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India’s prime minister-elect Narendra Modi: From rags to respectability

India's prime minister-elect Narendra Modi's blockbuster movie style campaign strikes gold in film-crazy India.

Published on May 24, 2014 5:26 PM
Indian prime minister-elect and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi looks on during the oath taking cermony of the new Chief Minister of the western state of Gujarat Anandiben Patel at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar on May 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

A majestic setting of the sprawling forecourt of the Presidential Palace,  a guest list of nearly 3,000 people including the past and present political leadership, an unprecedented attendance by leaders and representatives of eight countries, including  arch-rival Pakistan, and a vegetarian high tea menu.

If this list gives clues to how grand the swearing-in ceremony for India’s prime minister elect Narendra Modi will be, then Monday’s event sure promises to be a dazzler - a euphoric affair akin to the dramatic campaign speeches and a heroic victory lap the new leader undertook in the run-up to his historic win in the general elections over a week ago.

The coronation of Mr Modi is expected to be a fitting addition to what felt like a blockbuster movie style campaign, where the supremely confident, stylish and larger-than-life protagonist captivated his 814 million strong voting audience with tools and weapons of modern day communication. And in film-crazy India, where movies inspire everything from marriage proposals to fashion and a respite from the daily grind, Mr Modi struck gold.

That the election results, a mandate Mr Modi won with thumping majority, came out on a Friday - the day most new movies release in India - declared the entire affair a blockbuster. 

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Background story

Mr Modi's 360-degree campaign

- 437 rallies in 25 Indian states; 

- 1350 3D Hologram rallies where a 10m tall image of Mr Modi was projected to different sites at the same time. 

- 4000 meetings over tea with groups of public over the internet;

- 17 languages in which his website can be read, including Chinese, Japanese;

- 9 languages for his Twitter handles

- 272+ open forum on Facebook where volunteers and supporters sent ideas which became part of speeches.

Other campaign tools: Innumerable "NaMo" merchandise from masks to sarees to stickers, video chats, door-to-door campaigns by party workers, street plays, newspaper advertisements, illuminated hoardings, Modi anthems set to popular Bollywood tunes

Source: Citizens for Accountable Governance