Award winning political cartoonist and activist Aseem Trivedi
has applied for a Lok Sabha ticket from Kanpur.
On Friday, Trivedi was grilled by a panel of interviewers for nearly 40 minutes at the party’s secretariat in Lucknow. Union Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal is the incumbent MP from Kanpur while Samajwadi Party has fielded comedian Raju Srivastava.
“Right now the political discourse is dominated by the one who can yell the most and the loudest. Often, the politicians are speaking from a mike yet even then they are yelling,” said Trivedi, who was arrested in 2012 by Mumbai police over charges of sedition, cyber crime, and insulting the national flag, Parliament and the Constitution through his work.
His participation in the sixth edition of reality TV show Big Boss the same year also helped him become a household name.
Associated with the anti-corruption movement since long, Trivedi told The Indian Express that there was a time when industries flourished in Kanpur but their closure has led to an increase in unemployment. “Corruption, pollution, poor roads,” are some of the other issues Trivedi hopes to address if elected. Although he says he doesn’t have a “political mindset,” he is clear about what is “black and what is white.”
Initially, Trivedi, who will turn 27 on Monday, says he wasn’t sure about applying for a ticket. But after insistence by friends and well-wishers, he finally submitted his application last week. “Maybe I’m not sure of what I’ve to do, but I’m certainly sure of what I don’t,” he said, adding that Aamir Khan-starrer Rang De Basanti (2006), motivated him.
During the Assembly elections in various states last year, he launched Occupy Polling Booths, a campaign aimed at educating voters about the criminal background of the contestants. Another campaign, Stop Acid Attacks, launched by Trivedi and his friend Alok was aimed at spreading awareness about acid attacks.