Symbols, Slogans, and Charisma: Political Posters in India’s 2014 National Election

  • Lars Willnat
  • Roshni Verghese
  • Rashad Mammadov


This chapter analyzes the important role political posters and billboards have played in Indian politics. The analysis focuses specifically on the use of political images and symbols during the 2014 Indian national election, which was characterized by a significant shift in campaign style due to the emergence of television and social media as campaign tools. Based on a qualitative analysis of political posters created by the two leading candidates for prime minister, Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, the authors conclude that the observed focus on charismatic individuals rather than party agendas in the 2014 Indian election indicates a trend toward image-driven election campaigns typically found in the United States and other Western democracies. The chapter also notes the democratic function of visual information campaigns in a nation that still struggles with a high illiteracy rate.


Political Poster Election Campaign Party Leader Election Commission Congress Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Willnat
    • 1
  • Roshni Verghese
    • 2
  • Rashad Mammadov
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Journalism and MediaUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Indiana University, Media SchoolBloomingtonUSA

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