The Insurgent

By MEHBOOB JEELANI | 1 September 2011

SHORTLY AFTER ANNA HAZARE broke his fast-unto-death on 9 April, a group of young people encircled a small man with a black moustache at Jantar Mantar and began shouting the famous pre-independence slogan: Inquilab Zindabad! (Long Live Revolution!). He continued walking toward a group of cars when a young man wearing a red bandanna pushed through the crowd, blocking his way and screaming out, “Sir, don’t call off the fast. Repeat the revolution.” The man returned the smile, and slid into the car.

This man was Arvind Kejriwal, a 43-year-old social activist from East Delhi. Though Hazare is the recognised face of an anti-corruption campaign that began with his fast on 5 April, Kejriwal is the architect of the movement—the man journalists swarm to, seeking an interview. At press briefings, he often sits next to Hazare and helps the self-styled Gandhian handle tough questions: Kejriwal whispers into Hazare’s ear or scribbles key points on a piece of paper lying between them. When questions are posed to Kejriwal, he responds like an impassioned professor explaining a complicated problem—piling detail upon detail with the supreme confidence that his answer is the correct one. His essential message never changes: only a powerful independent anti-corruption agency, with wide-ranging authority and minimal government interference, can cure the plague of graft—and anything less will fail.

The ideas that would eventually lead to the Jan Lokpal Bill—and plans for a mass mobilisation to support it—had been on Kejriwal’s mind at least since September 2010, when public frustration with the inept preparations for the Commonwealth Games erupted into fury over evidence of widespread corruption. India’s middle classes, who already saw the event as a tremendous waste of money, were further enraged when the Games delivered nothing but international embarrassment and a multi-million rupee scam. Kejriwal, however, saw an opportunity to mobilise public opinion against corruption, and began to plot the course that would lead “Team Anna” into a high-profile showdown with the ruling United Progressive Alliance coalition. He spent his days consulting with experts and prospective allies, from lawyers to bankers to former bureaucrats and religious leaders, as well as his colleagues in the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI). He devoted his nights to drafting and revising a bill to create a new Lokpal: an independent body vested with the extraordinary powers—to investigate, prosecute and sometimes even judge—that Kejriwal thought necessary to prevent any politician or bureaucrat from obstructing the agency’s work.

Though Kejriwal is attentive to the cultural causes of corruption—he told me that “greed and the downfall of moral values” played a role—he believes a failing enforcement system is ultimately to blame. “If you talk of corruption in administration,” he explained, “the issue is a lack of adequate deterrence. There is zero risk in corruption here—it’s a high-profit business.” In short, while bad people may commit fraud, good systems can stop them. It’s a point Kejriwal—who owns a car but takes the Delhi Metro almost every day—likes to illustrate with a transit parable he’s often used at press conferences. “If you travel by Indian Railways, you’ll see chaos, confusion and corruption everywhere,” he told me. “But if you travel by Delhi Metro, you’ll see everything in order. It is not because good people travel by Metro, it is because Metro has a right system in place.” And the Lokpal, Kejriwal continued, “is that right system, which will set this country in the right direction.”

Last autumn, many of Kejriwal’s metro journeys took him to Noida, where he spent hours discussing the finer legal points of the Lokpal Bill with Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan and his father Shanti Bhushan, a former Union law minister who was the first to propose the idea of a Lokpal in a bill submitted to Parliament in 1968. Kejriwal usually left these meetings with a copy of the draft bill covered in red ink and marked up with notes and questions; he would dutifully revise the document and email it back to the Bhushans, often that same night. “Basically he was doing all the work,” Prashant Bhushan told me, “I was being only consulted, so it was an easy task, and he gets it quickly.”

By the end of October, Kejriwal had begun to circulate a draft of his bill among “like-minded people”—and to work with those who responded positively, including Kiran Bedi, the Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning police officer-turned-activist, and the former Supreme Court justice Santosh Hegde. “I was just trying to find people who were known for fighting corruption,” Kejriwal told me.

One such person was Anna Hazare. By December, when the group now calling itself India Against Corruption (IAC) sent a draft of its Lokpal Bill to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded a “total overhaul of the anti-corruption delivery system”, Hazare was among the signatories. After several months passed without any response from the government, Kejriwal and Bedi flew to Maharashtra in February to meet Hazare. “Anna Hazare was convinced that this was a good solution to corruption,” Kejriwal told me. “He had a successful history of fighting corruption, one case after another.”

During the visit, Kejriwal recalled, “Anna called a meeting of his workers from all across Maharashtra, and he asked everyone, ‘Should I sit on fast?’ They all agreed.” In a tiny room at the Sant Yadavbaba temple in Hazare’s village, Ralegan Siddhi, he and Kejriwal sat and planned the fast-unto-death Hazare would stage in April at Jantar Mantar; they deliberately selected a date that would fall between the end of the Cricket World Cup and the start of the Indian Premier League.

“He even discussed the days of the week,” one member of Kejriwal’s team told me. “His calculation was that the fast must continue through Saturday, because he knew the working class could join them only on weekends—and that is exactly what happened.” The team member added that, before returning to Delhi, Kejriwal told Anna: “Instead of the Gandhi of Maharashtra, we’ll make you the Gandhi of India.”

Kejriwal works out of an apartment-sized office in East Delhi, a 10-minute walk from the Kaushambi metro station in Ghaziabad. His staff consists of a few paid employees and a rotating cast of volunteers, who are usually wearing India Against Corruption T-shirts and working purposefully at about half a dozen outdated computers. It feels a bit like an old government office, with basic furniture, dim lighting, tall stacks of pamphlets and newspapers and framed pictures of Anna Hazare and Mahatma Gandhi decorating the walls; retired bureaucrats and journalists drop by during the day to share their suggestions with Kejriwal or his closest associate, Manish Sisodia.

Each morning, Kejriwal walks through the office, assigning the staff and volunteers tasks for the day; in the run-up to Hazare’s fast on 5 April, he read aloud to them the Hindi slogans he’d devised for banners and posters, seeking feedback and suggestions. Kejriwal explained that “each and every line of our communication material is discussed, because the final material has to be very sharp”—he has an acute sense for what it takes to persuade and mobilise the public. Before the April fast, Kejriwal and his staff went so far as to test their message by printing an assortment of prospective pamphlets in small batches. They distributed each version of the pamphlet at a different bus station in Ghaziabad so they could study the public response.

Kejriwal can be a demanding manager, but he’s respected rather than feared. “I’ve never seen him lose his temper,” said Sneha Kothawade, who joined Kejriwal’s team in December. If someone makes a mistake, she added, “his only scolding will be, ‘I’ll do it myself.’” When Kejriwal is upset or unhappy, he retreats into his own office and closes the door to signal he doesn’t want to be disturbed. But if he senses morale is low, he’ll come out and order patties or ice cream for the entire staff. If he’s in the middle of a conversation at the office—even some light banter with a chaiwallah—he won’t break it off to answer a phone call. When he talks strategy with his staff, he refers often to Gandhi’s mobilisation tactics and the need for self-restraint.

But when he’s in front of a camera, Kejriwal has a hard time restraining his own flair for provocation. Though he’s quick to walk back his most inflammatory statements, he clearly loves to stir the pot by attacking the government and insulting the entire political establishment. “If the Lokpal bill was passed,” he said at one press conference, “half of the MPs would go to jail.” And at another: “All the politicians are thieves—throw them to the vultures.” Prodded by his colleagues, Kejriwal has tried to soften his blows: he recalled that at one event, after declaring that “all judges are corrupt”, he rushed to correct himself when Prashant Bhushan forcefully whispered “Not all of them!” into his ear.

When I asked Kejriwal if these outbursts were deliberate, he gave a regretful look and confessed that his anger sometimes got the better of him—though he insisted that the media had often blown his remarks out of proportion. “On TV, these things are taken to extremes,” he said. “What I mean is that there is a general perception of corruption, so I say these things.” To Lokpal sceptics, Kejriwal’s dismissive jabs at elected officials suggest a movement with no respect for democracy and no desire to compromise—but Kejriwal’s confrontational approach clearly resonates with the movement’s fervent supporters, who admiringly call him an “anti-corruption crusader”.

Manish Sisodia, a former television journalist who has been Kejriwal’s top lieutenant for more than a decade, described him as “courageous and clear-headed”, and so obsessed with his work that he only sleeps four hours a night. “Without that kind of madness,” Sisodia continued, “how else would it be possible to build a massive campaign like this from zero?”

Even Kejriwal wasn’t prepared for the massive outpouring of public support for Hazare’s fast in April: he expected a few hundred people and had asked Sisodia to hire a tent according to his estimate.

The night before the fast began, Kejriwal and Hazare stayed at Kiran Bedi’s house in South Delhi. Bedi recalled that while Hazare retired early, Kejriwal hardly slept. “I heard him coughing all night,” Bedi told me. “It was so loud that I started to worry.” The next morning, after a small breakfast—a cup of milk and plain toast—the three set out for Jantar Mantar, where roughly 500 people gathered by the first afternoon. On the second day, however, the crowd began to swell to massive proportions, and the media turned its cameras on Hazare; one TV channel, Headlines Today, deployed five crews on rotation to provide 24-hour coverage.

