Wishing all the citizens of our country a very Happy 67th Independence Day!!
Elections are a time when the party members are in full swing to promote their candidates. And this is precisely when you get to hear the catchy one-liners called Slogan; used to advertise and promote their candidates, capturing their agenda of the campaign. A slogan provides shorthand for the entire campaign, capturing the mood of the country, quality of the candidate, a promise to the electorate or even tainting the opposition sometimes. Slogans while used during the political campaigns in India have always been able to enthuse masses and if we take an account of the past, these political slogans played a key role in defining the political history of India. Team Netapedia has gathered some effervescent slogans that have been used over the time; some that are remembered and some that are forgotten.
#Jai Jawan Jai Kisan :
Translation: It means “hail the soldier and hail the farmer”
By Whom: Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1965 (Then Prime Minister of India)
Lal Bahadur Shastri was made the Prime Minister of India as an obvious choice (owing to his adherence to Nehruvian socialism) after Nehru’s sudden death. He was immediately confronted with the burning situation of India where it faced the Indo- Pakistani War of 1965 which was fought over the disputed region of Kashmir and also at the same time there was scarcity of food grains in the country. He then fabricated the slogan of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan to encourage and enthuse the soldiers to defend India and cheering the farmers to put their best efforts to increase production of food grains to reduce dependence on import. This slogan reverberates even today, wide and large.
#Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Jai Vigyan
Translation: It means “hail the soldier, hail the farmer and hail knowledge”
By Whom: Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998
Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared on 25 February, 1998 that his government would “take back that part of Kashmir that is under Pakistan’s control. Before this declaration, the BJP platform had clear intention to exercise the option to induct nuclear weapons and India should become an open nuclear power to garner the respect on the world stage that India deserved. By 18 March 1998, Vajpayee had publicly begun his lobbying for nuclear explosion and declared that there is no compromise on national security; all options including the nuclear options will be exercised to protect security and sovereignty.
Following this on 11 May,1998 Pokhran-II (also called the Operation Shakti), the second nuclear test of India was initiated. It refers to the series of five nuclear bomb test explosions conducted by India at the Indian Army’s Pokhran Test Range. In these five tests, first was a fusion bomb and the remaining four were fission bombs. On 13 May 1998, two additional fission devices were detonated, and the Indian government led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee shortly convened a press conference to declare India a full-fledged nuclear state. Atal Behari Vajpayee, the then prime minister of India, gave this slogan after the 1998 Nuclear tests in Pokhran. This was to underline the importance of science, technology and knowledge for the growth of the nation.
*The first Pokhran test, code-named Smiling Buddha, had been conducted in May 1974.
**11 May has been officially declared as National Technology Day in India to commemorate the first of the five tests that were carried out on 11 May 1998. The day was officially signed by the then Prime Minister of India. The day is celebrated by giving awards to various individuals and industries in the field of science and industry.
Translation: It means “Eradicate Poverty”
By Whom: Indira Gandhi in 1971
1971 General elections were the fifth to the Lok Sabha. The Congress was campaigning on the slogan of “Garibi Hatao” which became a powerful weapon designed to give Indira Gandhi an independent national support, based on rural and urban poor. This allowed her to attract votes from both the rural and urban class population. This slogan became the iconic motto of the Indian National Congress and it made her the greatest mass leader of the last century. After the campaigning, she returned in Parliament with 352 seats which was a marked improvement from the party’s poor show of 283 in the previous polls.
#Indira Hatao Desh Bachao
Translation: It means “Remove Indira, Save the nation”
By Whom: Jayaprakash Narayan in 1977
The story goes back to the state of Emergency in India, dated 25th June 1975 to 21st March 1977 (a 21 month period), when President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, upon advice by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, declared a state of emergency under Article 352 of the Constitution of India. Indira Gandhi effectively bestowed on her the power to rule by decree, suspending elections and civil liberties. This was a dramatic turn in the Indian political affairs. The democracy was brought to a grinding halt and all the fundamental rights and legal remedies protected by the Constitution of The Republic of India were suspended. Indira Gandhi tried to defend the emergency on the grounds that she was trying to protect the State and the Indian people. Nevertheless, her emergency rule faced intense criticism when Janata leaders assailed Indira for ruling as a dictator and endangering human rights and democracy in India. Janata’s campaign evoked memories of India’s freedom struggle against British rule. This issue became the leading campaign for the Janata party, drawing great masses of people in rallies across the country. Jayaprakash Narayan coined the slogan “Indira Hatao Desh Bachao” putting his message loud and resonating during the campaign. The 1977 election drew a turnout of 60% from an electorate of more than 320 million. On 23 March, it was announced that the Janata party had won a sweeping victory, securing 43.2% of the popular vote and 271 seats.
