Anita Pratap had waded through snake-infested swamps to interview slain LTTE chief Vellupillai Prabhakaran. She is now negotiating what she feels are the swamps of politics. Wife of Norway’s ambassador to Japan, the award-winning journalist has her plans for the Kochi Lok Sabha seat. Excerpts:
What made you come back to India and plunge into politics?
I had to use my skills as a journalist to change the system. Corruption has reached endemic levels. I studied the systems in other countries and I am going to put them to use here.
The Congress is steeped in corruption, the BJP is divisive. It is anti-Hindu. The shankaracharya of Kanchi mutt told me Christianity and Islam have one path to one god, Hinduism has many paths to many gods. I was inspired by that though I am a Catholic.
But AAP seems to have run away from power in Delhi and did not act against Somnath Bharti.
Arvind Kejriwal is a great strategist, not one to cling to power. AAP has potential, it is a threat to others parties that have unleashed a Goebbelsian propaganda against it. I decided that this is the party for me. There have been mistakes. But why don’t people focus on the costly and huge mistakes made by others? We are a small party with limited funds, so why do people think we can be perfect?
Can you defeat a powerful opponent like food minister KV Thomas?
Politics here is toxic as is the air. Kochi is polluted, insecurity among the minorities and women is high, the infrastructure is crumbling. You can’t get anything without paying a bribe. Thomas has done nothing at all for all these years and cannot show his face. The people’s rage will be channelised by AAP for the better.
If you lose, will you pack up and leave?
My husband is due to retire soon and we have booked a flat here. I am not going to run away. I will be documenting people’s grievances.