From the dais, Hazare entertained the crowd with patriotic songs and irreverent jokes about politicians. Backstage, Kejriwal guided the campaign: feeding stories and tips to reporters, comparing his protest with Tahrir Square, drafting press releases and handling the increasingly tense phone calls from Congress party aides, who insisted he call off the agitation. Each time, he refused, and by the fourth day the Government of India bowed to his demand to convene a Lokpal drafting committee split evenly between Team Anna and Union cabinet ministers. Hazare called off the fast, and Kejriwal announced “a victory for the people of India”.

Whether the victory belonged to the people of India or merely to Team Anna, Kejriwal’s elation was short-lived. He kept up his hard line through nine rounds of talks in the drafting committee—insisting, among other things, that the prime minister and judiciary come under the Lokpal’s jurisdiction—and the negotiations ended in deadlock on 22 June. “Inside, the ministers would tell him, ‘In public you should say the meetings are going well,’” Prashant Bhushan told me. “But he wouldn’t listen to them. He would come out and brief the media about everything that was discussed inside.”

After the final drafting committee meeting, Kejriwal called a press conference along with Hazare and the Bhushans. He declared that the government was “killing the baby before the baby was born,” and Hazare threatened another fast in Delhi on 16 August if the government failed to bring a strong Lokpal bill before Parliament. The ministers had accepted fewer than a dozen items from Team Anna’s 71-point agenda, and now, Kejriwal continued, “they are not going to introduce Lokpal but Jokepal in the Parliament.”

Confrontation had put Team Anna, however briefly, on equal footing with the cabinet, but the negotiating table was a tougher playing field than public opinion. To keep his Lokpal draft alive, Kejriwal had to go back to the people—and steer his movement toward another collision with the government.

ONE SECRET OF KEJRIWAL’S success may be the stark contrast between his public and private demeanour. A firebrand before a crowd or a camera, he’s mild-mannered and introverted in person, a combination that inspires passion in audiences and confidence and respect from his close colleagues and allies. Short and compactly-built, with neatly-parted black hair and a trimmed moustache, he still looks a little boyish at 43. He has no personal story of extraordinary suffering at the hands of corruption. What led him to quit his job as a senior bureaucrat and become an activist wasn’t anger or bitterness; it was the loss of his own faith in government after a decade in its service.

Kejriwal was born in 1968 to a middle-class family in the Hisar district of Haryana. His father, Gobind Ram Kejriwal, is a retired electrical engineer. A quiet child, Kejriwal attended a Christian missionary school in Sonipat, where he displayed a natural aptitude for mathematics and scored high marks. He spent most of his childhood surrounded by books—so much so, his father told me, that when guests came to the family’s one-bedroom apartment, Arvind would avoid them and study in the bathroom.

After finishing school in 1985, Kejriwal decided he wanted to study at one of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT). His father advised him to apply to other state engineering colleges as a backup, and enrolled him at Kurukshetra University. But Kejriwal refused to even consider it: he skipped the Kurukshetra entrance exam altogether.   

“When I asked him why he did that, he said ‘I will go to IIT only,’” Gobind told me. “If he starts chasing something, just believe it that he’ll get it.”

Kejriwal qualified for admission to IIT Kharagpur and finished a degree in electrical engineering in 1989. After graduating, he was hired as an assistant engineer (design) at Tata Steel in Jamshedpur; he said he enjoyed the job and admired the honesty of his co-workers, but after three years he left Tata to return to Delhi and prepare for the Civil Services Examination.

“He actually wanted to join police,” Gobind Kejriwal said. “I don’t know why he wanted that. I’ve never intervened in his life, not even when he was a child.”

Kejriwal didn’t qualify for an Indian Administrative Service rank, but he scored enough to enter the Indian Revenue Service (IRS). At the training course in Mussoorie, he met his future wife, Sunita, and after passing out, they both joined the Income Tax (IT) Department in Delhi as assistant commissioners.

As Gobind describes it, his son settled uneasily into life as a bureaucrat. Unlike the other officers he worked with, Kejriwal refused to use peons; he cleaned his own desk and emptied his own dustbin. He avoided office parties and other social gatherings, preferring to sit at a nearby tea stall. (Later in our conversation, Gobind also explained that Kejriwal doesn’t celebrate his own birthday or those of his two children.)

“He was a calm officer,” said Javed Ahmed Khan, one of Kejriwal’s batchmates who serves as additional commissioner at the Delhi IT office. “He would spend most of his time in his room. Many officers didn’t like him for that.”

In time, Kejriwal came to dislike most of his colleagues in return, thanks to his discomfort with what he has described as a culture of corruption. He began to realise nothing got done in his office without bribes and kickbacks, and by 2000, his frustration had reached a boiling point. Kejriwal started exhorting unhappy citizens who had been poorly served by his corrupt co-workers to file petitions against them in court. That same year he secretly started Parivartan (meaning “change”), a nonprofit organisation devoted to government transparency—and put up posters in public areas of the office that read: “Are you facing a bribe problem? If you do, contact Parivartan.” The organisation helped people obtain their old-age pensions without paying bribes, and filed complaints against income tax officers who colluded with tax evaders.

At first, Kejriwal kept his role in Parivartan a secret—officially, Manish Sisodia headed the organisation. But the success of the nonprofit further sapped Kejriwal’s interest in his day job; at the beginning of 2001, he took a two-year study leave, with pay, from the IT department and devoted himself fulltime to Parivartan. After reading in the newspaper about the Right to Information (RTI) campaign being waged by the NCPRI, Kejriwal went to meet Shekhar Singh, one of the group’s founding members, and asked to volunteer.

“He said he wanted to work,” Singh told me. “He looked so impatient—he reminded me of my younger days, when there was nothing I wanted more than a benign dictatorship in this country.”

For two years, Kejriwal travelled to villages across north India to mobilise support for an RTI law. Drawing on his own experiences, he told people that government officials deliberately engineered delays to force the payment of bribes, and argued that a strong RTI law would expose corrupt practices.

In 2004, Kejriwal launched an experimental project in one East Delhi neighbourhood, Nand Nagri, to test ways to hold government officials accountable. Kejriwal formed a committee consisting of 10 local residents who were trained to scrutinise the activities of the member of the legislative assembly (MLA) from their constituency. The committee then demanded public consultations over everything from road paving to drainage repair.

Rakesh Senger, a child rights activist who worked with Kejriwal in Nand Nagri, said the goal of the project was to “give people some sense of power right from the mohalla level.” In the end, however, a rift formed among the committee members, dissolving the project, but its means and ends offer a neat summation of Kejriwal’s activism. “We wanted to create a situation,” Senger told me, “that would make government officers feel people are watching them.”

At the end of 2004, Kejriwal used Delhi’s newly-implemented RTI law to obtain 9,000 pages of documents concerning a proposal to privatise the city’s potable water agency, the Delhi Jal Board. The records revealed that the World Bank had manipulated the bidding for a contract to plan the privatisation. After Kejriwal discovered that the privatisation proposal involved massive tariff hikes as well as cuts to free water for poor families, he led protest demonstrations that helped stall the project indefinitely.

Kejriwal extended his two years of paid leave from the IT department by another two years, this time without pay, and by 2005, he had run out of ways to avoid returning to government service. It was time to decide whether to be a social activist or a commissioner rank officer. Unsurprisingly—and much to his family’s dismay—Kejriwal chose activism. According to Kejriwal’s parents, his wife worried that he’d resigned too young to be eligible for any pension or gratuity.

“It was not surprising,” Kejriwal’s mother, Geeta Devi, told me. “But we couldn’t say anything, because he had gone very far in social work.”

Kejriwal’s secured position in the Indian government hadn’t exactly kept him silent during his four-year leave, but his departure swept away what few inhibitions remained. In July 2006, Kejriwal organised a two-week RTI awareness event at an indoor stadium in Delhi; every day, he stood at a counter for up to 10 hours, fielding questions from students, young lawyers and activists, and encouraging every visitor to file RTI applications. On the final day of the event, as Sisodia recalls it, Kejriwal was resting on a staircase when his phone rang. After a short conversation, he stood up and walked over to Sisodia. “He squeezed my shoulder,” Sisodia said, “and whispered into my ear, ‘I’m getting an award.’” Kejriwal had been given the Ramon Magsaysay Award, widely described as Asia’s Nobel Prize, for Eminent Leadership—“activating India’s right-to-information movement at the grassroots” and “empowering New Delhi’s poorest citizens to fight corruption by holding government answerable to the people”.

“After a few minutes,” Sisodia continued, “he was back at his counter as if nothing had happened.”

