The Game of Votes by Farhat Basir was released by Arif Khan

The Game of Votes by Farhat Basir Khan, a book that unpacks democracy, elections & political campaigns in India, released by Shri Arif Mohammed Khan, Honorable Governor of Kerala

  • Unpacks elections in the era of voice, video, and votes on National Press Day
  • Celebrates the role of the country’s vibrant Mediascape in India’s Free and Fair Elections

The Game of Votes: Visual Media Politics and Elections in the Digital Era by Farhat Basir Khan was officially released by Shri Arif Mohammed Khan, Honorable Governor of Kerala, at a function held at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi.

The book, published by SAGE Publications India, is a veritable primer on Indian politics in the words of former president Pranab Mukherjee, who has written the foreword of the book. He has high praise for the author’s ability to capture a well-researched and lucidly written account of the evolution of elections in India and across the world, calling it a must read. Prof. Khan’s expertise of over three decades as a communication teacher & expert storyteller shines through the book as he unravels the antics used in the elections today, including high drama campaigns, political marketing, fake news and celebrity influencers, laying bare before the reader the secret world wide web of elections, media and politics.

The book release function began with the experts sharing their views on the role that the book will play in furthering the understanding of technology, media and visuals in elections especially in the Digital Era. Followed by the official unveiling of the book by  Shri Arif Mohammed Khan, Honorable Governor of Kerala, Shri A. Surya Prakash (Chairman, Prasar Bharati), Prof. Najma Akhtar (VC, Jamia Milia Islamia), Dr Anurag Batra (Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Business World & Exchange4Media), Prof. Biswajit Das (Director, Centre for Media & Governance, JMI), and the author.

Applauding the book, Shri Arif Mohammed Khan, Hon. Governor of Kerala, said, “My heartiest congratulations to the author for this very contextual book, a book truly needed in the present times. The Game of Votes is an important primer on Indian politics and elections, and I echo what our former president Shri Pranab Mukherjee has said about the book. I feel it is a must read for all those who are interested in Indian politics, elections and the how the importance of media cannot be underestimated. He was especially delighted that the book underscores the importance of both a free press and a vibrant democracy, which is the only system that can bring about equitable development.”

Speaking on the occasion, author Farhat Basir Khan said, “It’s a great day to be launching this book as the press council of India was established today in 1966. This book has the essence of forty years of my experience as a leading visual communication professional and faculty at the country’s premier mass communication institution. I wrote this book as today both elections and democracy are no longer merely a representative, they have become truly participatory. I have penned the book because election strategies and political campaigns have become very complex, political parties have evolved beyond imagination. I would call it a book for Indian masses as it unravels how the two main political parties in India made their strategies, contested elections, the thought behind slogans, their campaign expenditure, use of social media platforms, the charisma of their leaders and the reaction of the electorate”.

Prof. Khan further added that, “I am delighted that Game of Votes is being read widely and is helping unpack how elections have evolved globally and in India and the role that visuals play when embedded in a cohesive media strategy with a billion plus mobile phone and cheap data prices. In writing the book, my aim was to also make sure that this generation should know how far we’ve come, the incredible institutions that we’ve built, to uphold the values enshrined in the constitution, and above all to decode the two biggest elections (2014 & 2019), scientifically to show how India votes, what moves us, the issues we care for, and how to get to us. Though we live in the era of images, the impact that the strategic use of visuals has on political campaigns had not been researched and brought to the fore.”

Congratulating the author, Dr Anurag Batra (Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, Business World & Exchange4Media) noted, “This book, in some way, will be a seminal book in bridging the gap between media and politics, understanding the convergence between them and how the future will include three V’s namely voice, video and vernacular”.

Shri A. Surya Prakash (Chairman, Prasar Bharati) said, “I feel this book can be a specialised area of study in our media universities and colleges. There has been a dramatic shift in sound and visuals of elections in India over the years, and I do certainly regard 2019 elections as ‘Whatsapp Elections’. It is also important to understand the role of regional media in regional politics and one can see that our social diversity has got transformed into political diversity”. “Prof Khan’s book talks about media strategies of various parties, impact of visuals, how young masses are targeted, PM’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’, how congress fell into disarray as opposition party among other elements. It’s a fantastic compilation and will certainly inspire the media academic sector!”, he added.

Prof. Najma Akhtar (VC, Jamia Milia Islamia) remarked, “Prof Khan’s book, The Game of Votes, is extremely significant and I’m enthused that Jamia Milia Islamia is taking leadership in scientific research and producing great content, and leading in meaningful work on interdisciplinary studies. Prof. Farhat Basir ‘s Game of Votes pushes the boundaries of research, builds on actual knowledge and enhances the quality of the discipline by creating meaningful work which will remain useful not just for politicians, but also for practitioners, academicians, students and Indophiles for long. The book is equally about leadership, of challenging paradigms, of questioning status quo and welcoming spaces for the new generation of leaders, who have come not from dynasties but through merit, hard work and determination.” She added that Dr Khan has written this book in simple language for every reader to understand how incredible and powerful, the journey of India has been as a democracy.. ”.