Latest Developments in the BJP’s “Samapark Abhiyan” or “Sampark for Samarthan Abhiyan” ( English equivalent: “contact for support campaign”):
BJP President Amit Shah will today personally meet — industrialist Ratan Tata, singer Lata Mangeshkar and actor Madhuri Dixit as part of his party’s “Samapark Abhiyan” or “Sampark for Samarthan Abhiyan”.
Launched on May 26, following the Modi government’s fourth anniversary, the campaign began with Mr. Shah meeting Former Army General Dalbir Singh Suhag at the latter’s residence. Since then Mr. Shah has met Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap, Baba Ramdev etc. Today he is going to meet Uddhav Thackeray among others at his residence. Mr. Shah will meet singer Mika tomorrow.
So as of now, the campaign is well underway. But will it help people (common people) estimate the Government’s work?
The write-up will try to evaluate the question.
Lets try to see the ongoing Sampark for Samarthan Abhiyan from people perspective (not eminent or in other words, common people).
Notably, such campaigns are not new to the party in power. The party launched a similarly sounding support drive in November last year, before the Gujarat Assembly elections. The drive named ‘Gujarat Gaurav Maha-Sampark Abhiyan’ (English equivalent: Gujarat pride – Great contact for support drive) sounds very similar to the present campaign, except for that instead of being focused at eminent people, it was more of a jan sampark abhhiyan (People contact drive).
Much earlier, in 2014, in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the present Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi met many eminent people, including Actor Salman Khan.
But what purpose the present Contact for support campaign invloving 50 eminent people will solve for the voters? Will it help them assess the Government’s work better?
The answer will be No.
For these probable reasons:
- Eminent people are well positioned. They don’t have to face the day-to-day economic & other struggles which common people do. They are somewhat cut from the realities of a day-to-day living. So their opinion about a Government in such controlled experiments will NOT be that accurate.
- If the President of a ruling party visits your house tomorrow and informs you about the achievements of the Government (and personally hands over a brochure to you), what will be your response? …. In all likelihood, you will agree to whatever he says. You (or I) can even shower praises on him and the Government. Most eminent people in any society also do the same. In this respect, there is no difference between eminent and common people. Both are attention hungry and hence both will behave in the same way.
So, as far as people are concerned, the present Sampark for Samarthan Abhiyan aimed at 50 eminent personalities will not help people much.
Will it help the party in 2019?
It can, as eminent people have following, which listens to what the eminent person says. For some eminent persons, such as General Suhag, the clout effect can be more pronounced. For others it will be less.
That said, the present Sampark for Samarthan Abhiyan with 50 people points to something more important for common people. The important point is that: In the final year of the Government (elections are just 6 months away), the party in power is still not ready to face the people. If it can hand over a well-written brochure to 50 eminent people now, then why it cannot convey the same achievements in every public rally its leaders address.
To conclude, mega public drives or ‘Jan-sampark abhiyans’ are launched by political parties in the run up to every election. They give political parties an opportunity to meet the voters directly. In fact such information drives can be conducted all through the tenure. But when a political party in power, in its last year of tenure, chooses 50 eminent personalities to share Government’s achievements, then it doesn’t look good. In short, it doesn’t help people much. A Jan Sampark Abhiyan would have been better.