But as far as Kejriwal was concerned, each year brought less cause for celebration, while his displeasure with the government grew steadily more intense. The campaign for a national RTI act had been a great success, but in practice it had fallen far short of his hopes. For the better part of a decade, he had pushed for greater transparency, confident that the exposure of government malfeasance would put a massive dent in corruption. Citizens had indeed used RTI to uncover scams across the country, but it was clear to Kejriwal, who scrutinised the data on RTI implementation and interviewed information commissioners and hundreds of activists, that politicians and bureaucrats had found new methods to hide information and stall requests. Even those whose guilt was exposed too often evaded punishment, while cases of harassment and outright violence against citizens filing RTI requests grew in number: by the end of 2010, at least 10 RTI activists had been murdered.

In Kejriwal’s mind, a new diagnosis began to take shape: stronger laws had no impact without stronger enforcement, and only a fool could expect the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats to punish their own kind.

JUST AS KEJRIWAL’S INTEREST in the Lokpal Bill grew out of frustration with the implementation of RTI, his first efforts at crafting a bill took place under the aegis of the NCPRI. In early September 2010, Kejriwal was appointed to head a five-member drafting committee, but after the first few meetings, there was little support for his move to bring the judiciary under the purview of the Lokpal. The other members pointed to the existing Judiciary Standards and Accountability Bill tabled in Parliament, but Kejriwal refused to relent and the meetings soon came to a halt. 

Venkatesh Nayak, a senior member of the NCPRI who sat on the drafting committee, suggested that Kejriwal had never considered deviating from his own predetermined vision for the Lokpal. “I think he’s a person in a major hurry and sometimes it could be problematic,” Nayak said. “We told him, let’s not mix up everything in one bill, and he would say ‘I will take it into consideration.’ But he never did, which means he had his own plans, and he knew exactly what he was doing.”

Undeterred, Kejriwal continued to refine his own draft, and went searching for new prospective allies. In October, before Kejriwal had teamed up with Anna Hazare, he travelled to Uttarakhand to meet yoga guru Baba Ramdev, a televangelist and Ayurvedic tycoon with an enormous international following who had floated (and then quickly retracted) plans to launch his own political party earlier in 2010. Kejriwal met Ramdev in an auditorium on the campus of Ramdev’s sprawling yoga institute, and persuaded him to participate in a joint anti-corruption rally in Delhi. “I heard him telling Swamiji Maharaj, ‘I have a lot of information about why they don’t want to get rid of corruption,’” said Acharya Virendra Vikram, who heads the Delhi office of Ramdev’s Bharat Swabhiman (Trust). “Swamiji responded, ‘I am with you.’”

At the rally on 14 November 2010, thousands of people, many of them Ramdev’s supporters, gathered outside the Parliament Street police station in central Delhi. Kejriwal was among the first people to speak. “We wrote a letter to Manmohan Singh,” Kejriwal said. “We told him we abhor the Central government, we hate many state governments, but we love our country.”

The crowd was spellbound. Kejriwal continued for about 30 minutes, making his argument that India needed a law to secure the integrity of other laws; he castigated the corruption of the ruling government, and said that the then-telecommunications minister, Andimuthu Raja, had stolen “25 percent” of the country’s annual budget in the 2G scam. After leaving the stage to a round of riotous applause, Kejriwal sat through the rest of the rally on the sidelines, against a backdrop covered with the pictures of Indian freedom fighters.

“He smartly used our platform and then turned his back at a crucial time,” Vikram told me, with a rueful smile.

Before it became apparent that Anna Hazare’s April fast at Jantar Mantar would attract thousands of supporters, Kejriwal thought he might have to depend on Ramdev to turn out a sizeable crowd. (In fact, the social activist Subhash Agrawal, one of Kejriwal’s earliest allies, complained that Kejriwal had sidelined serious long-term activists, who tend not to have millions of fans, in favour of celebrity gurus like Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.)

By the second day at Jantar Mantar, Kejriwal knew he no longer had to worry about drawing an audience. So when a Congress spokesman began to claim that right-wing religious parties were orchestrating the movement, Kejriwal decided to part ways with Ramdev to preserve the credibility of his ‘apolitical’ line. On the last day of the fast, when Ramdev took the stage with Ram Madhav, a top Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader, Kejriwal panicked and called an emergency meeting with Hazare at the nearby office of the secular religious activist, Swami Agnivesh, another staunch supporter of the fast.

“Arvind said ‘We should save the situation’,” Agnivesh told me. “He wanted Madhav out. We told him to calm down but he didn’t listen to us. He sent a message to Ramdev to tell Madhav not to sit on the dais. Ramdev didn’t agree, and he left.”

Kejriwal’s confidence peaked: the outpouring of public support and the nonstop media attention had put Team Anna at the centre of a national debate, and even the government looked to be on the back foot after caving in to their demands for an evenly-split drafting committee. One corporate house offered to donate `10 million to the IAC, but Kejriwal declined the offer.

As Kejriwal and his colleagues took up what seemed like permanent residence in Delhi’s television studios, they were unfazed by the growing chorus of criticism—much of it coming from other social activists. Aruna Roy, one of the founding leaders of NCPRI, memorably called Team Anna’s Lokpal “a Frankenstein’s monster that will devour all of us”.

“I think Arvind’s feeling is nobody is serious about the bill,” Shekhar Singh told me. Singh, who first brought Kejriwal into the NCPRI in the early 2000s, addressed the subject of his former colleague with considerable reluctance. “The problem is Arvind is not in agreement with what the majority of us feel should be the profile of the Lokpal. So he feels that he’s the only one who has a clear idea of what it should be.”

At the end of June, I met Kejriwal as he was leaving a government guesthouse in South Delhi, accompanied by Anna Hazare and Kiran Bedi. He had forgotten about the scheduled interview I had arrived to conduct, but when I introduced myself, he quickly motioned me into Manish Sisodia’s car, which followed Hazare and Kejriwal back to East Delhi.

The drafting committee exercise had already ended in failure, and Kejriwal and Team Anna were making the rounds to drum up support for the Jan Lokpal from other political parties. Sisodia excitedly explained that they had just emerged from a meeting with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had promised to introduce a strong Lokpal Bill in his state. “Inki to phateygi ab (The politicians will get screwed now),” Sisodia proclaimed as we slid into the car. “If Nitish does that, automatically others will feel pressure.” 

We came to a stop in Mayur Vihar in East Delhi, and entered a large concrete apartment block, where Kejriwal had rented a three-bedroom flat for Hazare. A tall, dark-skinned man opened the door and led us into the drawing room, where bowls of chopped salad had been set out on the table alongside plates of rice and dal. Brand new cutlery, cups, towels and dustbins sat unused in plastic bags on the floor in one corner of the room. Manish tapped on one of the doors, and Kejriwal briefly emerged before turning into a toilet to wash his hands and feet. He had agreed to an hour-long interview, but first he wanted to finalise the text for a pamphlet with Sisodia, who was sitting on the floor with a computer on his lap. Kejriwal sat down next to Sisodia and pointed at the screen. “Here I was thinking something should come,” he said. “No no, don’t erase ration card corruption. Keep it simple.” Kejriwal scratched at his head, absorbed in thought and looking for words. “Yes, driving licence corruption,” he said. “Good, this is punchy.”

“How much time do you want?” he asked me. And then, “Can I have some food first?”

As the food was served, Hazare emerged from his bedroom without his iconic Gandhi cap; he had a shaved head, and two faint furrows ran across his forehead. He, too, sat on the floor, and turned toward Kejriwal. “I shouldn’t have praised Nitish Kumar—I think Lalu will not support us now,” Hazare said, referring to the legendarily corrupt former Bihar chief minister.

“OK,” Kejriwal said, almost shouting Hazare down. “We’ll talk about it some other time.”

Hazare didn’t speak another word after that, eating his plate of rice and dal in silence. When Kejriwal finished eating, he lay back on the floor and fell asleep. I tried to start up a conversation with Hazare, but Sisodia insisted on answering on his behalf.

About 30 minutes later, Kejriwal jolted upright, as if waking from a startling nightmare, and turned immediately to Sisodia. “How about ‘Government Lokpal is a Betrayal’?” he said, like a man who dreams only of political slogans, before answering himself: “No, leave it for a while.”

Now Kejriwal looked at me. “I am sorry I am wasting your time. Let’s do it now.”

Kejriwal’s frustration with the drafting committee was still evident, eight days after the final meeting; the government had been insincere all along, he argued, and had no intention of debating or discussing the merits of Team Anna’s bill. “They would agree on whatever they had decided beforehand,” he said. “[Union Home Minister Palaniappan] Chidambaram was the most vocal—he would argue out each and every line. But there was no way to persuade them to change their stance on anything; we presented arguments, and they merely announced the decisions they had already reached.” He seemed generally dejected by the experience, and particularly disappointed that his preparatory research—regarding the lessons from other countries with ombudsmen, among other things—had all been a waste. “We didn’t know the outcome was pre-decided,” he said. “We went in with all our honesty.”

He argued that getting the law through Parliament was always going to be difficult, and returned, albeit calmly, to his familiar television firebrand tone. “They are passing a law against themselves, not a law to alleviate poverty or something,” he said. “If it becomes the law, many of the parliamentarians themselves will go to jail, so they will naturally be strongly against it.”

“Why are you doing all this?” I asked.

“Why am I doing this?” His eyes widened with a hint of indignation. “I am a citizen of this country and my tax money is being looted by corrupt politicians and you are saying, why am I doing this?”

