The world’s largest democracy is at the polls—with over 81.4 crore people casting their votes in nine stages. In the days leading up to the general elections, the internet and social media played a large part in how everyone—from Narendra Modi to Rahul Gandhi—interacted with us voters. From crash courses in social networking to coming out with their own websites and mobile applications, politicians tried every trick on the net to make sure they got our attention. Now, as their futures hang in the balance, we take a look at how you can keep on top of the votes and blow off some steam, digitally.
By Team Indulge
This app gives briefs on major political parties, along with their own updates. Linked to party videos on YouTube and Facebook, Election India also offers mock votes for different states and public discussions about the goings on in Parliament. You can view each state’s scenario on the app and check out past election results, too. Considered more right-wing than neutral, this Android app is an eye-opener for those who’ve been snoozing so far. Details: play.google.com
Election Watch Reporter
Keeping the parties and politicians under a hawk-eye, Election Watch Reporter is an Android app that is dedicated to election complaints. So when you next see an election violation or over expenditure by candidates—including cash or liquor distribution, misuse of official vehicles—snap a photograph or video (with the location) and load it on the app. Details: play.google.com
Created by MTS and Social Samosa, the app has a live dashboard to provide real-time analysis of voters—both on the web and social media platforms. By collating data from platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it tracks all ‘mentions’ of all things political, including politicians and party names, so you can track what you’d like to read. It also displays data in the form of bar graphs and charts to give a statistical view of the current standings. Details: socialsamosa.com/electiontracker
WhatsApp and WeChat
Now you can get your news live—in English and Hindi—via WhatsApp and WeChat. BBC has tied up with the two messaging apps to bring you the election news as it happens. To get updates, add +919650801273 on WhatsApp and ‘BBCNewsIndia’ (in the ‘official accounts’ section) on WeChat.
ABC of 2014 Elections
For a better tomorrow, catch them young. Smartur, a start-up that creates digital content solutions for schools, has started ABC of 2014 Elections—an online initiative to create awareness about politics and elections among kids. Targeted at 12 to 15 years olds, it helps children learn through fun quizzes and informative graphics that list out facts about Modi, Gandhi and Kejriwal. They can even list out their demands in the Children’s Manifesto. Details: smartur.com/elections
The Five Forty Five
Six post graduate Indian-origin students at Columbia University created thefivefortyfive.com, a website for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. “Our aim is to create a discourse that is different from mainstream media,” says Anand Katakam. Put together primarily by the team—Katakam, Indrani Basu, Devjyot Ghoshal, Aparna Alluri, Iva Dixit and Rishi Iyengar—it gives data driven opinion and encourages people to contribute, thus enabling a well-rounded discussion. What’s more, this website has plans that extend beyond May, “to create a larger project around it”. Details: thefivefortyfive.com
If Parliament meetings aren’t funny enough, Angry Voters, based on the popular Angry Birds game, is tongue-in-cheek entertainment. Rather than toss birds, gamers can throw eggs, coins, slippers and, if you choose, flowers, at the top three prime ministerial candidates—Gandhi, Modi and Arvind Kejriwal. Narrowing the battle to two, there’s the Narendra Modi vs Rahul Gandhi app that allows you to ask the candidates questions and pick the winner. Details: play.google.com
Sports fans, download Kursi Cricket and pit political parties against each other for an intense game of the country’s favourite sport. Every run counts for a vote, so the more sixes you bat, the quicker your political party takes the lead. Details: games2win.com
Modi has been talking nineteen to the dozen to get votes. Now you can make him run for it, too. The Android game, based on the Super Mario Bros, shows Modi’s character running across India, beating obstacles and collecting votes. If this app doesn’t give you your Modi fix, try out Modi Express, Bhaag Modi Bhaag or Ek Tha Modi. Also available are games with Gandhi and Kejriwal in the limelight. Check out Flappy Rahul, Rahul Gandhi Run, AAP ki Aag and Kejriwal Run.
Who is the Idiot
Going viral on YouTube is Who is the Idiot, a music video created by Chennai-based musicians Blaaze and Paul Jacob. The song “is born out of a desire for change,” says composer and lyricist Jacob. The duo, who believes social media is key in building social awareness, collaborated with Artistaloud and 9XM to create it. “The video (which features the 9XM animated characters, Bade and Chote, along with kids) tells people that in this election, don’t be an idiot—wake up and vote. It will make you think and smile at the same time,” adds rapper and playback singer Blaaze. Details: youtube.com/whoistheidiot
Tap to keep up
? India Election EC Voter: helps voters locate their nearest polling booth (play.google.com)
? Voting Line: gives real-time election trends across the country (windowsphone.com/en-in/store)
? Vine: lets you make six-second
looping video clips and share them (vine.co)
? Snapchat: creates photos and videos that disappear in one to 10 seconds—perfect to blow the whistle on something unsavoury (snapchat.com)
? Tout: with a single click, it sends mobile video updates in real time (tout.com)