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Title: Media Framing of the 2014 Indian Elections: The Rise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Authors: Tejasvi Vasudevan
Keywords: Lok Sabha elections
media bias, newspapers
Narendra Modi
Rahul Gandhi
Social Media
Indian Politics
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Bangkok University
Abstract: This paper looks at the important role that news-frames and media played in the electoral processes by using five news-frames from six newspapers: Times of India, Telegraph, The Hindu, Hindustan Dainik, Ananda Bazaar Patrika and Dainik Jagran, seven months prior to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in India. The paper also studied five television news channels’ prime-time news and studied the time allotted to politicians, political parties, and issues related to the elections. Lastly, the paper studied the role of social media in Indian elections. It argues that news frames with their stories can somehow change people’s perception of the candidates and move the public away from issues that were very relevant to them before the elections and get them to singularly focus on issues the media has framed and create a brand around a leader. Given the complexity of Indian politics, its numerous regional languages, its varied demographics, and where amongst the two main political parties, one was headed by a man (Mr. Narendra Modi) who was rank outsider, far away from the politics of New Delhi and the northern India which had produced all previous Prime Ministers and more known for his inaction during the Godhra riots in which many Muslim were killed in his state where he was the Chief Minister, and the second headed by the scion of India’s most famous political dynasty (Mr. Rahul Gandhi), the author argues that it was the media who with their news frames created a brand of the party leader Mr. Modi. The author used only secondary research due to the time delay between the paper and the elections which prevented primary research. Never before has such branding of a personality in politics prior to elections occurred, especially one who was thought of as radical right-wing in a very secular country. Elections are an important part of any democratic country. The media helps the populace to understand the different parties’ take on issues concerning the public, the candidates and their views. Indians are besotted with politics and the Constitution of India gives the power to elect the leader of the country to its entire people through the process of an electoral system. The 2014 Lok Sabha election was surprising in its results as one party the BJP gained 282 seats out of 543 seats giving it a stunning victory. It was also an election which saw social media being actively used by politicians along with traditional media. The election were dubbed social media election and recalled by many as an election in which the media was partial to Mr. Modi, the winning candidate. Hence the role of the media is very important in understanding what caused this massive victory of a party that was considered very politically polarized and of a man who was known for 2002 riots which killed many Muslims in a state which he headed as chief minister at that time. Could the media by framing the issues represented by his party itself cause such a huge success or was there more to the party, its views and the leader’s message? The answers to these are very important not only from the view point of 2014 but for future elections in India. Can media framing cause so much popularity for a certain leader? Or is it that the new India is moving away from caste and community politics and wanting to move towards more economic progress and the media just helped the process just this once? Can social media, which does not allow gate keepers like editors and news reporters to control ongoing topics, be the new media for success of political parties? Can a biased media create political success? The answers to these questions will not only decide the future of political parties their strategies, their spending during election process and the populations understanding of politics but also how the new leader will be elected. It is with this view I decided to study the 2014 election, one for the mammoth victory it resulted in and the other for its controversial media bias.
Description: Independent Study (M.Com.Arts)--Global Communications, Graduate School, Bangkok University, 2017
Advisor(s): Boonlert Supadhiloke
URI: http://dspace.bu.ac.th/jspui/handle/123456789/2931
Appears in Collections:Independent Studies
Independent Studies - Master

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