A moment later, his cellphone rang. It was one of his activists, based in Mumbai, and Kejriwal gave him instructions for a new round of demonstrations. “If people are against the government’s Lokpal Bill,” he said into the phone, “tell them to tear it in public. Spread the word.”

I asked one final question: how long would this movement last? “We can’t say,” Kejriwal responded. “We are determined for a fight until it finishes.”

OVER THE COURSE OF THE SUMMER, like a tiny but committed guerrilla army looking to provoke a powerful adversary, Kejriwal and Team Anna continued their campaign against the government and its Lokpal proposal. Kejriwal did everything possible to keep the campaign alive and solicit further support from the public and opposition parties, hoping to keep up the pressure with a series of press briefings and increasingly combative television appearances.

Criticism that Team Anna’s methods and intentions were undemocratic had gathered considerable steam, and it became the semi-official line of the government, which insisted that unelected individuals had no right to force a  legislation on a democratic Parliament.

This is a critique that, unsurprisingly, Kejriwal finds entirely unpersuasive, either because he believes the end justify the means or, as he has sometimes implied, because democracy doesn’t work very well to begin with.

Under a barrage of prosecutorial questions from CNN-IBN’s Karan Thapar earlier this year, Kejriwal had presented a version of the latter argument: “We are a democratic country?” he said quizzically. “The democracy that we have has been so representative that the people have a right to vote once every five years and that’s it.” (“The situation in our country is so bad,” he added later, for good measure. “It is worse than it used to be in British times.”)

But when Thapar accused him of attempting to “blackmail” the government, Kejriwal returned to firmer ground, turning the tables back on his interrogator and providing a preview of the strategy for the coming months.

“How should a person in a democracy protest?” Kejriwal asked.

“By constitutional means,” Thapar responded.

“What are those constitutional means?”

“By seeking votes, by seeking a campaign, by going petitioning in Parliament with all,” Thapar replied, a hint of anger on his face.

Kejriwal’s answer—a long one—was particularly revealing. It outlined almost the entirety of his uncompromising political worldview, in which seeking to join what he regards as a corrupt system has no appeal, and in which the opinion of the public deserves tremendous respect—unless, that is, it’s being converted into votes for politicians.

“Suppose I don’t want to go and fight elections,” Kejriwal began, calmly. “I am a citizen of this country and I am feeling, I mean there is injustice and there is so much of corruption, and if I want to raise my voice, I go and petition the politicians. It doesn’t work. I go and petition the bureaucrats. It doesn’t work. I try to meet them. I meet all of them, and it doesn’t work. Then I think building public opinion is a very critical part of a democracy.”

The government wanted to fight Team Anna using the force of its own legitimacy, and the crux of Kejriwal’s strategy was to attack that legitimacy in the court of public opinion. He called for the public to burn copies of the government’s Lokpal Bill at demonstrations in Delhi and Mumbai, and ventured into the constituencies of senior Congressmen in an attempt to prove that their own voters preferred Team Anna’s proposal.

In late July, Kejriwal sent his teams to Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi—the constituency of Union Minister for Human Resources Development Kapil Sibal, a prominent Congress spokesman and a member of the drafting committee—where they carried out a ‘referendum’ on the Lokpal. A week later, Kejriwal announced that 85 percent of voters preferred Team Anna’s bill; the result may not have been statistically rigorous, but it landed on the front page of almost every newspaper. In early August, the exercise was repeated in Rahul Gandhi’s Amethi constituency, in Uttar Pradesh, with similar results from the voters and media alike. With yet another contentious Parliament session under way—and with it a new barrage of protests and accusations from the elected opposition—the government began to vent its own frustrations. As the date of Hazare’s threatened fast drew closer, Congress spokesmen lashed out, accusing Hazare of personal corruption and describing the protest movement as the work of “armchair fascists, overground Maoists, closet anarchists…lurking behind forces of right reaction and funded by invisible donors whose links may go back a long way abroad”.

The government, which had unwittingly—and irreversibly—conferred legitimacy on Team Anna by constituting the drafting committee to begin with, appeared to be nervously fumbling for a strategy to turn public opinion back in its favour. Negotiations over the ground rules for Hazare’s fast were going nowhere: the deputy commissioner of Delhi Police refused to sanction a gathering of more than 5,000 people or one that lasted more than three days—conditions that Kejriwal’s team rejected outright and the government denied having ordered. “Permission or not, we’ll sit,” Kejriwal said on 14 August, while Hazare volunteered that he would submit to arrest and encouraged supporters to do the same.

On the rainy morning of 16 August, Anna and Kejriwal prepared to leave the apartment in Mayur Vihar to begin the hunger strike in central Delhi’s JP Park. Journalists, who had staked out the entrance before dawn, reported that there was no sign of any uniformed police officers before 7 am, although three or four men in plainclothes were seen circling the perimeter of the building at 10-minute intervals, as if waiting for Hazare to emerge. The night before, Kejriwal had alerted about two dozen of his seniormost activists about the possibility he and Hazare would be arrested.

“He told us that if Anna is arrested in the morning, by the evening the number of court arrests should be in the thousands,” Kejriwal’s associate, Kumar Vishwas, told me the day after.

At around 7:15 am, a large contingent of police in riot gear circled the compound, and one of Hazare’s supporters waiting outside phoned Kejriwal with the news. Before leaving the apartment, Kejriwal quickly filmed a statement by Hazare about his impending arrest, calling on supporters to calmly assemble in JP Park, and to volunteer for arrest if confronted by police.

Kejriwal and Hazare walked out of the elevator and into the arms of half-a-dozen plainclothesmen, who arrested Hazare and whisked him off in a white SUV; Kejriwal was driven away in another vehicle.

By early afternoon, the video of Hazare filmed before his arrest was all over Indian television. Thousands of protestors had taken to the streets of Delhi and other major Indian cities. The arrests were condemned by almost every other political party, and the government faced a furious backlash that dominated the Indian airwaves and made headlines the next day in newspapers around the world.

After three days of further wrangling, during which Hazare obstinately refused to leave Delhi’s Tihar Jail—where a steady crowd gathered outside and chanted anti-government slogans day and night—the Congress, battered and bruised, essentially surrendered to Team Anna’s conditions for the fast, granting 15 days rather than the initial three, though Kejriwal and his colleagues had pushed for an entire month.

In the meantime, the protesting crowds continued to grow, and Kejriwal’s strategy—his relentless campaign to deligitimise the government among the public—had been given its most significant push by the Congress’s own hand.

ON 12 AUGUST, four days before the scheduled fast, I went to see Kejriwal address a crowd of undergraduate students at an engineering college in Greater Noida. In a vast courtyard, there was a quiet but intense patriotic fervour—the students were holding tricolours, chanting slogans and singing Vande Mataram. Kejriwal was perched on a staircase at one end of the courtyard, and when the crowd quieted, he began to speak about corruption. He looked like a very unhappy crusader; his face had assumed the stiff and unsmiling look that always accompanied his speeches, and he frequently pointed his finger toward the students while enumerating the most depressing examples of corruption he could summon. “An Indian citizen,” Kejriwal said, “is asked to pay a bribe even for obtaining a death certificate of his own father.” At the end of his talk, he asked the students to chant “Bharat Mata ki Jai” (Long live Mother India). Afterwards, the students formed a chain around Kejriwal and walked him back to his car.

Once inside the car, Kejriwal leaned back and crossed his legs; relaxed and satisfied with the crowd’s response, he looked both fresh and happy. He told me that he had tried, during the Lokpal campaign, to draw on as many patriotic symbols as possible; the country, he said, was forgetting the importance of nationalism. “It binds us together.”

He focused on the road while talking to me, giving occasional directions to his driver, and our conversation turned from nationalism to movies. Kejriwal, who describes himself as a lover of Indian cinema, said he’d been too busy to watch a movie since January.

He described Aamir Khan—a supporter of Hazare’s protests—as his favourite actor. “The kind of films he does have a nationalistic message,” Kejriwal said, turning the conversation back toward politics. “For instance, see how good Rang De Basanti was. The film was actually about corruption.”

Kejriwal seemed pleased with the success of his campaign strategy. The government’s inept attacks on Hazare and the anti-corruption movement in the run-up to the fast left him with the sense that he was winning the war of perceptions. “There is a possibility that Anna may be arrested,” Kejriwal told me, no doubt aware that such a move would redound to his benefit. “My only worry,” he continued, “is if the government force-feeds Anna. Or what if they poison him?”

He fidgeted for a second while his eyes darted around trying to determine the route. “No, no, no, don’t turn right,” he told the driver. He was already multitasking—speaking to me, sending text messages and directing the car—but he was loose and energetic, and his optimism about the upcoming fast permeated all of his answers, as if he felt certain that Team Anna would prevail before too much longer.

I asked him why past efforts to curb corruption had failed, and why he thought the Lokpal would do any better.

“We need to create a fear,” he said, “which is if I do corruption, I will go to jail. The previous acts have failed to punish corrupt officials because they have been implemented by the same officials, and we need an independent institution to guarantee that a corrupt official will get punished, with certainty and swiftness.”

