The Lede
Propaganda Videos: DMK Attacks Modi While AIADMK Attacks DMK
2019 Polls

Propaganda Videos: DMK Attacks Modi While AIADMK Attacks DMK

Sandhya Ravishankar

Sandhya Ravishankar

The electoral battle is being fought hard on WhatsApp and social media in Tamil Nadu using actors and professionally made videos

Short videos less than a minute in duration, are setting the tone for the 2019 polls in Tamil Nadu as the two grand alliances led by Dravidian heavyweights take each other on.

While the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) has chosen to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi head on, the ruling AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) in the state has chosen instead to demolish the credibility of the DMK in the state.

The AIADMK is in alliance with the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) while the DMK leads the Congress front.

When queried about why the DMK had chosen to take Modi on, instead of the main rival in the state, DMK IT wing chief PTRP Thiagarajan told The Lede that they did not wish to take on what he calls the “minions”.

“It is hard to take on someone who is completely without principles,” said Thiagarajan. “Mr Modi and Mr Shah’s version of the BJP is for everything that the Dravidian movement is against for the past 100 years. So we take on those who are setting the tone and we do not have the time to target the mercenary stooges (ruling ADMK) who have no principles. These people are selling their souls for money, and going against the principles that Jayalalithaa stood for. They have completely sacrificed Dravidian values like Federalism and Secularism. So we don’t waste our time attacking corrupt minions on principles. They only mimic the tone set by their saviours in Delhi,” he said.

The AIADMK feels that its regional rival is pointing fingers at the NDA’s Prime Ministerial candidate simply as they feel they can woo a particular cross section of voters.

“DMK feels that they can target Modi and capture some votes,” said Singai G Ramachandran, State Secretary, AIADMK IT Wing. “AIADMK has a clear track record so the DMK cannot point fingers at us. No one can say EPS or OPS are against Muslims or Christians. It is a ploy that will not work,” he said.

The AIADMK also feels that the opposition Congress is weak and that its main rival in the state is obviously the DMK. This is the reason their propaganda videos target the DMK more.

“Who thinks about Rahul Gandhi? What is the use of talking about Rahul Gandhi?” asked Ramachandran. “We are majorly focusing on the kind of atrocities they (DMK) even while they were in the opposition. The last time they were in power was between 2006 and 2011. That was the worst period for Tamil Nadu due to power issues, land grabbing, law and order issues and corruption. DMK cannot talk about what they have achieved in 2006-2011 because they have done nothing. Stalin is unable to control the party cadre and we want to show this to the people,” he said.

While ostensibly the IT wing branded videos by both parties talk of broader issues such as federalism, secularism and linguistic freedom, both parties have unleashed a mass of videos not directly attributable to the party but which hit hard at the rival.

The AIADMK takes potshots at late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi, with a series of videos where dark glasses drop into the frame through which the protagonist sees violence. Karunanidhi, while alive, wore his trademark dark glasses and yellow shawl.

The DMK’s official videos on the other hand, give information and data to hit out at the lacunae in the Narendra Modi government and builds upon its campaign against what the DMK calls an autocratic regime.

“On the advice born of our party leader’s vision, we deliberately worked to define a professional and disciplined culture for the IT Wing, and recruited young educated professionals (through applications and interview s) to work with us. We are building an infrastructure for the future – to provide information and propagate Dravidian ideology and values,” said the DMK’s Thiagarajan.