Navigating the Unseen: Deepfakes in Indian Politics

Author Neha Maria Benny

AI in Indian Politics

India first faced the risk of AI intervention in elections during the Delhi Assembly polls in 2020. Users came across videos featuring the then state BJP chief, Manoj Tiwari, criticising Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s policies in various languages. Later, it was ascertained to be a deepfake video.

The recent assembly elections witnessed the proliferation of viral political videos, subsequently revealed as deepfakes. Amitabh Bachchan taking digs at Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Kaun Banega Crorepati (Balkrishna & Triwedi, 2023), or Telangana minister Malla Reddy making false claims that voters would not get jobs under K Chandrashekar Rao’s re-election were such instances (Valaboju, 2023). The BRS has filed a complaint against the Congress in Telangana to the Election Commission (EC), accusing them of employing ‘deepfake’ technology (PTI, 2023). These underscore the issue of online authenticity and the tangible threat deepfakes pose to democratic processes, influencing public opinion.