Kejriwal received an SMS on his phone, perhaps from one of his family members, and he tapped out a response in between answers to my questions. “Nothing much,” it said. “Hopping from one meeting to another.” The Constitution Club, where Kejriwal was scheduled to meet some lawyers, was just a few turns away, and I asked him before we arrived what backup plan he had prepared if Anna wasn’t allowed to fast.

He turned around from the front seat, and gave a boyish smile. “I don’t believe in backup plans,” he said. “In a movement, it all depends on day-to-day happenings. That’s how revolutions happen.”

Mehboob Jeelani is a former staff writer at The Caravan. He is currently studying for an MA in journalism at Columbia University. He has extensively covered the Kashmir conflict, and has contributed to the leading English dailies of Jammu and Kashmir.


1,356 thoughts on “The Insurgent”

जैसे ही हमने अम्बानी के स्विस बैंक खातों की बात की, मीडिया ने हमे दिखाना बंद कर दिया !! शीला दिक्षित और निजी बिजली कंपनियों और जल बोर्ड की कारगुजारी की पोल तो खोलनी ही थी !! इसीलिए 2 फरवरी को नज़फगढ़ से आम आदमी पार्टी और आम आदमी की विशाल जनसभाएं शुरू हुई,यहाँ आम जनता का ऐसा हुजूम उमड़ा , जिसने साबित कर दिया की देश वाकई भ्रष्टाचार से किस तरह त्रस्त है !! जनसभाओं का दौर जारी है, और साथ ही जारी है , शीला सरकार की पोल खोल !! The moment we started talking about how Ambani has Swiss Bank Accounts, the mainstream-media started ignoring us. But with or without the media support, we had to expose the nexus b/w Sheila Dixit and Private Electricity Companies. Hence since 2nd Feb, AAP has been conducting ‘Jan Sabhas’ or Public Meetings, the first one was in Najafgarh. The response has been surprisingly very good, which proves that the majority of the common people are critically suffering from the corruption in the system. This series of Jan Sabhas to expose the Sheila Government is still going on and will continue…

no one can become like arvind kejriwal or anna hazare…..coz these two are the prominent social activist….. who my love, salute and gratitude are there forever….a man who thinks for mother india first for the people and then for himself……. such type of people will found only 1 in a million……………
1000 salutes to this great man….
may he live for 100 years and above

All thanks to ARVIND KEJRIWAL that a movement so strong has taken place in our time. There is absolutely nobody like him. We salute you sir. We are with you sir.

Superb and stupendous… a real hero in the name of Arvind Kejriwal whose candid statement has once again brought into force the power and courage of a morally-electrified anti-corruption crusader…Inquilab Zindabad..

Every layer in the system from top to bottom is corrupt there are few exceptions who have to grow to overwhelm that uncorrupt space and that can be done by strengthening Team Anna – the only answer.The universities should have provided answers to the problems of country but unfortunately they are also infected with the virus of corruption.Happiness is possessing the strength of character to make good choices.Team Anna has done it let us be part of that.The corrupt people do not understand that they will not eat a golden bread or silver rice but why do they indulge in it is just unending greed which has enslaved them.Let us all be withTeam Anna to free the system and these slaves.

When i have gone through the writings of your own thoughts i couldnot believe that you have studied well and movement against corruption should continue as it is against the corrupt persons and these persons should be punished as per law and the constitutional framework.
My sincere thanks to your and your team members.
wish you and your team members best wishes and congratulations.

sir , you have done a very good effort. i pray to God let this effort should bring a fruit in the form of a jan lokpal bill.I admire your efforts. god should give you a lot of strength so that you can provide good services for the country and its people. one more thing government should be made aware of the inflation of food products and medical care provided by civil hospital is not appropriate.Basic necessities are not fulfilled by the country, how government claims INDIA AS SUPER POWER. PLEASE READ THIS

Well researched article. There seems to be a subtle humor in the article. The way Arvind is portrayed here is clearly of mischief. However, What we definitely need is the likes of more Arvind Kejrival. One revolution is clearly not enough! Critics do nothing but for criticism and cynicism. They forget to act!

Thanks…the person who has written above article…very inspiring article . Janlok Bill should pass & implemented as earlier as possible…& give a strong lesson all corrupt politician & government officers….I am with you Mr. Kejrival…Go ahead..

Fantastic article that every citizen should read.An inspiring man.In south especially in Chennai nobody awares of the cause of the movement.All tamil tv channels have not broadcasted anything about the movement/fasting of Anna.The depyh of the corruption and its impact in the society and economics of the country are not known to people and without understanding anything about the movement and its cause they blame Anna and they say blackmailing the govt.I am very about the state of affairs in Tamilnadu.

his appearaces on tv remind me of "this is john galt speaking" of ‘atlas shrugged’ by Ayn Rand.
to those who feel sidelined by kejriwal-why not admit that here is a man with terrific resolve,sharpness and sence of urgency-why not use HIS intellect to carry forward YOUR message -after all he is doing it better than you could have done it your self -country will only benefit if we help him from behind the screen

He has been lying in front of media… he had admitted in a letter to CBDT that he had not completed his bond terms.. he has got funding from Ford Foundation a CIA front organization.. Everyone is against Corruption… but in this Anarchic manner that will do more harm to our system than … it will undermine our democracy .. that give us the right to protest… i would like to ask Mr. Kejriwal why has he left out NGOs from Jan Lokpal .. why do all Indian Nobel prize winners need to be lokpal’s members .. how he conviniently included himself by ensuring last two magasay award winners are part of the Lokpal.. why have they included PM ..and allowed the lokpal to tap a PM’s phone.. all this has been done to create self made roadblocks.. they know all this won’t get passed as a bill.. they just want to stretch the process.. and unfortunately the common man who does not read the fine print but believes the intent is being taken for a ride..

Today I was starving for anything on Team Anna then I remembered the Caravan ad I saw in South Delhi showing Kejriwal as Anna’s General. I have just read one page of the story and I want this story never to end. So I am tweeting to say thanks to Caravan and congrats to Mehbob after he is the first to let the world know the inside of this great movement.Kejriwal is not looking after himself well as he can be seen coughing. I beg to request his colleagues to have him medically examined. I also doubt he must be a bad eater as he remains lost in his work. We need him badly.Good wishes to the whole team and please do take care of Kejriwal.

No man can win a fight without strong determination and willing power. Arvind Kejriwal is doing whatever for the public well being only. Without determination nobody can be leader from the zero. Our leaders are either from dynastry or legacy or purchased leadership by money. Arvind Kejriwal has not buy his popularity. He is not from a well known famour family background. If he is standing on his position because of his well defined plan, leadership and determination. He does not want to bring anarchy. He is not an autocrat otherwise he never asks for suggestions. If other’s suggetions are not fit to cope up with his view then he rejects. He is my inspiration. I salute him. Without persons like Mr. Anna Hazare or Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, the system can’t be changed.

Admire Arvind Kejriwal for his fight against corruption. But the following negatives about him seem to be glossed over by all the readers. 1. He is a stubborn autocrat who has an attitude of "My way or the highway " 2. He used and then dumped Baba Ramdev – not that I have any regard for the charlatan baba ! 3. He is muzzling Anna Hazare from speaking out his own views, what you get to hear from Anna now is only what is left after sanitising by Kejriwal and Manoj Sisodia.

An inspirational personality, never give up attitude and perseverance is what i like about Mr Kejriwal. Salute to him !! No back-up plans, i like the confidence…long live Sir and all the best for your future plans. Am planning to support all efforts for my country.

This bill must be taken in full swing and we must never let our hands unbound and must work towards it. This is such a good article . thanks to caravan magazine and arvind khejrival .

A fantastic article, full of information. Journalists who could promote real national figures like Arvind Kejriwal are rare. Thank you for this knowledge Caravan & The Editor. Regards.

A great article well articulated.I thank my friend Vidyu for forwarding this detailed article to me.
If we have another couples of dedicated person like Arvindji,India will be Dr.Kalam’ dream of 2020.

Since most of the people are supporting Annaji’s campaign, several people like Arundhati Roy and several media sources and magazines deliberately take an Anti- Anna stand, mostly on illogical facts and irrelevant stuff, so that they gain publicity on the grounds of standing against the tide because they feel that so much has been said and written about Anna and his team so need to write "another article" to support them. BUT this magazine took pains and has provided a deep insight into the unseen and the unknown about the JanLokPal movement. They still gained publicity but by doing the right thing. KUDOS to u. Truly a fan of u.


First, I thank my friend for forwarding this link to me. I find this article to be of top class. Thank you and congratulations to Mehbob Jeelani. I did not know about caravan before. But after this, I will start reading it regularly.

KUDOS, Actually there are no words to express ,excellent piece of information and an inspiration for the future generations .my best wishes to all the crusaders for attempting to bring a revolutionery change which is the basic need so that we can live and let live happily.

