Kerala

The art of political campaigning

Rival fronts use various art forms to drive home their point

With political parties devising newer techniques to drive home their point, various art forms, including street plays, have become an integral component of electioneering. The election scene in Vattiyurkavu is no different with all major parties focusing their energies on highlighting their political stances with a dash of creativity.

While senior leaders of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, have been campaigning aggressively for their candidate, Thiruvananthapuram Mayor V.K. Prasanth, many others have been busy organising street plays, puppet shows as well as dance forms, including Ottanthullal, on a daily basis.

Achievements of govt.

District panchayat president V.K. Madhu, who was also reportedly considered for contesting from Vattiyurkavu, has been tasked with helming the presentations.

“Our cultural programmes have mainly focused on highlighting the LDF government’s achievements and its movement against communalism. The Ottanthullal performances have been showcased by former students of Kerala Kalamandalam,” Mr. Madhu said.

The United Democratic Front (UDF) is not far behind in the cultural mode of campaign. Samskara Sahithy, the cultural wing of the Congress, have been organising a cultural rally to elicit support for K. Mohan Kumar at the byelection.

Contemporary issues

Led by filmmaker-politician Aryadan Shoukath, the forum has presented street plays that delve upon topics such as political violence, communalism and contemporary issues, including the University College stabbing incident.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s cultural campaign has been designed to sustain topics of faith and protection of age-old custom in an apparent bid to tilt the electoral balance in favour of their candidate S. Suresh.

At times, the cultural shows have fomented trouble too with rival groups accusing others of resorting to provocative tactics. The police had to intervene to resolve a dispute between BJP and CPI(M) workers at Kunnukuzhy a few days ago over the topic chosen by the former for their street plays.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 3:21:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/the-art-of-political-campaigning/article29694352.ece

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