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from India Insight:

Modi, Kejriwal become latest video game characters as developers focus on elections

Politicians are becoming the Super Mario Brothers equivalent for Indian video gamers as 2014 election fever starts to settle over the country.

Software developers have been developing all kinds of new games and apps in recent years as Indians increasingly shift to smartphones of companies such as Samsung, Apple, Micromax and Karbonn. Now politics has crept into the mix.

In ‘Modi Run’, which debuted in July, players help the kurta-clad Narendra Modi -- the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate -- navigate various obstacles in a run through India’s states to become the country’s premier.

Kumar Mettu, chief executive of U.S.-based app developer Dexati, said the company came out with ‘Modi Run’ because they consider Modi the most popular Indian celebrity for middle-class young people.

from India Insight:

Narendra Modi follows his roadmap to Delhi

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The Narendra Modi charm offensive showed up in full force in India's capital on Wednesday. Modi, the main opposition party's likely prime ministerial candidate gave a speech on progress and development at one of Delhi's premier colleges, the youthful audience greeted the 62-year-old politician with gusto, news outlets called his speech a "roadmap for India," protesters showed up en masse and Twitter went bananas.

If not a direct declaration of grand political ambition, the nearly one-hour speech at the Shri Ram College of Commerce sounded like a pitch for a national role: here was the chief minister of Gujarat talking about development to more than a thousand students in New Delhi, staying away from the usual and divisive political overtones, repeatedly referring to the youth of the country (future voters), and outlining his vision for India.

from India Insight:

Voting via SMS in the election: reality or fantasy?

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A politician asks people to vote via SMS whether they want malls in villages. 'No way' -- comes their response. 

"What an idea, Sirji," says a beaming Abhishek Bachchan, appearing as the politician's tech-savvy secretary in the popular TV campaign for mobile operator Idea Cellular.

from India Insight:

Does youth trump experience in the Lok Sabha stakes?

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Indian political parties and leaders are courting young voters for the upcoming general elections and the age of political leaders like L.K. Advani and Rahul Gandhi is being made into an electoral issue.

After all nearly two-thirds of India is below 35 years of age, the cut-off for ‘youth’ according to the National Youth Policy.

from India Insight:

How thin a line between Church and State?

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Catholic churchgoers in Kerala will soon receive, in addition to the communion, an appeal to not vote for atheists.

The Kerala Catholic Bishops Council has issued a pastoral letter to be read out in Catholic churches from Sunday, urging parishioners to vote for those who uphold secularism and fight terrorism, according to a report in the Indian Express paper.

from India Insight:

Are frequent elections a waste of time and money?

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The general elections in India, due shortly, may not throw up a clear winner.

This could mean weeks or even months of political uncertainty as parties negotiate for power.

Of the past six prime ministers, only three could complete their term.

In this context, the idea for a fixed term for parliament or the government may be floated again.

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