#Ek Sherni Sau Langur Chikmagalur Chikmagalur
Translation: It means “One tigress and a hundred monkeys, Chikmagalur it is!”
By Whom: Congressman-poet Srikant Verma in 1978 or Devraj Urs, for Indira Gandhi’s by-election in 1978.
When Janata party defeated Indira Gandhi in 1977 elections, she fought them with aggressive contempt. She even challenged her enemies to imprison her but the same leaders whom she had jailed during the emergency, did not have the courage to jail her for abusing the Constitution. In 1978, she contested the Chikmagalur by election and there was a surprise win. Then the slogan “Ek sherni sau langoor, Chikmagalur bhai Chikmagalur (One tigress and a hundred monkeys, Chikmagalur, brothers, it is!)” which was a creation of Congressman-poet Srikant Verma, did the rounds to mock the opposition.
#Jab Tak Suraj Chand Rahega Indira Tera Naam Rahega
Translation: It means “Indira’s name will live as long as the sun and moon live. Long live Indira Gandhi!”
By Whom: 1984 elections after Mrs Gandhi’s assassination
On October 31, 1984 saw a gruesome incident when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated at her residence by her own security personnel. It was in the early morning of October 31 that Indira Gandhi was preparing herself for an interview to a foreign TV channel at her residence at 1 Safdarjang Road and walking towards 1 Akbar Road, her office. As soon as she reached the gates of 1 Akbar Road, the guards at duty, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, fired on her.
This incident unleashed a tense atmosphere against the Sikh community in India. There was bloodshed on the streets where the Sikh community was made the victim of brutal attacks. Children became orphans, women became widows and parents saw their children being burnt in front of them. Slogans like “Jab Tak Suraj Chand Rahega Indira Tera Naam Rahega” and ‘khoon ka badla khoon se lenge’ was being aired on the radio depicting the people’s mood and what followed was a dark period for the Indian democracy.
#Bari Bari Sabki Bari Abki Bari Atal Behari
Translation: It means “Everybody will get their chance turn by turn. Now this is the time for Atal Behari”
By Whom: This was coined for general elections in 1996 in which BJP came to power for the first time under the leadership of A B Vajpayee
In the 1996 general elections, Atal Behari Vajpayee had contested from the BJP for the prime ministership against PV Narasimha Rao from Congress who had already served as the prime minister of India from 21 June 1991 till 1996. During Rao’s rule the nation saw major scandals breaking, violence had cropped up and ethnic tensions boiled over in Punjab province. As a result of scandals, the Rao government lost the 1996 elections to AB Vajpayee and for the first time, India was led by a BJP leader for a 13 day rule.
The BJP made the 1996 elections as a personality oriented poll campaign and made it as a Vajpayee-Rao election rather than a Congress-BJP election. They promoted Vajpayee by calling out the slogan “Bari Bari Sabki Bari Abki Bari Atal Behari”. This campaign made a deep impact as he was well liked and respected by all leaders across the political spectrum as his name was the only untainted one. Vajpayee with his liberal moderate approach and consensual approach was the best card with which the party could counter the Rao factor, which it did eventually.
#Jancha Parka Khara
Translation: It means “Tried, Tested, Trusted”
By Whom: Coined by BJP which reinstated Atal Bihari Vajpayee as PM for the second time in 1999
Atal Behari Vajpayee ruled for 13 months from 1998 to 1999 and again contested for elections in 1999 against Sonia Gandhi. The BJP led a campaign staging Vajpayee’s giant size photograph with the Slogan “Jancha, Parkha, Khara” “(Tried, Tested, Trusted) to gain votes of the people. The Bharatiya Janata Party, in its enthusiasm had pinned the Congress on corruption issues and had found its way by winning 303 seats out of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. On 13 October 1999, Atal Bihari Vajpayee took oath as Prime Minister of India for the third time.
