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Ankit Lal: A regular engineer who decided to fight corruption

By Shibangi Sinha Roy
Updated on :
Source: Newsd

Just like most of us who are active users of social media and end up following pages of social causes, Ankit Lal started his activism by clicking on the ‘Like’ button of India Against Corruption’s Facebook page during its initial days. It gave him an opportunity to connect with like-minded people who collectively transformed their vision by forming the Aam Admi Party. He has been heading the political party’s IT Cell since its formation.

Here is an exclusive chat:

What made you interested in politics? And, how did you foray into it?

Well, I was never interested in politics as such, it happened purely by chance. I joined the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement in 2011 when the movement just started and Anna Hazare sat on a fast.
I had a normal job at that point of time, I was just another software engineer; slowly and steadily I got deeply involved in politics and then there came a point when I had to make a choice. Thus, I left my job and joined activism full-time. So, when the AAP party was formed, I became a founding member of it.

How would you define your journey as? 

My experience so far has been extremely interesting, to say the least! My journey has taught me a lot of new things, which I otherwise wouldn’t have learned at a 9-5 job.

What role has social media played in your life? 

Social media has been inherent to my political and activism journey. My interface with IAC started with social media. I had just liked their Facebook page back in October or November 2010. That is how my association with IAC started and eventually, 7-8 months down the line I was one of the people managing the page.

How is the Aam Aadmi Party’s social media strategy different from other parties’?

One basic difference between AAP and other political party is the number of people who volunteer for us, both online and on ground, especially online. When we hadn’t even won our first election back in 2013, then also our following on social media was huge!

Also, we are the only party who till date have potentially been a challenge or a threat to the BJP social media machinery, where the BJP has been an established political party for a couple of decades and we were the new kid on the block. We made them realise that they have to work hard to retain what they already have and they won’t have an easy life!

Tell us a little about your academic and professional background.

I did a Btech in computer science in 2009 and thereafter I have tried opening my own firm, which didn’t work out. Then I did a job in the Enterprise Resource Planning firm. In 2010, I appeared for the GRE to pursue masters’ degree abroad. And this was when the IAC movement had just started, so I got hooked on. I was hooked primarily because I was on leave from work to retake GRE thus I could give enough time to IAC movement.

How do you unwind?

Netflix! I love to binge watch shows!

What’s next on your agenda?

Of a lot of things coming ahead, my next agenda would be the book I am currently writing. The book is about my social media and socio-political journey. Hachette India just verbally confirmed that they might be interested. This is definitely next on my priority list after activism.


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