Biography of Arvind Kejriwal
Current Role: Social Activist, Founder of ParivarthanOrganization: Parivarthan, Public Cause Research Foundation; India Against CorruptionEducational Background: (B.Tech Degree in Mechanical Engineering) IIT Karaghpur
Candidate Location: Delhi
Journey So Far
Kejriwal joined Tata Steel right after his graduation from IIT Kharagpur. Kejriwal quit his job with Tata Steel in 1992 and spent some time working with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata, the Ramakrishna Mission in the North-East India and Nehru Yuva Kendra.
Kejriwal joined the Indian Revenue Service in 1992 after qualifying through the Civil Services Examination.In February 2006, he voluntarily resigned from the IRS as Joint Commissioner in Income Tax Department. After voluntary resignation from job, he founded Parivartan, a Delhi based citizens’ movement, which works on ensuring just, transparent and accountable governance. In December 2006, Kejriwal along with Manish Sisodia and Abhinandan Sekhri started Public Cause Research Foundation, which works for promoting better local self-governance and RTI related campaigns.
- RTI (Right to Information)
Along with Aruna Roy and others, he campaigned for the Right to Information Act (RTI), which soon became a silent social movement, and Delhi Right to Information Act was passed in 2001. Eventually, at the national level, Indian Parliament passed the RTI in 2005. Thereafter, in July 2006, he spearheaded an awareness campaign for RTI across India.To motivate others, Arvind has now instituted an RTI Award through his organisation.Kejriwal has been using RTI in corruption cases in many government departments including the Income Tax department, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Delhi Electricity Board and others
- Jan Lokpal Bill
It became clear that corruption could be exposed using Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI), but to prosecute and punish corrupt people, an effective anti-corruption law was needed. To comply with this, Arvind Kejriwal along with Prashant Bhushan, Shanti Bhushan, Santosh Hegde and Kiran Bedi drafted Jan Lokpal Bill. As the bill was edited and revised time to time after wide public consultations, it was known as Jan Lokpal Bill i.e.Peoples’s Lokpal bill. Though Anna Hazare was the leader of the movement for Jan Lokpal, Arvind Kejriwal is regarded as the architect behind the movement. Jan Lokpal bill movement actually started when Anna Hazare started Anshan on Jantar Mantar on 5 April 2011.This got immense support from all over the country and the government was forced to form a joint drafting committee for Lokpal Bill.
India Against Corruption committee had announced indefinite fast from 15 August 2011 to protest against the government to bring the Lokpal bill in the monsoon session of the parliament in August 2011. On August 16, 2011, key members of the India Against Corruption including Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, and Manish Sisodia were arrested four hours before the planned indefinite hunger strike by Hazare.
Rajan Bhagat, spokesman for Delhi Police, said police arrested Hazare under a legal provision that bans public gatherings and protests at the park in Delhi where Hazare was planning to begin his hunger strike. Activists were later released same day although they later spent two more days in the Tihar jail negotiating conditions put on protest. Kejriwal left the jail on August 18 and the protests started the following day from Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.After 12 days of protests and many discussions between the government and the activists, Parliament passed a resolution to consider three points in drafting of Lokpal bill.
- Indefinite Fast from 25th July 2012
According to India Against Corruption, it was a weak bill that lacked effective measures. The bill was passed in the Loksabha, but it could not be passed by Rajya sabha. India Against Corruption demanded setting up of Special Investigation Team to investigate corruption charges against 15 tainted cabinet ministers behind the delay of bill processing and asked for establishment of fast track courts to prosecute MPs against whom grave criminal charges are pending. These demands being rejected by Government, Arvind Kejriwal along with Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai, started indefinite from 25 July 2012.This agitation was supported by thousands of people nationwide. Even after 10 days of fasting, government did not respond to any of the demands. When a group of 23 eminent citizens of this country requested them to break the fast and give a political alternative to this country, after consulting popular opinion, Anna Hazare and his team decided to go ahead with forming a political party.
Attack on Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal was attacked with flip-flops during a program in Lucknow, India under India Against Corruption (IAC) anti-graft campaign.After the incident, the accused was caught by the IAC volunteers and handed over to the police. Later, Mr. Kejriwal asked that the accused be released and did not file any FIR against him.
The accused was identified as Jitendra Pathak of Uttar Pradesh’s Jalaun district, who worked for the Indian National Congress from 2006-2009 and is a former member of Congress Sewa Dal.Kejriwal’s attacker Jitendra Pathak has been sacked from his job. On the other hand, Arvind Kejriwal has written a letter to the chairman of the company to take back their decision and to retain the accused. As per Kejriwal’s ideology, violence can be stopped by non-violence only and taking Jitendra’s job is violence against the accused and his family.
Aam Aadmi Party- Kejriwal established the Aam Aadmi Party in November 2012. The party name — Aam Aadmi Party — reflects the phrase Aam Aadmi, or “common man”, whose interests Kejriwal proposed to represent. The party was formally launched in Delhi on 26 November 2012.It intends to contest elections for the first time on 4 December 2013 by participating in the contest for the Delhi Legislative Assembly. Kejriwal has been selected to contest against Sheila Dikshit, a three-time Chief Minister of Delhi.He has also become one of the five most mentioned Indian politician on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. On 16th November 2013, Kejriwal filed his nomination papers from the New Delhi Assembly constituency under the Aam Aadmi Party banner.
Awards & Recognition
- 2004 – Ashoka Fellow, Civic Engagement
- 2005 – ‘Satyendra K. Dubey Memorial Award’, IIT Kanpur for his campaign for bringing transparency in Government
- 2006: Ramon Magsaysay Award for Eminent Leadership
- 2006: CNN-IBN, ‘Indian of the Year’ in Public Service
- 2009: Distinguished Alumnus Award, IIT Kharagpur for Eminent Leadership
- 2010: Policy Change Agent of the Year, The Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence along with Aruna Roy
- 2011: NDTV Indian of the Year along with Anna Hazare
- IIM Gold Medal
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