Looking back at 2013, India’s political scenario saw a phenomenal change — the formation and rise to power of the Aam Aadmi Party. Fueled by anti-corruption protests, the party emerged as an independent political faction that gained traction through extensive campaigns by political leader Arvind Kejriwal. And making a documentary on the proceedings were directors Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla.
Ironically titled An Insignificant Man, this non-fiction political thriller (as called by the directors) captures the journey of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) between December 2012 and December 2013, concluding with the Delhi elections, where a newly formed AAP took the country by the storm winning 28 out of 70 seats.
Here’s exclusive footage from An Insignificant Man:
The video shows Arvind Kejriwal discussing the distribution of party tickets with AAP members. The discussion exposes personal ambitions and groupism within the party. During this intense exchange of words between Kejriwal and his partymen, the basic idea of launching the political outfit comes into question. Kejriwal asks the ticket seekers if getting a party ticket for elections was their right. Most of those present at the meeting answer in the affirmative. Realising that the demands of party workers reeked of personal ambition, which was in essence opposed to the AAP’s idea of selfless activism, Kejriwal nods, but in disagreement.
Talking about the filming of An Insignificant Man, co-director Khusboo Ranka reveals in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com how being on the inside helped them see the ‘outsiders’ transitioning into ‘politicians.’ She says, “Going inside a political party and observing from close quarters, not just the events as they unfold, but genuinely the transition of a group of outsiders into politicians, how they communicated certain ideals, what happened in the process of becoming a politician, the push and pull of compromises, saying one thing and perhaps not being able to do it or not doing it. And I think that that makes for a very interesting story.”
Vinay Shukla and Khusboo Ranka, the directors also revealed how they stumbled upon the documentary on just a hunch and consequently realised its extraordinariness.
Khusboo says that something like An Insignificant Man has never been done in the Indian cinematic space. The documentary hits the theaters on November 17.