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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

360° View: ‘Pappu’, ‘Panauti’, ‘Paapi’: Name-Calling is Dead Giveaway.


Pappu’, ‘Panauti’, ‘Paapi’ — elections in India are seeing political parties wrestling hard to outwit their opponents with all kinds of abuses and name calling. It is a new low every day.

The trend of political name-calling has existed in the US since the presidential election in 1940. The Indian political parties have, however, imitated this western trend well and almost copied their ways of electioneering.

They have now mastered the art of running a toxic campaign through ways to launch personal attacks by demeaning the family members of political leaders, and sometimes by including their caste and community in the political word-play. Instances of name-calling and hurling abuses are not limited to social media campaigns though. Top senior leaders have lent their support to such ideas and contributed to the toxic electioneering. Name-calling, for instance, dominates the election campaigns.

Uncivil messages, use of unparliamentary expressions by politicians have become more and more common in the last decade. Personal attacks are now almost regular occurrences in an increasingly polarised political environment.

Political analysts and experts, however, say that the negative campaigns do not serve the vested interests of the political parties. The abuses may get some cheap cheers and tractions temporarily, but they never reap electoral dividends. Toxic political campaigns through high octave polarised communications could be losing their persuasive power soon, feel the political observers.




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