A man who joined politics to change the political scenario in India, and make country corruption free. A man literally proved the theory of “one man can make a difference”, he started of his political career with Anna Hazare’s — the anti-corruption crusade — and emerged as a face of Aam Aadmi in politics. Yes, we are talking about Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party’s national Convenor Arvind Kejriwal.
Arvind Kejriwal, the firebrand activist who has successfully upset the uneasy balance of power in Delhi’s political scene, has turned 50 today. He’s known to be a demanding man to work with, more respected than feared. Colleagues say they’ve hardly seen him lose temper. He doesn’t take people to a task but when miffed, instead takes on the task himself. Arvind Kejriwal, the man who is known as ‘common man’ (Aam Aadmi) plunged into politics by quitting his high-profile job of an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) as the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, to found Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on November 26, 2012.
Arvind Kejriwal’s family affair:
Arvind Kejriwal was born in Hisar, Haryana on August 16, 1968, the first of the three children of Gobind Ram Kejriwal and Gita Devi. Gobind Ram Kejriwal, an electrical engineer from Mesra’s Birla Institute of Technology, and worked for Jindal Strips as an electrical engineer. Arvind Kejriwal also has two siblings, Manoj Kejriwal (38) who works as a software engineer with IBM in Pune, and sister Ranjana Gupta (41) who is a doctor by profession, her husband Ajay Gupta who also is a doctor.
Kejriwal spent most of his childhood in north Indian towns such as Sonepat, Ghaziabad, and Hisar. He was educated at Campus School in Hisar and at a Christian missionary Holy Child School at Sonipat. In 1985 he took the IIT-JEE exam and scored All India Rank (AIR) of 563. He graduated from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, majoring in mechanical engineering. He joined Tata Steel in 1989 and was posted in Jamshedpur. Kejriwal resigned in 1992, having taken leave of absence to study for the Civil Services Examination. He spent some time in Kolkata, where he met Mother Teresa and volunteered with The Missionaries of Charity and at the Ramakrishna Mission in North-East India and at Nehru Yuva Kendra.
Arvind Kejriwal joined the IRS as an Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax in 1995 after qualifying through the Civil Services Examination. It was during his training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy of Administration in Mussoorie in 1993 that Kejriwal met Sunita, a fellow IRS officer. “We admired each other. She’s a very shy person, a very decent person. One day, I just knocked on her door and asked her: ‘Will you marry me?’ And that was it,” Kejriwal was quoted as saying in his biography put together by the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation, which gave him an award for Emerging Leadership in 2005. They were married in 1994 before they got their first postings in New Delhi. His wife Sunita, also an IRS officer is the family’s backbone. Down-to-earth Sunita said she treats her husband’s job, like any other. She told a magazine “I just want him and the kids to remain least affected by all this.”
Kejriwal and Sunita first moved into a government flat in Kalkaji, they moved to Kaushambi in East Delhi a year later. While at the Income Tax Department in Delhi, where he occupied offices at Mayur Bhawan, as joint commissioner, Kejriwal was frustrated by how little he was being able to do for people. He started an NGO, Parivartan, with Rs 50,000 donated by his brother Manoj (brother) and another Rs 50,000 given by a maternal uncle.
Arvind Kejriwal also has two kids, daughter Harshita, 17, and son Pulkit, 12, though seemingly unaffected by their father’s new found status, are extremely proud of him. Pulkit had told Mail Today that “Papa mein bahut dum hai (Dad has a lot of guts)”. In 2014, Harshita cleared IIT Joint Entrance Examination (JEE). She scored 96 percent in the board exams, secured 3322 rank in the toughest engineering exam of the country.
Zoomed into public glare, political ire and national stage with Anna Hazare’s fast to pass the Jan Lokpal bill and on 26 November 2012, Arvind launched Aam Aadmi Party. Defeated three-term CM Sheila Dixit in Delhi assembly election and became Chief Minister of Delhi.
(Compiled from interviews and Agencies)