About Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal is a social activist and politician in India. He is associated with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that was launched by him in 2012. Kejriwal did his graduation in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. A former Indian Revenue Service officer and also Joint Commissioner of the Income Tax Department, he is better known for his key role in drafting the Jan Lokpal Bill. In 1999 Kejriwal founded Parivartan, an NGO aiming to assist the citizens in electricity, income tax and food ration-related matters. His contributions and role to empower the poorest at the grassroots level and implement the Right to Information Act (RTI) won Kejriwal the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2006 for Emergent Leadership. He created a corpus fund with the award money and founded the NGO called Public Cause Research Foundation in 2012. He also published a book called Swaraj in 2012. Arvind Kejriwal took the oath as Delhi Chief Minister on 28th December 2013 at the Ramlila Maidan in front of thosands of people and formed the government by Congress's support. However his rule lasted only 49 days and he was forced to resign from his post after both BJP and Congress turned adamant and put their foot down against giving a clearance to Aam Aadmy Party's Jan Lokpal Bill.
Personal background of Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal was born on August 16, 1968 in Haryana to a well-educated couple, Mr. Gobind Ram Kejriwal and Gita Devi. The family was financially sound. He has a younger brother and a younger sister. His father, Mr. Gobind Ran Kejriwal, was an electrical engineer from the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra. His father’s work led him to several places. Arvind Kejriwal’s childhood passed mostly in towns of north India, like Gaziabad, Hisar and Sonepat. He did his schooling in Hisar at Campus School. Thereafter he graduated in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 1989. He also spent some time at the Ramkrishna Mission and Nehru Yuva Kendra at Kolkata.
Kejriwal married his batch mate Sunita from the National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. She is an IRS officer. They have two children: a daughter, Harshita, and a son, Pulkit. Arvind Kejriwal is a pure vegetarian and has been a regular practitioner of Vipassana.
Detailed professional background of Arvind Kejriwal before entering politics
After completing his studies in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, in 1989, he joined Tata Steel. In order to study and appear for the Civil Services Examination, he took leave of absence from the company. Finally in 1992 he left the job and later in the same year qualified the Civil Services Examination and joined the Indian Revenue Service (IRS). Arvind Kejriwal was also a Joint Commissioiner in the Income Tax Department. He resigned from the position in February 2006. He assisted in forming the NGO Parivartan in December 1999, which aimed at helping people with issues related to income tax, food ration and electricity. At that time, he was still serving in the Income Tax Department.
How did Arvind Kejriwal enter politics?
During the nation-wide protests against corruption, Arvind Kejriwal had a difference of opinion with Anna Hazare. Hazare wanted the Jan Lokpal movement to be politically neutral. On the other hand, Kejriwal’s opinion was that as no progress had been attained through talks with different political parties, it was necessary to get directly involved in politics. An organization named India Against Corruption conducted a social media survey in this regard. The result indicated support for politicization. Others involved in the anti-corruption movement too had split opinions. While Kejriwal’s move was supported by some renowned people like Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan, others like Santosh Hegde and Kiran Bedi opposed it.
On September 19, 2012, Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal came to an agreement that their difference of opinion regarding politicization of the agenda is irreconcilable. On October 2, 2012, on the eve of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Kejriwal announced the formation of a political party. He mentioned that the party will be formally launched on November 26, 2012, the anniversary date when India adopted its constitution.
The party was launched in Delhi on the scheduled dateand was called the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or the Common Man's Party. The party will contest elections for the first time on December 4, 2013 for the Delhi legislative assembly. Arvind Kejriwal will contest against Sheila Dikshit, the three times Chief Minister in Delhi. Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have helped Kejriwal count among the five most-mentioned politicians of India.
Activities or his achievements of Arvind Kejriwal
- In 1999 Kejriwal helped in foundation of Parivartan, an NGO aiming to assist the citizens in electricity, income tax and food ration-related matters
- Played a key role to empower the poorest at the grassroots level and implement the Right to Information Act (RTI).
- Created a corpus fund with the award money he received from the Magsaysay Award, and with that founded the NGO called Public Cause Research Foundation in 2012.
- A committee constituted by the Government of India inducted Arvind Kejriwal as a representative member of the civil society to draft the Lokpal Bill.
- Participated in drafting the Jan Lokpal bill.
- Arvind Kejriwal became the architect of the movement that was started by Anna Hazare -- the Jan Lokpal that demanded Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill.
- To fight corruption cases in government departments like Delhi Electricity Board, Income Tax Department, Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the likes, Kejriwal uses the Right To Information Act.
- Exposed alleged corruption and irregularities of political parties and government agencies through press conferences.
- Ashoka Fellow in 2004
- In 2005 the IIT Kanpur presented him with the Satyendra K. Dubey Memorial Award.
- Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2006.
- "Indian of the Year" award in 2006 from CNN-IBN.
- In 2009, the IIT Kharagpur bestowed him with the Distinguished Alumnus Award.
- Association for India’s Development awarded him a grant and fellowship in 2009.
- The Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellance awarded Kejriwal, along with Aruna Roy, the Policy Change Agent of the Year award in 2010.
- In 2011 he, along with Anna Hazare, received the Indian of the Year award from NDTV.
Last Updated on February 18, 2014