In the timeline of the farmer's movement in India, the last few days have witnessed an upsurge of attention from various national and international influencers.
With the movement gaining support after the tweet by international icon Rihanna, several Indians have reacted in favor of it. They appreciated the much-needed celebrity recognition when many primary influencers of the country aka Bollywood and the cricket fraternity remained majorly silent.
Several conspiracy theories were also spun along the lines of Rihanna being “paid” to have tweeted this. These allegations of an “international plot” to defame India became stronger when a ‘toolkit’ tweeted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was out in the public.
The Print reported that the authorities are suspecting a Canada-based organization called Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF) to be associated with this alleged act.
However, the PJP in this tweet has clearly denied all allegations.
This, of course, raised several questions on the ruling government. Thus, as a response, the MEA through a tweet talked about the importance and benefits of these laws.
"Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken. The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible," the ministry said.
Ever since this tweet was posted, several Bollywood and cricket stars, spoke up and showed their concern. They promptly responded with similar tweets that were in sync with the government hashtags aka #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.
However, this act of generic tweets by Indian celebrities led to further allegations of this event being a PR stunt by the government.
However, one cannot ignore the impact of this mass tweeting by Bollywood celebrities on the Indian masses. Several criticized and condemned their silence during the past few months. But there were also several Indians who were influenced. They openly supported the view that the farmers’ protests are an “internal matter.”
Thus, when these influencers repeatedly operated around look-alike tweets, several Indians acted in support of it. They believed the idea that it was wrong on the part of these international influencers to question the ruling government on violations of human rights.
So the question here is does Influencer marketing really have deep-rooted psychology behind it? Does the use of charismatic and socially popular faces really help shape public opinion?
One of the main reasons for this is the idea of cultural conformity. Indians have always been associated with Bollywood and have grown up watching cricket since young ages. Thus these two fraternities establish a deep-rooted obligation to follow what they say. Hence, it often difficult to dissociate the art from the artist. Research actually establishes that when we don't conform to social expectations, our brain signals that we have violated a social norm.
Influencer marketing also works because when people hold a certain title and fame in society, they are automatically correlated as the pillars of credible information. This is a big reason why most Indian advertisements feature these famous stars. They have the charisma to creatively tackle into the mind of the common public.
A study in the National Bureau of Economic Research found that citizens were more likely to carry forward information when it came from an established source or a celebrity. They also discovered that tweets were more likely to be re-tweeted when celebrities endorsed the first-hand information.
This is why the government to uses all these high-end influencers to promote its campaigns like Swacch Bharat, Aarogya Setu App, and many more.
All of this adds up to a simple explanation that these influencers have spent years building a feeling of “family” and personal connection with their followers and supporters. Hence, this mutual trustful bond works in the favor as several Indians practice what “these influencers” preach.
Hence, Influencer marketing is an extremely effective tool by the ruling government. The face value of these stars capitalizes and controls several emotions, and opinions. Thus, as a common public, we must realize that a rational personal view is extremely important. This will work in favor of falling prey to false ideas of propaganda and the planned attempts of deviation from the real crisis.