15 Interesting Facts about Arvind Kejriwal

1. Born on August 16th, 1968 in Haryana, Arvind Kejriwal is social activist turned politician. His father was an engineer and most of his childhood days were spent in small northern Indian towns. His schooling was at Campus School and in 1989 he did his B.Tech in mechanical engineering from IIT Kharagpur. He has said in a speech at PAN IIT 2011 that his life at the IIT Kharagpur was the most crucial period of his life and has laid a strong foundation in his life. He even motivated the fellow IITians by saying that they are the cream of the country and to influence the politicians to get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed.

2. Soon after his graduation, he started his career with Tata Steel. He quit the job in 1992 and joined the Indian Revenue Service. In between the joining with the Service, Kejriwal spent some time working for Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity and many other Missionaries. By 2006, he voluntarily resigned from the IRS as a Joint Commissioner from the Income Tax department.

3. After his resignation, he founded the Parivartan, which is a Delhi based Citizens Movement, which ensures on an immediately, accountable and transparent supremacy. Along with Manish Sisodia and Abhinandan Sekhri, in December 2006 started the Public Cause Research Foundation, which works for promoting better local self authority and RTI (Right To Information Act) related campaigns.

4. In 2001, the Delhi Right to Information Act was passed and in 2005, the RTI was passed at National level in the Indian Parliament. Later on in 2006, he organized an awareness campaign for RTI across India.

Arvind Kejriwal

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5. Through his organization, he has instituted an RTI award to motivate others. In many government departments, which includes the income Tax department, The Public Distribution System( PDS ), The Municipal Corporation , The Delhi Electricity Board and many others , the RTI is being used to bring the corruption to highlights.

6. After organizing the Right To Information Act, it became very transparent that the corruption could be exposed using the Right To Information Act. But to punish and prosecute the corrupted people, an effective and strong anti-corruption law was necessary.

7. The Jan Lokpal Bill was drafted by Kejriwal along with Prasanth Bushan, Santosh Hedge , Shanti Bushan and Kiran Bedi. After repeated editions and revisions time after time by the public consultations, the bill was named Jan Lokpal Bill which means People’s Lokpal Bill.

8. Even though Anna Hazare was at the lead of the movement, the architect behind the movement is said to be Aravind Kejriwal.

9. The Lokpal Bill movement started, when Anna Hazare started a fast at Jantar Mantar on 5th April 2011. This move was supported by the entire country and the government was forced to structure a joint drafting committee for the Lokpal Bill. It was said that if the bill was not passed by the monsoons in August, then ‘India Against Corruption’ would go on an indefinite fast from 15th August 2011.

10. However, on 16th August 2011 just hours before the planned hunger strike by Hazare was to take place, the key members of the India Against Corruption which included Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia were arrested. The police said that they arrested Hazare under a legal provision which bans public gathering and protests at the decided venue. The activists were later released, but spent another two days in Tihar Jail negotiating the conditions for the bill.

11. After being released on 18th August 2011, Kejriwal went on a protest starting from Ramlila Maidan and it lasted for about 12 days. At the end of the protest after so much of discussions between the activists and government, the parliament decided to pass a resolution, considering three points in drafting of the Lokpal Bill.

12. The bill was presented to both the houses of parliament, after referring the bill to a standing committee. However, as per the India Against Corruption, it was a weak bill, which lacked effectual measures. It was passed in the Lok Sabha but however it was not passed in the Rajya Sabha. It has come to an understanding that around 15 stained ministers in the central cabinet are behind in getting the bill delayed from getting it passed. India against Corruption demands a Special Investigation Team to investigate on these 15 cabinet ministers and if found guilty to ensure severe punishment. These demands were being rejected by the Government.

13. Since the demands were being rejected, Kejriwal along with Gopal Rai and Manish Sisodia sat on an indefinite strike at Jantar Mantar from July 25th 2012. this was supported by thousands of people nationwide. Even after 10 days, the government did not take any decisions on it. It was then that a group of 23 distinguished citizens which included the Ex Army Chief, Naval Chief, retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and many more officials, requested the India Against Committee to give a political alternative to this country. And after many consultations, Anna Hazare and his team decided to form a political party.

14. After splitting with Anna Hazare, Kejriwal entered into active politics. Kejriwal is also associated with the Youth for equality, which opposes positive action on basis of caste. He is married to Sunita, who is also an IRS officer. She currently works as an Additional Director in Serious fraud investigation office at the Ministry Of Affairs. They reside at Ghaziabad, near Delhi with their two children.

15. Arvind Kejriwal has also been awarded several awards which include “The CNN-IBN, Indian of the Year Award” in 2006, the “Distinguished Alumnus” Award from IIT Kharagpur for eminent leadership in 2009, “NDTV Indian of the Year Award” along with Anna Hazare in 2011 and many more. He has also won an “IIM Gold Medal.”