The Economic Times today carried a report saying corporate honchos in Maharashtra such as Star India CEO Sameer Nair and entrepreneur Mahesh Murthy are flocking to Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party after its stunning debut in Delhi. Firstpost spoke to Murthy to find his real standing.
Q. Are you considering any association with AAP?
My interaction with the Aam Aadmi Party so far has been in relation to my work with Pinstorm. As you're aware, Pinstorm has India's most advanced online sentiment tracking tools as well as a strong digital brand consulting practice.
Pinstorm has been tracking the political sentiment expressed online across India for quite some time now and amassed and analysed over 4 million political statements by over 300,000 entities in the last 3 months alone. Pinstorm predicted a potential AAP landslide in Delhi in presentations to clients and political parties over 6 months ago based on its tracking and analysis - a prediction which has largely come true.
At various times, Pinstorm has been in discussions with clients, including political parties, on how its offerings: strategy, creativity and technology could be of use in the forthcoming elections for state assemblies as well as parliament.
Q. Are you looking to join the Aam Aadmi Party? If yes, what do you find attractive about the party?
I have not joined the party - indeed I have not joined any political party in my life. That said, I do find some things that are attractive in the AAP, and some things I do not agree with.
What I find attractive about AAP is the hard work and integrity of its leaders and rank staff and file. I also find their focus on cleaning India of corruption refreshing, idealistic - and also perhaps achievable. Ridding India of corruption is an action I heartily endorse. In addition, and even though I am not directly affected, I find the AAP's respect for an individual's right of sexual orientation to be gratifying and bold.
One of the things I am not in personal agreement with on the AAP's policies and its anti-FDI stand.
Q. Do you support radical democracy and consensus building?
I'm not sure what "radical democracy" means. If you're asking whether I like the potential for a groundswell-driven revolution in India that can upset the existing order - then yes, I am. I came back to India 14 years ago with the belief that I could help in some small way to make a difference here - and I have seen time and again that our political system is not so much a democracy but a kleptocracy - by the thieves, of the thieves and for the thieves. I believe a deep and permanent change here is welcome.
Q. The AAP is yet to clarify its stand on economic policy. What is your view on this?
Unlike other parties like the Congress where the policies seem to be driven by what will keep them in power longer so more daylight robbery can happen - or that of the BJP where the policy seems to be driven by some odd mix of idealism about better governance held back by pragmatism by allowing Jagan and Yeddyurappa to remain in the party - and then medieval bigotry by making anti-gay statements - the AAP's process seems to be driven more from the ground up by what its members say.
As more people join the party, I would imagine that its policies would reflect a more sustainable middle than what seems to be an extreme-left position it is in now.
Q.AAP can form a government in Delhi, but in Karnataka or Maharashtra the chances are very slim. What do you feel about their national strategy?
When the AAP started its movement I remember telling my friends, it's okay if they get even 1 seat in every state assembly and in parliament. That's enough to have someone there who can raise a stink in each assembly about political misdeeds and misgovernance. As it turned out, they did much better.
I predict they will do much better than most pundits will predict in all the states they are contesting in.
And it doesn't matter if they don't win. Even being a minority in every assembly will be a significant deterrence to the lotters who have robbed us blind so far.
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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2014 01:00:42 IST