An average, bespectacled Indian with a soft demeanour, Arvind Kejriwal, born in Siwani, Haryana on 16 August 1968, began his career with Tata Steel after graduating in mechanical engineering from IIT, Kharagpur in 1989. This was not to hold his interest for too long as he left the same in 1992 to have a shot at the Indian Civil Services exam. Kejriwal successfully entered the Indian Revenue Services and began his service in the New Delhi Income Tax Department.
Kejriwal soon married Sunita, an IRS officer; they now have a daughter and a son. Kejriwal is a vegetarian and likes watching comedies and Aamir Khan's movies. He has also authored a book Swaraj that came out in 2012, in both English and Hindi.
In 2000, Kejriwal quit his IRS job and gave vent to the feelings of social activism and started an NGO, Parivartan, in Kaushambi, to fight against corruption and bring change in the field of education and the public distribution system in India. Kejriwal strongly feels that political corruption is the root cause of corruption in the country as can be seen from the various scams involving political figures that have been exposed by the media.
Kejriwal had met several social activists and personalities like Mother Teresa and was impressed by their vision and thoughts early on. Soon enough in the public eye, Arvind Kejriwal gathered many followers. He was awarded for his initiatives with the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emerging Leadership in 2006. He was also able to meet and garner ample support from Anna Hazare, who was rising as an anti-corruption Gandhian. The two joined hands along with others like Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan, etc., to spring up the momentum of the anti-corruption movement. Kejriwal became the architect of the Jan Lokpal Bill movement, aiming to bring an ombudsman over the government and a strong RTI (Right to Information) in the country.
New Chapter in Kejriwal's Life
As Hazare's movement began to lose steam over slow-progressing talks with other political parties, Arvind Kejriwal decided to rejuvenate it through the political route. This brought in major differences in opinions between Anna, who did not want to politicise the movement, and Kejriwal, who thought otherwise. The two parted ways and in November 2012, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came into existence.
When the assembly elections concluded in Delhi in December 2013, nobody had imagined that the AAP would win 27 of the 70 seats. While the party was nowhere close to the required majority, the event was hailed as a mass transformation in which the common man had finally stood up against decades of corruption and exploitation.
However, fate had decided to enthrone Kejriwal. The Congress party extended its support, asking the AAP to form the government. They did so and Kejriwal became the seventh Chief Minister of Delhi. However, the government was not to last long as the BJP and the Congress opposed some aspects of the Jan Lokpal Bill, leading to confrontation in the assembly.
14 February 2014 was the last day of the AAP government, as the opposition wouldn't let it table the Jan Lokpal Bill without getting it approved from the Centre first, which Kejriwal saw as unnecessary and a hurdle.
But fate has something else to offer to Kejriwal. When re-elections were held in Delhi in 2015, the AAP created a historical moment by achieving a stupendous victory with winning 67 out of the 70 seats. These numbers proved that Delhi and its common men not only supported and trusted Kejriwal but also wanted a change in politics and the society.
Arvind Kejriwal Facts and Information
|Born||16 August 1968 (Siwani, Haryana)|
|Father||Gobind Ram Kejriwal (Electrical Engineer)|
|Wife||Sunita Kejriwal (IRS officer)|
|Residence||Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh|
|Education||Did schooling from Campus School in Hisar and B.Tech. (Mechanical Engineering) from IIT, Kharagpur.|
|Indian Revenue Service (IRS)||Joined the IRS in 1995 through the Civil Services Examination.|
|Social Activism||Resigned from job in February 2006. Founded the NGO called Public Cause Research Foundation from the prize money of the Ramon Magsaysay Award.|
|Parivartan||Founded Parivartan, an NGO, in 1999 to assist citizens in matters related to property, electricity, etc.|
|Right to Information Act||Instrumental in getting the Right to Information Act (RTI) enacted as a law.|
|Jan Lokpal Movement||Key person in the Jan Lokpal movement led by Anna Hazare. Participated in the hunger strike of 5 April 2011 against the government's Lokpal Bill. This was in reaction to the rejection by the former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh of his request for the formation of a joint committee comprising government and civil society representatives.|
|Jail Journey||Arrested on 16 August 2011 in connection with the protests.|
|Political Party||Founded the Aam Aadmi Party in 2012 to present a 'clean' democratic alternative.|
|Chief Minister of Delhi||The first term as the Chief Minister of Delhi started after the 2013 assembly elections on 28 December 2013 and then, the second term started on 14 February 2015.|
|Resignation||Resigned from the Delhi Assembly over the Jan Lokpal Bill on 14 February 2014.|
|Writing||Swaraj, published in 2012|
|Awards||Ashoka Fellow, Civic Engagement (2004), Satyendra K. Dubey Memorial Award (2005) from IIT Kanpur for contribution to society, Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership (2006), CNN-IBN Indian of the Year Award in Public Service (2006) Distinguished Alumnus Award, IIT Kharagpur for Eminent Leadership (2009), the Association for India's Development awarded grant and fellowship (2009), Policy Change Agent of the Year, The Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence (2010), NDTV Indian of the Year (2011, shared with Anna Hazare) and CNN-IBN Indian of the Year Award for Politics (2013)|
|Others||A strict vegetarian and practitioner of the Vipassana meditation.|
Blogs about Arvind Kejriwal
Kejriwal Faces Media Trial Ahead of Delhi MCD Polls : The Delhi MCD elections are slated to be held on April 23, 2017. The Indian National Congress (INC), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are locked in a close contest, on all 272 seats. With an important political battle looming ahead, things look rather gloomy for the AAP chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. Following a media exposé that Kejriwal was attempting to use public funds to foot his legal…
Why AAP Should Fear Yogendra Yadav-Led Swaraj India? : In a normal situation, municipal or local body elections don’t excite public, or for that matter, catch the media attention. But when Delhi goes to witness its municipal elections (April 23), all national mainstream or sidestream news/blog outlets are busy reporting each and every activity of political parties and their representatives, as if they were parliamentary or assembly elections. Primarily, there are two key reasons for generating public and media interests in the municipal…
Delhi Municipal Polls 2017: Performance of AAP Will be Under Test : Even though it is municipal elections in Delhi, all eyes are focused on the performance of Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). After its poor performance in Goa and Punjab assembly elections, a further defeat in the civic elections would hit the morale of the party’s rank and file and may also write off its chance to become a political force of any significance. To be held on April 23, 2017, municipal elections for 272…
In a surprise development, Najeeb Jung tenders resignation : In an unexpected move Najeeb Jung, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has put in his papers. It now seems the people of Delhi would no longer have to witness the frequent and, at times, extremely bitter fights between the LG and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. This new development has taken a lot of people by surprise as Jung still has another one year and eight months left in office. It is unclear at the moment…
Arvind Kejriwal in the Fortune List of 50 Great Leaders : The Fortune Magazine has featured the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, in the third annual list of top leaders across the world. He is at the 42nd place among the world’s 50 great leaders. The Aam Aadmi Party leader is the only Indian to have been featured in the magazine. Kejriwal government’s 'odd-even' plan - an attempt at road rationalization to curb the pollution levels of Delhi is what acted as a trajectory to…
Last Updated on : May 18, 2015