If he has a daughter to be married, i wish i would request her hand for my son, with pride. My son too is not just honest,itelligent,with MS in Elect.Engg.+tee-totaller and spiritual.

congress still trying to defame anna’s team.. they will try to make life tough for everyman who was part of this movement…. I see danger for anna’s team, because govt does seem to hesitate in adopting all evil methods.. still i feel that congress willl die its own death…

no words or emotions just hats off to Annaji Arvind Kejriwal and all the team mambers and i wish to be a soldier in the fight against corruption.

Salute to Architect of whole anticorruption movement,Arvindji Kejriwal for his vision,devotion,dedication to make movement successful.Nation needs more Anna..Arvindji..kiranji Informative Article!

Never in the history of the post-independent-india world, a law was made by the citizens of a nation and it just says million great things about crusaders such as Arvindji and Annaji. Thanks so much for this detailed article. Its just toooo good :)

The whole story ran as a movie in front of my eyes. Excellent article. Will share it on my facebook. Kudos to MEHBOOB JEELANI for a fantastic article about phenomenal guys like Kejriwal, etc.

I think is a truely courageous.. It is an amazing contribution from him for our country.. He will be remembered for generations as one of the key architects of Anti Curruption crusade in the Country.
Infact, a great country like India is being plagued with many infectious deceases which is paralysing the Indian System and Indian Democracy. Large scale corruption is one such decease which spread through the Indian System and People like Cancer. Over the sixty years of post independence period, country had witnessed innumerable medium to large scale scams and the effort on the Economic Development has been getting neuralized resulting in Indian Economic Success reaching to very few percentage of Indian Population. Indian Political System has been virtually ineffective in providing effective growth oriented solutions to such major problems faced by the country. I respect Mr. Kejriwaal, Kiran Bedi and Team for their courageous, single minded determination and skillful planning and execution of a peaceful movement that received large scale public support and opened a new era /initiated steps towards permanent cure to the problems faced by the country. My salute to Anna Hazare and his entire team for making such a vital contribution to the Country.

This article is a great source of inspiration. I will keep a copy of this article with me always. Glad to read what my future generation will read in history of india.

By this article only, I got to know that he is the main planner. It’s really great because he is portrayed as short temper in media. While I think this is highly required in current situation where govt and ministers take any activist and public very casually.

I was following news on saturday but when it seemed that parliament will end with all big leaders’ speeches without any result, it was Kejriwal’s one statement which forced BJP leaders to go and meet Pranav mukharjee and they had came with some satisfactory response. It is really must some time to show the anger and not be diplomatic.

Thanks Mr. kejriwal

It is very easy to be dishonest, It takes the likes of Anna ji, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and the rest of their dedicated team to bring the present stark reality to the people of this country and cause an awakening within ourselves that enough is enough. We Indians had over a period of time developed "shock absorbers" and were taking every thing lying down. Team Anna has done something which was almost unimaginable and gives credence to the saying that" Nothing is Impossible" once again. I salute Team Anna and every Indian to have shown to the world at large that we Indians can put our views across in a non violent way even today. Jai Hind !!

This kind of article gives a complete understanding of the kind of dedication, hardwork and determination shown by Mr. Kejriwal in making this movement against corruption second movement of independence. I also like to appreciate the writer the way things are aptly said and in a coherent way make it more interesting to read. Keep writing such great stuff.

Thanks for the informative article .The fact that that it was as far back as 1968 that a such a bill had been proposed by shanti bhushan shows the extreme reluctance of all politicians to pass any such measure which would curb their money making abilities and their power . It required this kind of movement as well as the devotion and single minded purpose of such people to make the politicians take notice of the anti corruption crusade and they never imagined the extent of the emotions ,affinity and action that it would evoke among the people Just look at the great work that justice hegde has done as Lokpal in Karnataka …We do need a strong bill for any action against corruption .Hats off to people like him Kejriwal ,Bedi as well as all the volunteers

Great piece of journalism. Haven’t read an article like this in a long long time in any Indian newspaper. I thought they stopped printing it altogether. Salute to Arvind and his accomplishes for the persistence with what they firmly believe will bring a change, a change for good. We are with you. Indian history will remember you for years to come. When we joined the protests for Jan Lokpal Bill in Bangalore, someone said this is your golden chance to be a part of a revolution. This may be your only chance. Do not let it go!!! Vande Mataram. Jai Hind!!

Arvind Kejrival is an awesome young Indian that the youth of India should Emulate !! We are proud to have him at the forefront of the national movement. He, along with others in Team Anna, united the entire nation against the corrupt and arrogant government. I only hope that his efforts culminate into a strong Lokpal, which will reduce the corruption, if not abolish it. My salute to him.

Even though I am in UK, I have been following the whole movement right from day one. I feel saddened that I am not able to take part directly. Mr. Kejriwal is the true leader we had been looking for a long time, a person with vision and clean handed. This was a beautiful article that gave an insight into the force behind a force called Anti corruption movement. Thank you.

Very nice article which provide insight about the movement. The only issue I felt was that you willingly or most probably unwillingly tried to belittle the effort of Anna Hazare whenever there was a mention of him in the article. No doubt that Kejriwal is the chief architect behind the movement but the article kind of looked to show like he was the only one responsible for it.

Truely amazing leader, this is what a true leader and not people who are born into a family and then given the job to lead a country. I hope he comes in public office and remain true to his cause. These are the kind of leaders that we need for india to take into the next phase of growth where p everyone can reap the benefits and not only some few. We have to be realistic and practical that Arvind is not above the trappings of human tendencies of power corrupting the judgement and integrity. I hope and pray that power does not corrupt him and the most effective way is that we the people are engaged in the system and keep the authorities and system accountable. It is truely a momentus event in our history but is it is a just the first step and not an end for people to realise their power to keep working to fix the broken system.

Excellent article, does full justice to Arvind’s life and devotion to the purpose. I may not agree completely with Jan Lokpal Bill and the means, but there’s no denying the selfless dedication and the strategic and organizational skills of this great man. The article sums it up brilliantly.

Brilliant article! Top class journalism, this is what is lacking in the Indian media, hard, real journalism bringing out the truth.

One of the best reports covering its subject I have come across recently. Congratulations and do write the best selling book quickly.

Good to know that the fight against corruption is in able hands.. no wonder Government is licking its wounds.. Congratulations Arvind Kejriwal.

Great piece of writing. One factual correction, not very major though, He did his B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering from Kharagpur.

A real Hero!!!! a man who believes in action…..a man behind Anna Hazare…. Yes, he wants change but he has a sensible argument for each of his demands…Just listen to him…Its awesome. Problem: Even though his movement is strong and dynamic, still there are very few like him and I fear a diamond like him must not be lost in the crowd of Corrupt Politicians…hence, I wish people like him to come forward and be a part of this movement. Many people wish him to become Prime Minister, but certainly, he alone cannot change the country. Its always "the people" in a democracy.

I would like to thank you for such a informative article about Arvind, his mind and whole thought process behind this movement. Being a grown up in a political family in Maharashtra I know Anna Hazare and his work in Maharashtra very well. I think, its Arvind’s work that staged a ground for Anna as crusader against corruption on national level.

I salute ARWIND KEJRIWAL, and the only thing came to my mind is that…"I WANT TO SEE ARWIND KEJRIWAL AS A PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA"..

What I like the most about this article is Arivind’s idea about what a citizen should do if he is a victim of corruption. The politicians retort that one should join politics to cleanse the system. What team Anna has shown is that you need not join politics to voice your opinion and bring a change. I am disgusted at the Congress Party’s tactics to malign Anna and team. Look at Manish Tiwari, when accusing Anna of being a deserter of the Army, he was blunt. However, when it came to apologizing he used a very standard response that he regretted it. Why can they (politicians) deliver a straight and honest apology? Great job Sir! Keep the good stuff coming :)

after reading article about arvind i tried to read his mind. i am interested to assist his thought process in my area.

This is an extremely well written article. It is very difficult to find such writing these days. Great Journalism. Please keep up the good work. We need journalists like you as much as we need Kejriwals and Hazares.

Bharat Mata ka saccha sapoot. Ek wastavik Hindu. Ek wastawik Bharatiya. He has proved these statements 99.99% true for himself. I salute this soldier (working inside borders) from the bottom of my heart. Jai Hind. Jai Bharat. Arvind Ji.. Inquilaab Zindabaad.

This man is making wonders …He is going to clear all the stains of corruption from indian government…and for that every indian is with him…hatts off arvind kejriwal….!!!

Let us not forget the fact that forcing the Government to "kneel Down" is not a good augury! It is in a way a disrespect and to equate Anna to Gandhi is absolutely absurd. Anna’s agressive measure as engineered by Arvind is no match to Gandhiji’s non-violence. I gives me a chill when a person so obsessed likr Arvind gets his act wrong. While his intensity is truly appreciated; to malign parliamentary institution is no good for this country!

This is an excellent article Mehboob. Really well researched and written, and so insightful. Also, the title is really something else – out of this world – ‘brought the rage of an indignant nation to the government’s door’ is so spot on. Look forward to more write-ups from you.

