Politics of Road Show


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

A new technique has been evolved by political parties in India to come in contact with the electorate and canvass for their support and vote. This technique is popularly called Road Show.

Whenever an election is to be held in India in the near future — maybe  after a month or six weeks, political parties are utilising this technique of Road Show    for coming in contact with the electorate.

Here, the parties engage a truck or vehicle which is open at the top. The various parties ensure that information about the contestants who are likely to stand in the forthcoming election is known to the general public.

The contestants are made to stand in this open vehicle along with the parties’ important leaders and party symbols seeking the support of the general public.

The vehicle moves slowly on the road while their supporters walk along with the vehicle distributing paper information about the dates of the election and party symbols and the names of the  contestants along with their thrust areas and promises.

This technique has become popular and effective in India seeking people’s support and vote. This technique is generally called   Road Show   and is being increasingly employed by different political parties.

Currently, the principal parties in North India are the BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) and the Congress Party. The BJP party is the party of the Prime Minister, Mr Modi. The Congress party was earlier the main party that governed the country for several generations, but currently is one of the important parties in the north India but not in power in the parliamentary elections of India. Of course there are several other political parties in the country which are important in various states of the country — especially in South India and in the state of Bihar in the north east of the country.

Whatever election that is likely to be held in the near future, the technique of  Road Show  is gaining popularity for informing the general public about the contestants standing in the election and seeking their support. The vehicle of the Road Show moves slowly, raising slogans and passing on information about the political party and the  candidates standing in the election .

They also give general information about the manifesto of the party and stress the important areas that the party is likely to work for. The issues of price rise, of unemployment, etc are generally important for the public. These are highlighted by the political parties and dominate the steps likely  to be taken by them in future to meet the challenges of the situation.

While it is difficult to predict the efficacy of the  Road Show, parties are utilising them increasingly in addition to normal procedures.

They feel that these Road Shows are effective in dealing with the challenges that are being faced by the general people and the electorate. The steps that will be taken by parties and the contestants to deal with the challenges, are highlighted in these Road Shows.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. ravipbhatia@gmail.com

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 15 Apr 2024.

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