CHENNAI: How do you attract the attention of the busy mass, especially the millennials who have no time to read or watch a preachy advertisement on the significance and necessity to vote? How about tweeting it?
Gone are the days when the Election Commission made routine, lifeless appeals to the electorate to exercise their franchise whenever elections are due. The State Election Commission in Tamil Nadu, for instance, has come up with a series of catchy social media campaigns to woo the voters to the polling booths.
The latest campaign is on ensuring 100 per cent coverage in voters’ list.
This is a two-way pun. "Kanna nee enge eppo eppdi vote panra nu yaarukkum theriyaathu. Aaana vote panre nerathule voters list la peru correct-ah irukkanum." (My dear boy, no one knows when, where or how you vote. But when you vote, the name in the list should be correct!) This is a pun on a ‘punch dialogue’ by superstar Rajinikanth from his hit film Muthu.
Also, the “Oru vaati sonna podhuma? 100 vaati sollanuma?” is yet another pun, this time from another Rajini hit Baasha. The original is: “Naan oru thadavai sonna, 100 thadavai sonna maathiri”.
“Yenna missing? If your name is missing in the electoral rolls, u cant vote.”
The image that reads “Naduvula Konjam Pera Kanum” is a spoof on the movie poster of *Naduvula Konjam Pakkathai Kanom*, a Tamil film that was much talked about in 2012 for its unusual theme. The film pictures the problems faced by a person afflicted by ‘retrograde amnesia’. The post also insists all to ensure that their names figure in the voters’ list so that last minute complaints could be avoided.
This is a spin on “16 Vayathinile” roughly translated as ‘when I was 16’, a cult Tamil film, the directorial debut of Bharathiraja starring both Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan.
The previous campaigns had played on some of the nostalgic memories of the millennials – old chatting softwares, last generation video game equipment, popular cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, and TV series like Shakthiman. All of them had a single catch like: if you have spent time with them, “Then you must be old enough to vote”.
Besides these online efforts and social media campaigns, the commission has also undertaken initiatives along with local NGOs who are keen on ensuring free and fair elections in the State.