Arvind is a man of vision. I thought corruption can never be eradicated. I am happy that he is proving me wrong. Nicely written article. Long live Arvind and his vision of "Corruption Free India" Cheers

He is man with confidence and clear basics. This team is excellent, only they need support from us. After this story, I got bit emotional.

This is not a story about a hero, it is a lesson for all Indians that a man with drive and passion is able to bring the fight against corruption to this level. Why don’t the billion population get together to fight and win against the polluted India. HEROES are not born !!! Heroes are made… Only amul babies are born… (Rahul Gandhi).. Jai Hind !!! – Muru

Very succinct and coherent piece of writing. I like the way writer has put up every aspect of Arvind’s life. Keep up the good work. In many sense you write like NYT style. very pleasant in reading.

First I salute to Arvind Kejriwal for his great mastermind, It’s really filling the enthusiasm in youths after reading this article. Thanks for Team ANNA’s Great work .We all support for this forever. JAI HIND…

I salute Arvind Kejriwal, "A REAL LIFE HERO" inspired by his imagination of things in today’s revolution towards India Against Corruption. Hats off.

On first reading, this article seemed like a puff piece. Hidden in the profile, the writer exposes the movement for what it really is…. One man’s attempt to enforce his view on a country. Not Anna… but Arvind Kejriwal.

There are people like ANNA who will fight from the front for the rights of every indian and then there are unsung heroes like Arvind Kejriwal who not only fight but revolutionise the moment with there strategies.

take a bow from this miniscule human being who supports Anna, you and the fight against corruption.

Respect is commanded not demanded they say, this is apt to Mr.Arvind Kejriwal.

Once again take a bow!!

Excellent artical!Arvind Kejriwal is a dedicated person for India Against Corruption.I salute Kejriwal’s work.We are with him and Team Anna.India need leaders like Arvind Kejriwal ,a youth icon.

It reminds me of military strategists who are confident of their actions with never give-up attitude. Arvind deserves all the accolades for making MISSION JAN-LOKPAL a success. The sacrifices made on professional and family front are difficult for a person of his stature. Kiran Bedi and Prashant Bhushan too have given their best in achieving the success for Government to kneel down. Still a lot of ice to be broken until desired results bear the fruits. Very well written article ! & Hat’s off to Indian Electronic Media to keep the public alive for next…..! Jai Hind …!! Vande Mataram…..!!!

No doubt, he is the Mastermind of the Jan Lokpal.

We need few more like him.

And lookat his age…….just 43. He is the real youth icon …. not all those bull shit politicians like Gandhi, Sibal, etc.

I salute him.

Arvind is ‘The Man’ of India…he deserves a Bharat Ratna…hope tht the selection process is not fraught with corruption… :) but not to worry, IAC will take everyone to task :)

Respected Arvind ji! I salute ur dedication and devotion toward making india a corruption free nation. U r d real hero n d role model of d youth. If God is anywhere then i think He is in d form of persons like Anna n Arvind. They r adorable. I salute u.. Jaihind.

Well written article! There is not much information about this great man and his works in the public domain, this article provides good insight into Arvind’s works and his achievements.

Really good article.Am really impressed by Mr Kejriwal & his ideology.Have listened to every speech of his,from IIT Chennai to his first talks on India Tv,Adalat.If not for health issues,I would have definitely joined him…Hats off

Indeed, Conviction, Perseverance and duty towards nation of a Mr.Kejriwal is unquestionable. People might have reservation on his rigidness, but to me … hes a father who works hard and his way so that his children can live better… like a CEO, who builts his company … like a teacher who wants their students to have the best in time to come… like a mother who discplines her children for better future of theirs… He is truely a youth icon for Indians… Democracy, Society, Law, Parliaments, Religion can be question if they cannot bring betterment for people who follow them !

ARVIND IS REAL YOUTH ICON INSTEAD OF YUVRAJ RAHUL GANDHI. This article inspired to all youth for fight against corruption and make our country corruption free. Arvind, kiran bedi, prashant bhushan these are our real leaders than our political leaders.

An awesome article…. I have no words to praise Mr. Kejriwal’s efforts and people who have come forward for this cause… I am speechless..All I can do for my country at the moment is to be with this movement, this revolutin till the end… As this movement truly belongs to me, to our countrymen… Let us fight corruption.. It is our fight and just Mr. Kejriwal’s…

Amazing article which brings out history and persona of Mr Kejriwal…not everyone has the courage to leave such a nice job and pursue something which helps the nation and others… if one doesnt want to be part of movement the least you do is not criticize him ….. JUST think …leave the thoughts which have been inculcated by parents/history that congress is good. just think and analyse again… times have changes and so has congress…. May god bless Indian middle and poor class who struggle everyday to make a living

To hell with preserving the so called and pro-currupt present democratic system. Arvind is great intellectual personality. He is not having any self-interests. For many decades, the democratic system is being used by politicians for earning money and bankrupting the country of everything. If this man along with masses is slightly hurting the "so called democracy", just to pass a single bill that is for curbing curruption, then why there is such a hue & cry (triggered by politicians).

Lets call it a day to do something different than last 64 years. It is about country and its citizens not about any system (delibrately wrongfully named democracy)

Such an intense essay I hardly remember to have read except "Ami Subash Bolchi" —"I am Subash Speaking". I am deeply shocked after learning that the very corruption crusader did once take leave of absence from IT for the purpose of studies on salary, however, he was actually working as a full time on activist.

It is good news about the new face of a common man in india how is fighting for a common cause of you and me and ofcourse to our kids future corruption free india

A thorough-researched work by Mehboob, Kudos !!! I also salute the alchemists and freddom fighters like the Anna, Arvind, Kiran, Shanti & Prashant, Manish Sisodia and so on as well as the innumerable indians and foreigners across the globe. Let there be a ‘functional-system’ in place.

As Anna ji says that there are inside traitors in this country. Kejriwal ji should learn from History that there might be some traitors in his team as well and Kejriwal ji should take all guard and precaution against such persons who may derail the all movement at the instance of corrupt machinery which is very powerful.
Wishing Kejriwal all the very best. Though it looks quite impossible that Honesty will win, yet hope should exist.

Here are people that should be conferred India’s prestigious Padma and Bharat Ratna awards – Anna Hazare, Bhushans and ofcourse Arvind. These are the leaders that India was waiting to emerge… If Anna is the face of Anti Corruption the brains is Arvind…

This is what is called grass root leadership. This is what is youth leadership.
Not some someone born with a silver spoon in mouth to a political family. Arvind we deserve you as our PM. We want you to lead India. We look forward to many things from you.

Unni Nair
Swindon, UK

Couldn’t have been better .

Its actually inspiring and worthy of printing , laminating and keeping it . Read it when you feel down .

The article shows Arvind to be an Arrogant person whereas he is very determined. This article only undermines the Team Anna. I wont forward it definitely.

Can’t believe such a big agitation atarted in such a simple manner. Kudos to ARVIND KEJRIWAL. You’ve been doing a great job. My best wishes & full support to this movement

Arvind K is very simple in his life with great determination, honor, and integrity. He is very clear in his ways. Sacrificing own life for the corrupt free nation. He is right person for leading the country in right direction for the future generation. Instead giving the leadership to people like the present politicians to lead our country,….Why can’t we chose a leader like Arvind K. India will re-turn from its destruction path and march forward towards the enlightening future nation. If we want to move forward towards a bright nation in the future. We must stop the corrupt mind and corruption politics. Let us chose a suitable leader like Abdul Kalam, Anna H, Kiran B, Arvind K for not to make a powerful country but a peaceful and prosperous country. Enough, Our Mother India has suffered long enough in the hands corrupt people. Let us stop that and give her a peace and honor to our Mother India. Jai Hind. Appreciate for worth article. Why cant these kind of articles will post on yahoo news instead a rubbish ones.

Can’t believe you called Swami Agnivesh a secular religious leader! If that is not an oxymoron, what is? Spoiled the taste of an otherwise well-written article.

Enlightening – energises me to continue with my participation, even if in a not too significant way. @ Kamal – If demanding zero tolerance to corruption is insane, you can label me insane too.

Extremely well written article. It almost seems like you’re propping him as a hero at first but then you read between the lines and understand that he is quite rightly a rigid, agenda driven dangerous mind. Who believes in no other way but his. It seems like he’s absolutely not bothered about the secular democratic system that we are living in at all. Him getting Anna on board and promising him the status of an All India Gandhian from just a Maharashtra Gandhian… Very well crafted agenda. Hope we get a sensible Lokpal bill passed soon. And hope people stop endorsing it in our daily lives.

A brilliant and exhaustive profile of one of the pillars of the Anna Hazare movement.
Mehboob Jeelani’s needs to be complimented for the extensive research that he has done on the man who has captured the imagination of the nation.
Hope Anna’s (and Kejriwal, et al) "caravan" rolls on and reaches its destination — sooner than later.

Fabulous article. It seems straight out of a well-written book on history. Thank you for providing a peek into the life of the man who seems to be the brains behind this ongoing movement. One always had a gut feeling that Anna is purely the face and symbol for this campaign.

