Friday, February 6, 2015

Creative power unleashed through AAP's election campaign

Keeping aside the other arguments (yes, so my lovely nit pickers, kindly keep your restrainers on), I'm totally loving the unleashing of creativity I'm seeing, in art, technology, processes, crowdsourcing, etc. I foresee these going a long way and having positive impacts long after this election season ends, irrespective of electoral result.

24/7 Web Radio channel:
Getting to hear so much details that are being censored by mainstream media, mixed in with good music, citizen's testimonies, etc. Did you know that lakhs of voters entered in Delhi voters lists have been found to be repeating in neighboring Haryana and UP voters lists? Or that by stopping all VAT raids and inspections during the 49-day govt, traders in Delhi voluntarily contributed Rs.1000 crore more tax than before or after that period? Or that this excess collection easily funded the ~Rs.300 crore total subsidy cost of water-lifeline and 50% electricity bill reduction doled out that was being roundly criticized as "waste" of taxpayer money? We must seriously ask ourselves why even these small 5-min clips that are freely available on youtube also, are being not covered at all by Indian TV news channels. Why are they so afraid of running the actual sentences spoken by the people they're reporting about? Anyways, glad to see the first such thing starting up in India; hoping it stays on and continues with live phone-in programs after this election.

5 Saal Kejriwal by Vishal Dadlani
Aam Aadmi Aaye Hai by Deepak Rathore, Swastik Band

..there's many more, but these two I've found the most catchy and uplifting. Aam aadmi ka aam aadmi saharaa..

So many new ways of communicating large amounts of data effectively are being explored. 

Data visualization:
Superb work by a few coding gurus, particularly a terrific team comprising a 44 yr old and a 22 yr old. This has set a global benchmark on the levels of transparency in funding and up-to-date accountability (15 mins versus several years!) a political party can achieve. If you want to show any youngster what kind of national-level impact just one 22-yr old can contribute to, please show them this website.

Dynamic timelines:
This puts various events, articles, videos in a cohesive chronological order, letting us connect the dots and see things in a long-term perspective. Awesome resource to share to bring someone who hasn't been tracking this, up to speed.

Innovating fundraising: : put your pic on a large mosaic of contributors.

Flash mobs:
Dance for Democracy AAP flash mob on '5 saal Kejriwal'

Delhi Dialogue : a first-in-India process of crowdsourced Manifesto creation and vision-setting for 2020, with 12 focus areas and several domain experts, researchers, scientists, civil society members invited. The website continues to have an open form at the bottom of each sector where anyone can chip in with their opinion or information on that sector.
The output is some of the most far-reaching citizen-centric action points prepared that can serve as a valuable list of demands for citizens groups across the country. Its value goes beyond the party manifesto part. And for those still stuck in the populism-causes-deficit worldview, I'd like to remind you that this "populist" party collected Rs.1000 crore MORE revenues in its last stint.
See the resulting 70-point action plan, copy-pasted for easy viewing, here:
Full manifesto :

An animation explaining Delhi Dialogue:

>> All of these still being done by unpaid volunteers btw!

Hijacking of phrases:
"Mufflerman Returns", "AK-49", "AAPtard", "team without a captain".. all these phrases that had previously been liability and taunts, are now being reused to turn the tables around. With AAP volunteers embracing them and joking about these themselves, their previous negative impact is evaporating into thin air. The volunteers this time are really proving the age-old wisdom that people who can take a joke are way more resilient than people who can easily get offended. (Readers kindly take the hint!)

PS: I know how to create those timelines! It's deceptively simple.. all you need is an excel sheet listing the events, with links to the article or youtube video or so. Check out

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