Symbols, slogans, and charisma: Political posters in India's 2014 national election

Lars Willnat, Roshni Verghese, Rashad Mammadov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

5 Scopus citations


This chapter analyzes the important role political posters and billboards have played in Indian politics. The analysis focuses specifically on the use of political images and symbols during the 2014 Indian national election, which was characterized by a significant shift in campaign style due to the emergence of television and social media as campaign tools. Based on a qualitative analysis of political posters created by the two leading candidates for prime minister, Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, the authors conclude that the observed focus on charismatic individuals rather than party agendas in the 2014 Indian election indicates a trend toward image-driven election campaigns typically found in the United States and other Western democracies. The chapter also notes the democratic function of visual information campaigns in a nation that still struggles with a high illiteracy rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationElection Posters Around the Globe
Subtitle of host publicationPolitical Campaigning in the Public Space
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783319324982
ISBN (Print)9783319324968
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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