UK Conservatives’ Hindi Election Song Is Catchy AND Awkward
In its latest push for maintaining power in the upcoming general election, the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party has released what it says is the country’s first-ever Hindi-language campaign music video.
The song “Neela Hai Aasma” (“The Sky Is Blue”) is targeted to “1.6 million British Indians,” according to the Conservative Friends of India group that produced the video. There are somewhere around 45 million registered voters in the U.K., so the video is a pinpoint effort to win over South Asian voters in closely contested electoral districts.
BuzzFeed News compared its simple lyrics — “The sky is blue and glorious / This is the color of Britain’s pride” — and cheerful melody to “a soothing nursery rhyme.” (Blue is also the color associated with Conservative Party campaigns.) And an Indian Twitter user told The Daily Caller News Foundation that it has a “very retro, cringing feeling like a kid’s song”
The video showcases Prime Minister David Cameron’s visits to India, including a handshake with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and some awkward shots with his head covered at Amritsar’s Golden Temple, the holiest site in the Sikh religion.
He is also seen interacting with British South Asians: unveiling a statue of Mohandas Gandhi in London as Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan looks on, and appearing with his sari-clad wife Samantha at a celebration of the Hindu holiday Diwali.
Meanwhile, selected headlines and animated text in the video showcase Cameron’s accomplishments as Prime Minister since 2010: “Income tax cut for over 26 million people” and “deficit cut by half.”
Indian-British voters are traditionally associated with the Labour Party, but their degree of party loyalty has been declining in recent decades. In response, the Conservatives are fielding an increasing number of parliamentary candidates of South Asian descent. As the Wall Street Journal noted Friday, Cameron also said last year, “One day I want to hear that title ‘prime minister’ followed by a British Asian name.”
Besides U.K. citizens of Indian descent, the Conservatives may also be targeting the 266,000 or so Indian citizens living in the country, who as members of the British Commonwealth have the legal right to vote in elections in the U.K.
Cameron’s Conservative Party is currently forecasted to lose its grip on Parliament in May 7’s general election. Continuing a trend from previous elections, small parties besides the dominant Conservative and Labour factions are likely to be crucial as members of a final parliamentary coalition.
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