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The Game of Votes

The Game of Votes
Visual Media Politics and Elections in the Digital Era

First Edition
  • Farhat Basir Khan - Professor, AJK Mass Communication and Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

December 2019 | 264 pages | SAGE Select
Taking the reader on a roller coaster ride, The Game of Votes showcases the full spectrum of the key actors and stars of the electoral arena, the rise and fall of political parties, the role of the digital and technology platforms, and the emergence of fake news impacting election outcome in India and across the world. The book is a veritable prime on Indian politics, as it runs through the entire history of Indian polity and provides insights into how political parties gradually shifted from campaigning on their own to hiring top-notch advertising agencies. It tells the story of how Modi won the election in 2014 and repeated an exceptional performance in 2019. It also gives a bird’s eye view of how Barack Obama and Donald Trump ran their election campaigns and how to understand critical developments in political communication. The book provides glimpses of international politics in the US and Europe and covers important developments in Egypt and South East Asia, drawing comparisons between the Western world with the fast-changing developments in India. This book brings the readers face-to-face with the changing dynamics of election campaign and democracy. This is the inside story behind the game of votes in India.
Foreword by Pranab Mukherjee
Old Politics, New Media: Campaigning in India
Courtship of Regional Political Parties and the Major Electoral Upsets
From Ideologies to Idols with Feet of Clay
The Big Multinational Election Campaigns and Democracy
The Bustling World of Political Marketing in India
Visual Political Communication Model
The Charge of the Light Brigades

‘Professor Farhat Basir Khan in his book The Game of Votes: Visual Media Politics and Elections in the Digital Era takes up a theme not only immensely interesting in itself but also of critical importance to the people of India—the alteration in the way the voter has been approached since the elections of 1952 held on the basis of adult suffrage. Professor Khan makes a very convincing case of how the expanding range of media and PR coups persuade the electorate by obfuscation and false issues, which are loudly raised and constantly proclaimed, and ultimately as he so ably shows, money power now counts the most. The author makes a case that all Indians need to reflect on, and for this he deserves our heartfelt gratitude.’

Irfan Habib,
renowned historian and author; Professor Emeritus, Aligarh Muslim University

‘Widely respected, seasoned academic F.B. Khan uses the research skills of a social scientist and the fine eye of a surgeon to piece together The Game of Votes. It is a book whose time is now. Tracing the paradigm shift in Indian elections, from the days of pamphlets and personal contacts to outsourcing to campaign consultants and purchased media slots, the book makes a neat comparison with how democracy and the art of voting government has evolved e, dusted and forgotten.’

Ziya Us Salam,
Associate Editor, Frontline; renowned journalist, The Hindu; and author

‘Professor F.B. Khan’s book is a must-read critical guide for all those interested in understanding the Indian political system. It is an interesting book full of fascinating insights into emerging election campaign management trends in Indian polity, shedding light on the role of modern digital and technology platforms in shaping electoral outcomes in India as well as around the globe. I congratulate Professor F.B. Khan for this original work done in such an easy-to-understand language for the masses.’

Mahesh Sharma,
Member of Parliament—Lok Sabha

‘This book is a must-read for those who wish to understand the manner in which elections are now planned and executed by political parties in the world’s largest democracy.’ 

Ambassador Pavan K. Varma,
Former Member of Parliament—Rajya Sabh

“The book highlights the fact that the social media has not just become a daily battleground for fake news but has spread its tentacles around the core of Indian democracy - its free and fair elections."

PTI, 22 September 2019

“It is filled with amazing insider details about every big campaign in the last forty years. It will have you grinning and shaking your head at some of the strategy that various campaign analysts came up with…Author Farhat Basir Khan provides a fascinating overview of how Indian political campaigns have changed, and how they will likely continue to evolve.”

The Bookish Elf, 5 December 2019

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ISBN: 9789353286927