Narendra Modi’s development message falls on ‘deaf’ ears in south India

Thursday, 3 April 2014 - 7:32pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA
Saffron party forced to translate Modi’s advertisement in Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam

Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi might have changed his language of communication from Gujarati to Hindi — keeping in mind the national perspective and Lok Sabha election.

But Modi — who is known for his marketing ability — committed an error of judgement by opting to run Hindi advertisements across the country, including southern part of India. This affected BJP’s publicity campaign in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala as most of the people are not comfortable with Hindi.

Having said that, the saffron party was quick to realise their mistake and swung into action to rectify the error. According to BJP workers of the four states, the advertisements had to be translated in local languages to make the rural and urban voters understand BJP’s message.

The mistake came to light during the monitoring of advertisements and responses generated from the voters. It was found that advertisements were generating a good response from all over India, except south Indian states.

“We found that people were not responding or discussing about the advertisements. Later, we realised it was the use of Hindi language due to which many failed to understand our message. It was only after that we translated the advertisements in Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam,” said one of the BJP workers in Ahmedabad.

Confirming the news, BJP president Belgaum district (Karnataka) Iranna Kadadi said: “The advertisements have come in Kannada and we show it on LED screens to the rural voters. Now, we have two different videos — one where Modi speaks in Hindi and below we have local subtitles and the other one is where Modi’s voice is dubbed in Kannada.”

Echoing similar views, state general secretary of the BJP, Andhra Pradesh, J Shyamkishore, said: “Initially, the advertisements were launched in Hindi and English only. However, it was not of much help as the voters are more comfortable with Telugu. We communicated about the same to citizens for accountable governance (CAG) and asked them to translate the video in our local language.” He further added that in Andhra Pradesh, even live cricket matches and tele-serials are dubbed and aired in Telugu.

Luckily, for local connect, the BJP workers in that state are distributing pamphlets in Telugu and not Hindi.


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