Pran Kurup
Pran Kurup (second from right) with Delhi Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Entrepreneur and social activist Pran Kurup, who was best known for spearheading nascent Aam Aadmi party movement in Northern California, passed away last week in Thiruvananthapuram of cardiac arrest.

Kurup, 49, leaves behind his wife and two children, all of whom reside in Silicon Valley.

He released his third book just months ago in July, “Arvind Kejriwal and The Aam Aadmi Party: An Inside Look.” Kurup roomed with Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal at IIT Kharagpur, the book highlights how deep the bond was between the two, as well as Kejriwal’s influence on Kurup’s philosophy.

“Pran, IIT batchmate and a very dear friend, passed away due to cardiac arrest. May his soul rest in peace. Heartfelt condolences to his family,” Kejriwal tweeted on the day of Kurup’s death.

When the Aam Aadmi Party began to gain steam in the U.S. in 2012, Kurup was credited for having increased the movement’s visibility through social media and his popular column in The Economic Times. During a 2013 discussion forum at UC Berkeley that explored India’s changing political landscape, Kurup said: “Although the last thing India needs is a new party, it is unfortunately the only alternative for a young, aspiring secular India in the 21st century.”

In a blog post, Namit Arora, another close friend of Kurup’s, wrote: “Through his ups and downs, my most abiding memory of him is his optimism, his decency, his caring for a better India, and his infectious humor and laughter. I loved him dearly.”

University of California San Francisco cancer researcher Maya Vishwakarma, the former 2014 candidate for a Lok Sabha seat from Hoshangabad district in Madhya Pradesh on the Aam Aadmi ticket, credited Kurup with being a mentor, teacher and beloved friend.

Kurup, who was born in Chennai, founded the e-learning company Vitalect in 1997. He additionally served as the president of the Silicon Valley Indian Professionals Association.