The most lucrative business to be in right now is a printing press, a social media company, a motorcycle dealership or an alcohol brewery in India. This year, Indian politicians are expected to spend around $5 billion on election campaigns slated for next month. This amount of money stands second to the most expensive U.S. Presidential campaign of 2012. Given the fact that India is the largest democracy, it makes sense. Financial pundits agree that this profligacy of political parties would spike India’s staggering economy at least momentarily. It is expected to bolster the economy in various industry segments such as sales of motorcycles, media and advertising houses, brewers and printing presses.
About 30 political parties will contest the elections from various parts of the country due to start on April 7, 2014. The presence of social media and political poster printing has boosted the businesses of many entrepreneurs. While we are yet to determine or find out who will be the ruling majority, this buoyancy of hope, lavishness and expenses emerging from the black economy shed light on the mindset of how the political parties will sway the common man in their favor through constant messaging, alcohol and cash.
This election cycle will see for the first time a big chunk of money being spent on social media; Chinese vendors who make Narendra Modi or Arvind Kejriwal masks will do very well too. Besides spending money on a scale of American elections, Indian political parties are now trying to raise money like American political leaders, i.e., by hosting sit down dinners with a price tag. For instance, the AAP party leader Arvind Kejriwal hosted a dinner where the participants paid Rs. 20000 to attend. Further, some of the parties have taken a page from Obama by doing online fundraising. They have initiated an online drive to raise money not only in India, but also from the prosperous Indian communities like Hong Kong and Singapore.
It is ironic that when a large number of politicians in the US are asking for public funding of elections to get away from special interests, the exact opposite seems to be happening in India.