INDIA

For the biggest election in the world, Bollywood shows the way

The biggest democracy in the world is heading to the polls on Thursday. And for those competing for seats in the Indian Parliament, appealing to 714 million eligible voters is not an easy job. This year the leading campaigns come in the form of cartoons, Bollywood clips and 'Slumdog Millionaire'-style mini films. See the clips...

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The biggest democracy in the world is heading to the polls on Thursday. And for those competing for seats in the Indian Parliament, appealing to 714 million eligible voters is not an easy job. This year the leading campaigns come in the form of cartoons, Bollywood clips and 'Slumdog Millionaire'-style mini films.

India's electorate makes up over 700 million of its 1.2 billion inhabitants - that's bigger than the US, Russia, Japan and the Philippines combined. The marathon five-stage elections, which are spread over a month (16 April - 16 May), will utilise 800,000 polling stations and a workforce of six million electoral and security employees. There are around 1,000 political parties in the country, but analysts expect a tight race between the two major parties: the right wing BJP (India People's Party) and the ruling Congress party.

"Let victory prevail" - straight out of Slumdog Millionaire

The Congress party bought exclusive rights to the song "Jai Ho" (Let Victory Prevail), and have made it something of their anthem in the run-up to the campaign.

Parody: "Let fear prevail"

In response to "Jai Ho", supporters of the BJP came up with this parody. In this clip they sing "Bhay Ho" (Let fear prevail).

Congress: "Every man and woman makes India great"

Another short film from the Congress party. The message of the story is that the progress of ordinary Indian citizens makes India a great nation.

How the BJP sees Congress’s rule

This cartoon comes from the rightwing BJP party, last in power from 1998 to 2004. It shows the leaders of the current ruling party heading towards disaster before the supposed election of the BJP restores the country to peace and prosperity.

The "hand of the Congress", Bollywood-style

From the ruling Congress party. The hand is the symbol of the party. The girl says to her uncle: "Look what I've done with my hands", and afterwards he shows her what the hand of the Congress has achieved.

The BJP’s "anthem of change"

From the BJP. A tribute to the greatness of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who served between 1999 and 2004.