It was as if the real Modi had descended on the Malleswaram grounds on Friday evening.
Of course, fans of the Gujarat chief minister were there to listen him speak, with a body language that has become all too familiar this election season. But, more than that, what left the crowd bewildered was the possibilities of the 3D technology. The telecast of the Modi speech in 3D holographic projection is a first in the history of Indian elections.
There were loud cheers and whistling when Modi ‘emerged’ on the virtual stage (with a bright blue background) an hour later than schedule. For a few minutes, nobody could tell that it was not Modi himself. The walk, the hand movements and even the picking up of a glass of water and sipping from it - all looked real.
The virtual Modi began his speech by appreciating 3D technology and explaining how it was first used by him in the Assembly elections in Gujarat in 2012.
In between the speech, Modi kept waving his hand to the crowd and repeatedly putting his hands in his pockets, making many feel like he was still there. Most of his speech was about health, education and making India ‘a digital India on the global platform’.
The crowd was not much interested in his speech, but the virtual him. Many in the crowd clicked pictures of the virtual Modi and recorded the speech, so that they could show it to those who could not attend.
Sharada, a housewife who had come with her husband, said, “The reason why I came here is not primarily because I am a Modi fan, but I wanted to see how real he will look. I have to admit, I am not disappointed,” she said.
Ramesh V, who came with his 12-year-old son, said, “My son heard it from neighbours that a 3D holographic projection event is happening, so he brought me here. No doubt, Modi looked every inch him. Thankfully, Modi spoke of development issues and did not indulge in mud-slinging,” he said.