With campaigning ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls now in its home stretch, all political parties have intensified efforts to reach out to voters. Leading the way here is chief minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis, whose party has decided to tap into his personal connect with the electorate, by designing a 3-dimensional hologram through a mobile application.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the 'Invite CM' app will let users "invite" Fadnavis' 3D image, which will then deliver a five-minute message. Later this year, the report said, the party will launch another version of the 3D hologram, called augmented impressive reality", and it will have interactive features too.
According to Hyderabad-based filmmaker Mani Shankar who has conceptualised the idea, said, "The 3D hologram has been created in a stunningly realistic way and people will not be able to tell the difference. The application needs a marker which helps to understand the spatial layout of the room and embed the image in a three-dimensional space. We have designed the marker to resemble a rangoli to suit the Indian sensibility and it can be printed in black and white."
He said that the new technique will change the face of election campaigning. "It will facilitate the idea of inviting a chief minister into everyone's homes, and they will be able to take pictures with him as well," he said.
While this will be the Maharashtra chief minister's first such virtual appearance, Narendra Modi has already done this, while chief minister of Gujarat. A hologram version of Modi had appeared at Ahmedabad in his home state back in 2012.
And this is not the first time Fadnavis has actively tried to emulate the prime minister. The similarities between the two BJP leaders run deep. The fact that they both come from RSS backgrounds cannot just be incidental, and a strong Sangh connect is evident in their public personalities.
Furthermore, willingness to embrace digital technology is also something that unites them, and sets them apart from the other BJP leaders of the country. Since taking office in May 2014, Modi has embraced technology, launching initiatives and scaling up the central government's digital footprint.
Fadnavis too has been a vociferous champion of the importance of digital innovation. Be it in security or in judiciary, the Maharashtra chief minister is a firm believer of maximising the potential of technological innovations.
Both leaders are also extremely savvy on social media, especially Twitter, where they interact with their many thousand followers on a regular basis. Fadnavis has over 1.6 million followers on the microblogging site, which though isn't even a shade on Narendra Modi's 27 million followers, is an impressive figure nevertheless.
Updated Date: Feb 14, 2017 20:22 PM