13 catchy slogans which shaped India's politics over the years
As India readies itself for anticipated general elections, parties have turned to the age-old phenomenon of coining slogans to take on their competitors. Since India became independent, politicians have banked on one-liners to win polls. While some times it helped them, on other occasions their opponents came up with an equally catchy slogan to overshadow it. Let's look at iconic slogans and their impact.
A relatable slogan is first step towards winning elections
Slogans are required to understand the mood of the nation and connect with masses, irrespective of their caste, creed, or status. It's safe to say no amount of money on campaigns can do the job of spicing up elections like slogans. If the slogans touch the right nerve, they are repeated on streets by voters. If they don't, the party's chances become bleak.
Shastri coined "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan"; Indira gave "Garibi Hatao"
Late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri coined the slogan "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan" in 1965. India won a war against Pakistan the same year and Shastri became the nation's beloved hero. Even after his mysterious death in Tashkent in 1966, the slogan remained popular. Then in 1971, Indira Gandhi registered a thumping win in Lok Sabha riding on "Garibi Hatao, Indira Lao, Desh Bachao".
"Indira Hatao, Desh Bachao" was Jana Sangha's war-cry
But Indira's iron-hand rule miffed many. During the 1977 general elections, which were held after the 1975 Emergency, Jana Sangha formed the popular slogan "Indira Hatao, Desh Bachao". The slogan clicked and Jana Sangha formed the government. Attacking the unusual coalition, Congress coined the slogan- "Ek Sherni, Sau Langur, Chikmagalur bhai Chikmagalur", before the Chikmagalur by-elections which Indira contested and won.
Lalu Yadav gave Indian politics the most entertaining slogan ever
After Indira was assassinated in 1984, Congress coined the slogan "Jab tak sooraj chand rahega, Indira tera naam rahega". Sympathy worked in Congress' favor and it won. Years later, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav made "Jab tak rahega samose mein aloo, tab tak rahega Bihar mein Lalu" his slogan and it's still etched in memories of voters.
BSP-SP tapped on Babri Masjid demolition
After 1992 Babri Masjid demolition, chiefs of SP and BSP, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Kanshi Ram, forged an alliance, decades before their successors did the same in 2019. To take on the Hindutva wave, the allies coined the slogan- "Mile Mulayam-Kanshiram, hawa ho gaye Jai Shree Ram". In 1996, BJP came up with "Bari Bari Sabki Bari, Abki Bari Atal Bihari". Atal Bihari Vajpayee won polls but his government lasted only 13 days.
Congress' slogans in 2004 and 2009 helped it win elections
In response to NDA's "India Shining" campaign, Congress came up with "Congress ka Haath, Aam Aadmi ke Saath" slogan in 2004, and won elections. Five years later, Congress coined the slogan "Sonia nahi yeh aandhi hai, doosri Indira Gandhi hai" to show how able a leader UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is. As a result, Congress won polls again and stayed in power till 2014.
In 2014, it was "Abki Baar, Modi Sarkar"
In 2014, BJP registered a historic win riding on "Abki Baar, Modi Sarkar" slogan. The party spoke highly of CM Modi's governance in Gujarat, sold the development model and won 282 seats in Lok Sabha. This time around, Congress coined the "Chowkidar Chor Hai" slogan to accuse PM Modi of crony capitalism and BJP replied with "Mai Bhi Chowkidar" campaign. May 23 will tell us which slogan clicked with masses.