'Game of Thrones' frenzy reaches Indian politics
The 2019 election season in India got a 'Game of Thrones' twist with the Election Commission, Press Information Bureau and Congress picking popular references from the fantasy series to connect with the people and express their views.
The Press Information Bureau (PIB), the publicity arm of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, picked three major elements of the show -- Tyrion Lannister, Hodor and Dragon -- to create a montage and urged people to vote.
It features an image of Tyrion with message "A very small man can cast a very large one", Kristian Nairn as gentle giant Hodor with "Not all heroes hold weapons... Some just vote" and dragon soaring high with a message calling the Lok Sabha elections as the 'Festival of Democracy'.
The caption read: "No matter how big or small one is, every vote has equal power. This Lok Sabha Elections, become a true hero. Go OuT and vote... It matters."
With a storyline that paints a whimsical world of dragons and White Walkers on one hand, and stays close to reality by showing how relationships cannot be trusted when it comes to ruling a kingdom, the show, with its story based on George R.R. Martin's novels, has become a global phenomenon. It started in 2011.
Picking cues from the famous phrase of the show 'winter is coming', the Election Commission of India (EC) posted a poster with "? is Coming". It was accompanied with caption: "Don your creativity caps! After our #VoterQuotient quiz for the scholarly followers, now we have something for our artistically inclined followers. Can anyone guess what's it about? Be ready as we reveal our next contest..."
The show, which also stands for complicated political gambits, scheming and the backstabbing nature of people and finding love in troubled times, is also being used to take political jibes.
Congress took a potshot at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other ministers of Bharatiya Janata Party through a GoT reference.
Taking to Twitter, the party posted a photoshopped GoT poster, showing Modi as the Night King, the commander of White Walkers and the villain of the series.
Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP President Amit Shah are also seen as villainous characters from the HBO show in the poster.
The caption read: "Spoiler Alert: When you play the Game of Thieves, you either lose or you bribe! #BJPGameOfThieves" -- with this they twisted the original line: 'when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die for their political motive.
The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections, which began earlier this month, will run till May 19 -- the day will also mark the end of "Game of Thrones". The results will be announced on May 23.
Apart from the political world, Western Railways used the GoT mania to send out an important message.
The Twitter handle posted: "Be a wise Lannister, always travel Awith a ticket. Western Railway urges you to keep an appropriate ticket at all times avoid buying tickets from touts."