Prime Minister Narendra Modi is evidently one of the most charismatic leaders in the world. His energetic speeches have been successful in pulling crowds from even the remotest corners in India out of their homes. His addresses on the All India Radio ‘Mann Ki Baat’ have been successful, not only in engaging people of every age, region or other but have also set an example by interacting with 1.3 billion Indians directly on a multitude of issues.
Latest data released by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) cited in a report by Dainik Bhaskar, also indicates towards PM Modi’s huge following and popularity. The data shows that Prime Minister Narendra Modi received more than 722 hours of screen time during the April 1 to April 28 period on major news channels. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi trailing behind just got a total of around 251 hours during the same period. Following were BJP President Amit Shah with around 124 hours, BSP chief Mayawati and newly inducted Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at around 84 hours each.
PM Narendra Modi has also been successful in harnessing this opportunity put out on social media, which has emerged as a viable tool for world leaders to interact with the people directly without the interference from media organizations. A recent study conducted by leading global communications agency BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe), part of the Twiplomacy series different aspects of this rising trend of social media’s instrumentality have emerged. According to the newly released 2019 World Leaders on Facebook study, the Indian Prime Minister has emerged by far the most popular world leader on Facebook. With more than 43.5 million likes on his personal page and 13.7 million likes on his institutional Prime Minister of India page, PM Modi has topped the list.
Prime Minister Modi’s popularity has been on a continuous growth path since the run-up to the 2014 general elections. His recent interviews have also topped the charts in terms of viewership and response. These data also point towards Narendra Modi’s meteoric rise as a popular political figure, for instance, the recent roadshow in around filing of nominations in Varanasi was telecasted live for more than three hours on major TV channels. PM Modi getting more screen time only indicates towards the demands of the viewers, as more viewership also helps channels to ramp up their TRP ratings. The recent ‘non-political’ Modi interview conducted by Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar was also telecast by all these channels at the same time. Data suggests that the interview video could have reached as much as 1.7 Crore people.
Prime Minister Modi‘s continually rising popularity and increased viewership over TV channels are also indicative of the people getting proactive over political discourse. The advent of social media has also played a huge role in bringing more people into the mainstream political discourse, which can be seen translating into increased viewership on several channels. The continually declining relevance of print media has also been instrumental in increasing the impact of these electronic mediums in the political discussions and PM Modi, given his popularity, is surely set to harness a lot of positive elements from this trend.