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India’s No. 1 disrupter gets a copy of The Disrupter

Gautam Chikermane’s tweets

Last evening, when Soma Banerjee and I went to give a copy of The Disrupter to India’s No. 1 disrupter, Arvind Kejriwal, we took with us the nineteen-year-old Deepak Mayur, who, fed up with corruption, saw hope in Kejriwal and whom we have profiled in our book. Ably shot by my nephew Abner Manzar, Mayur is the young man in a blue check shirt.
“A second-year student of political science in P.G.D.A.V. College in the capital, he [Deepak Mayur] became the go-to person for redress in Chilla Village, which lies next to the East Delhi locality of Mayur Vihar and houses about five thousand households, living in unplanned concrete houses, in an area of less than one square kilometre,” we have written in The Disrupter. “His entire family—father, mother and three siblings—are AAP members, Mayur the most active among them. ‘He has always been different,’ says his mother Mukesh, who runs a beauty parlour. ‘He used to teach younger children free of cost. He took responsibility from his young days.’” Read more about him in The Disrupter.
When we asked Mayur him about what was going on in his constituency, he said BJP was gaining strength, while Congress was nowhere in sight. Does Aam Aadmi Party have a chance? “We are trying our best,” he said.
This was also a day when Kejriwal was nursing a swollen eye, the result of an auto-rickshaw driver’s slap. Irrespective of political affiliation, ideological proclivities or even the religious adoration of one man over another, violence can’t be a currency of elections. But in 2014, it seems to be gathering momentum, particularly against Kejriwal.
On his part, Kejriwal seems to be taking this in stride. We found him to be quiet but unfazed. “I have come to know that the BJP and Congress have been making use of many unemployed youth for attacking me,” he told reporters in a press conference, minutes before our meeting. “If they think the country’s problems can be solved by getting me beaten up, I am ready to come alone wherever they call me.”
Call him brave, label him reckless or stamp him an opportunist, but one thing is clear: he is ready to stand by his convictions, even at physical peril. While cases like these may create an opinion that the angst of the aam aadmi is brimming over and leaders are facing the lash of his frustration with a rotting system, the fact that the virus of violence settles down so easily, tells us a lot about who we are and where we are headed.
— Gautam Chikermane
Pre-order The Disrupter here
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