#Congress Ka Haath Aam Aadmi ke Saath
Translation: It means “The hand of congress is with the common man”
Through the 2004 elections, the Congress came out with a manifesto theme of “Congress ka haath aam aadmi ke saath.” Party’s main thrust was on six main points: social harmony, employment, rural development, economic development, women’s empowerment and equal opportunities for all. This motion had given a fresh face to the party and new hopes to the people. Congress said it was not just an election, where one party is pitted against another. It is a clash of sharply competing values, of diametrically opposed ideologies, the manifesto said. One of the main changes in the manifesto is the promise to bring detailed action plan, if the Congress is promoted to power. The manifesto is only the beginning. A detailed note will be released if the Congress is voted to power. This worked wonders for Congress and they won the elections. Suddenly then Congress President Sonia Gandhi surprised observers by declining to become the new prime minister, instead asking former Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, a respected economist, to head the new government. Singh had previously served in the Congress government of Prime Minister Narasimha Rao in the early 1990s, where he was seen as one of the architects of India’s first economic liberalization plan, which staved off an impending national monetary crisis.
Translation: It means “Shining India”
By Whom: Prathap Suthan (Advertising firm Grey Worldwide)
India Shining was a marketing slogan referring to the overall feeling of economic optimism in India in 2004. The slogan was popularized by the then-ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the 2004 Indian general elections.The slogan initially developed as part of an Indian government campaign intended to promote India internationally. Advertising firm Grey Worldwide won the campaign account in 2003; the slogan and the associated campaign was developed by national creative director Prathap Suthan, in consultation with Finance Minister Jaswant Singh. The government spent an estimated $20 million USD of government funds on national television advertisements and newspaper ads featuring the “India Shining” slogan. There has been controversy over the India Shining advertisements as whether the governments, States or Centre are not permitted to use taxpayer’s money to promote any political gain. The BJP government had spent an approximate cost of Rs. 500 crores for the advertisements campaign during 2004 Parliament elections. The slogan was then used as a central theme in the BJP’s campaign for the 2004-05 national elections, a move criticized by the BJP’s political opponents, who felt that public money was being used for partisan purposes.
#Jaat par na pat par, mohar lagegi haath par
Translation: It means “Our vote will not be guided by caste or creed, but will go to on the hand symbol (Indira-ji)”
By Whom: 1996 elections by P V Narasimha Rao
Narasimha Rao’s rally in Rae Bareilly on 20 March 1996 had a remarkable slogan, ‘Jat par na pat par, mohar lagegi haath par.’ This was challenged by the opposition’s A B Vajpayee (BJP) Bari Bari Sab Ki Bari Abki Bari Atal Behari where PV Narasimha Rao was defeated by Vajpayee.
#Jana Sangh ko vote do, bidi peena chod do; Bidi mein tambaku hai, Congress-wala daku hai
Translation: It means “Vote for Jan Sangh, stop smoking and drinking; Bidi has tobacco, Congressmen are dacoits”
By Whom: Coined by Jan Sangh for political campaign during 1967 General elections
It was the fourth general elections of the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies, held in February 1967. Because of the death of two most respected leaders – Jawaharlal Nehru (1964) & Lal Bahadur Shastri (1966), Congress had lost its sheen of good character in the eyes of the general public. More so because of the corrupt and lavish lifestyle of many of the Congress leaders. And the elections of 1967 was an acknowledgement of the changing moods of the population towards Congress. Jana Sangh party was in the opposition and they found a chance to address their strength against the flickering position of the Congress by highlighting the negative side of Congress. They composed the slogan “Jana Sangh ko vote do, bidi peena chod do; Bidi mein tambaku hai, Congress-wala daku hai”.
Resultantly, Congress which till now had never won less than 73 per cent of the seats in Parliament, for the first time, it lost nearly 60 seats in the Lower House, managing to win 283 seats where 261 seats were needed for a majority. Indira Gandhi who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Rai Bareili constituency, was sworn in as the Prime Minister in 1967.
#Ma, Mati Manush
Translation: It means “Mother, Motherland, and People”
By Whom: Mamata Banerjee during 2009 General election
Ma Mati Manush is a Bengali political slogan, coined by All India Trinamool Congress chief and current Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee. During the 2009 General elections, this slogan became very popular in West Bengal and since then it has been widely used by Trinamool Congress in almost all of their political and election campaigns. Later, Mamata Banerjee wrote a book in Bengali with the same title. Multiple Bengali theatre groups produced dramas with this slogan in the title. A song was also recorded, with the same title, to glorify the theme. According to a report published in June 2011, it was one of the six most popular political slogan of India at that time.
Please share in the comments section if you feel any important political slogan of India has been missed out and feel free to share your views either in the comments section or mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org .