of the elections?)
And thus, there’s no end.
In April this year, more than 270 election staff died in Indonesia of fatigue-related illnesses after the country saw the world’s biggest single-day elections (presidential, national, regional). Voter fatigue in politics is also a legitimate term where voters feel uninterested and they don’t care.
We are not on the verge of dying. We haven't lost interest either.
We are just tired. For the time being.