<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Listen to this. It’s hilarious. I cannot open it in front of family, but it is a must watch,” says Vikas Pandya, a young tour operator, opening up a video message on WhatsApp in the corner of a pan parlour at Station Road.The video shows a bearded youth wearing goggles targeting Hardik Patel in choicest of expletives for daring to stand up against Modi and trying up with Rahul Gandhi. Within 10-12 seconds he is forced to close it amid a huge roar of laughter making others curious.”There has been a sudden deluge of such videos, mostly related to Hardik Patel and Rahul Gandhi in past one week,” says Pandya signalling that the poll season has finally arrived in Gujarat.But will such gullible videos have an impact on polls? People have different take.For Patidar community, instead of harming, the videos and messages against Hardik Patel have helped the movement and generated a deluge of sympathy.Hardik’s lawyer Yashwantsinh Vala rubbishes it as cheap tactics by the BJP’s dirty tricks department in desperate bid to counter Hardik’s popularity.When the CDs related to Modi’s spy case and Sanjay Joshi case could not have an impact, what impact will these fake CDs have, he asks.”People were long expecting this. They knew that BJP will bring out some CD related to Hardik. Had there been a corruption case it would have mattered, but not this. Many BJP leaders are themselves against it,” Vala says.To back his claim, Vala cites example of Hardik’s rally on Saturday that got massive response in BJP chief Amit Shah’s hometown Mansa in central Gujarat.At the rally, Hardik challenged BJP to bring out a CD of their development in last 22 years instead of producing CDs of a 22-year-old youth.According to Professor Pradeep Singh Choondawat in the Department of Sociology, MS University, Baroda, individual-centric videos, especially on vulgar lines or related to sex, do titillate but don’t have much impact.”Such messages have become so rampant that they do not affect the minds of people. Message becoming viral does not mean change in people’s mind as they are literate and aware about social issues and often pass it as a joke,” says Prof Choondawat.For a message to make impact, there needs to be discussion and debate and it needs to be backed with evidence, he says.Regarding serious messages on religious lines like the recent video in Gujarat trying to portray fear of minority community through a girl and his family, Prof. Choondawat says they do have impact on some segments of people in a limited way who take them seriously and already have some view about it.”But it is very limited on scale and needs a debate in the society at large to have a lasting impact,” he adds.
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