Kejriwal’s intentions seem honest. One has to admire his drive & passion for his cause. However, his complete contempt for organised democratic processes (flawed as they may be) is concerning. His disregard for views contradictory to his own is downright dictatorial.

It shows the kind of passion with which this team works. Thanks for this article. It increases my trust on the motto of these team members

Please elaborate the part where Arvind Ji "Half Shouts" and then Anna Ji keeps mum for a while.I thought their relation was of Guru and Disciple.

I sincerely wish and pray Aravind achieves all that he has set to achieve and May he have the fire in him to carry on notwithstanding the obstacles,,,,,how i hope ,,,,we find more Aravind’s to show us the way….

Thank you for giving some info about our "real life hero". Along with Annaji; Arvind is undoutebly a youth icon of young India.

Please write about Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi’s contribution as well…Its a team effort and they all deserve entire country’s gratitude.

If Quit India Movement was So Special, now This movement is going to ride the country for years.. this guy can do a lot… :)

An excellently written article. It makes/ projects/ portrays Arvind as the single handed designer and the CEO of the movement. But it somehow dilutes the public picture of Anna Hazare in respect to this movement. It is amazing to believe that a single intelligent mind can read the scenario so well, utilize the circumstances so well and execute the movement in a bush-fire mode as to shake the very foundation of the ruling class of the largest democracy of the world. Many including me thought all these days that the movement is gathering momentum from some tacit and covert support from the right wing forces. This article points out facts to believe that the movement avoided all such influences and stood on its own to come to its current flourish. It certainly breaks all logic or the lessons of the history. But unprecedented things are happening in the country. Otherwise how can one minister can pocket several thousand crores or a self taught guru ( incidentally, he is from Haryana) can make so much of wealth by selling Yoga and Ayurveda! Good that this article gave us some clue of what might have happened during the germination stage of this movement. And what a fast rate of growth it attained! I just hope that this growth is natural and benign with the society and not any malicious and cancerous!

I personally feel the corruption has a route which has to be understood by everybody. It begins from us i.e. individuals reach our houses then our families then our mohallas then to our sectors then to our city, then to our districts then state and then in our nation. We have to make sure that we fight and highlight these type of individuals in the society so that these should not grow so big that corrupts whole of our nation. If we all take this oath that we will not let these type of ill minded people grow starting from our families 100% we will be able to kill a giant called corruption. A big step has been taken by Annaji and now small small steps starting from the roots has to be taken.

well written profile. Arvind deserves every bit of it. May Anna and his team succeed in weeding out corruption from the country because corruption not only fosters a parallel economy but also encourages lawlessness. Take blue line for example. The private bus driver could break all traffic rules with impunity because they were greasing palms of cops. Besides demanding Jan Lokpal, it would be better if we insist on police reforms, judicial reforms, electoral reforms and so on and so forth. Let all public and private authorities – right from MPs to Panchayats to contractors mandatory write on boards whatever developmental works they undertake. They should specify what is the cement-sand ratio they would use in laying roads etc.

A new national hero has born by the name of Arvind like Arjun of mahabharata & wholeheartedly supported by his god Krishna Anna (kisan hazare) for the good cause of nation
remeber line of mahabharata
Yada yada hi dharmasya glanibhavti bharta

What a fantastic piece of reporting ! Redeems one’s faith in superlative magazine journalism. Kudos to Mehboob Jeelani for showing the tenacity and passion required to stalk a firebrand activist. Kejriwal himself is an inspiring maverick, but to me the skilled writing and editing can share the hallowed space with the subject.

I am thanking a lot to the writer. There are some confused minds who are finding themselves in doubt. They are in doubt about Anna, Kejriwal and their mission. This detailed article would make them aware that the Kejriwal has a long struggled journey behind this so called pop-up campaign. How did he get the idea of the present jan-lokepal bill and how did he planned this campaign. Salute to them. Thanks again to writer. Everybody should read this complete article.

Well written piece,makes Arvind more humane n real!! My prayers n good wishes for a truly liberating Jan Lokpal Bill!! India awakens!!! Thank you Team Anna! Thank you Arvind!! God Bless!!

Hats off to Arvind Kejariwal and his team specially Arvind for being the brain child of this campaign
.At this juncture India needs many more Arvinds to open the eyes of many Indians who are unaware of the volume the money is being looted by our politicians and bueracrats.These politicians are making mockery of our democratic system.I take this oppurtunity to salute Arvind and his team to take this crusade against curruption to success

1. Felt as if someone attempted to find a pin in a haystack and only found legends 2. By not building up the Bhushans story, the reporter has given away the spineless nature of this article 3.Did this reporter not ask a single question to Team Anna in East Delhi? Was he only reporting background sound?? 4. This garden variety conspiracy theory has less credence than the lochness monster story 5. This reporter has failed to attach what AK gains…..and has doubly and miserably failed by finding nothing 6. Even an amateur’s attempt at garden variety conspiracy theories of any basic MLA would have had more spine 7. I get a feeling it was hastily put together and/or such was this reporters calibre 8. I smelt remnants of a media clan from the rajiv-darshan days…and it seems they are still resident in this publication 9. First they ridicule you, then they hate you , then they fight you and then you win…(gandhi)….this report was somewhere between the first and the second phase 10. Waste of time :-)

I wish we have more people like Kejriwal, who can make a choice when it is needed most. A true leader!!! I am not an expert on Lokpal bill, so cannot comment on good/bad, but he is awaking India.

Satyam Param Dhimahi it means Truth prevails all the time,in evry era, such AVTARs have came forward for the society, I think God sent him to help poor Indians, It’s sheer pleasure to read the developments of this movement, It’s wonderful, Now each one of us must take a oath, that we will not give the bribe and visa versa. Jai Hind, Vande Matharam.

Its the best article I hv read so far during team India movement.

Politicians claim always as the people’s representative to draw legitimised authority in socalled our democracy..My question is have they been elected to simply loot the country?Why didnt they announce during campaign that they should be elected so that they can loot the country? Had they done it they r lgitimifed to loot. Or else corrupt politicians sh’ldnt talk abt legitimacy. Unfortunately we hv hardly any real leader in central govt/parties who has a support of the dountry. Mostly r either promoted or nominated leaders.So they hv no capacity to lead.They r bound to fail in crisis.The great leaders like Mamata,Nitish,Modi r leading the states only.Fortunately Team India has found real leaders like Anna,Kejriwal, Bedi, Bhushans etc.Promotees cannot match them.Promotees cant help but ultimately surrender.Best wishes to selfless fighters like team India & its volunteers.

I have gone through the version 2.2 of the Jan-Lokpal Bill (JLB) at some internet site(as different from the Govt’s Lokpal Bill).

I just want one clarification from some one. Is there any mention about Lokyukta in the JLB? It only mentons about Lokpal. If so I would like to see that document. Where can I find it? Thank you very much.

I have one ques here for Arvind. No doubt I am totally against Corruption and supporting yours Anti Corruption compaign. But I have one doubt.. If lokpal will come then it will have a full power and it will keep an eye on every govt personnel from PM to Patwari. To put eye on every level of people u need thosands of lokpal members(full power) and what is the gurranty that those people will not be corrupted???

Brilliantly written piece. very informative, the author and the magazine deserves accolades.This is what i call REAL JOURNALISM…..

Brilliantly written article, totally deciphered the person named Kejriwal and after reading this article, my respect to KArjiwal have increased may fold. India today needs many Kejriwal as possible and surely we are witnessing the change. Delhi’s metro system example was great.really metro system works so metro is shinning example of rising india. we need system reform and Kejriwal is doing same. congrates to writer for resaeach and hearlity written article and thanks to Kejriwal to representing the common man concern.

Thank you for a balanced, well researched piece that provides insights about the movement. It nullifies all the spin and efforts of th UPA to undermine the movement.

@Sarala: What Kejriwal is doing today is nothing in front of the cover ups and fabrication used by the Nehru/Ghazi – Gandhi/Ghandy/Khan family to bring and sustain themselves in power. I’d suggest you do a little bit of research on the origin and uprising

now this is a wonderful article about the man behind India’s WAR against corruption !!! Hat’s off to the entire team, especially Arvind for being the brain behind the brawn … We will soon wake up in a richer, more prosperous and relatively corruption free India, courtesy Mr. Kejriwal and team ANNA… JAI HIND !

A Gandhi was born of courage of convictions and a search for inner truth and values , Kejriwal uses words of a Brand equity maker . and gives away his real intention of creating an imitation to overshadow the original and also to drag India down to the level of uncultured other countries going through so called "for democracy movements". Instead of India standing Up as an example to the world , Kejriwal has mistimed and demeaned India . Gandhi would never have done this. The arrogance and ego of both Bedi and Kejriwal are becoming more and more obvious .The PM must stand upright and not give in …..

A very good article on the firebrand and focussed activist Arvind Kejariwal. With his sheer determination and firebrand approach he is able to take up on mighty Govt. Wish him all success in his effort.

It really awful story of Young restless honest person which we nowdays can find only in Cinemas. I cant believe someone leaving govt. commissioner level job/post for this. And at the stage where he was niether eligible for gratuity nor he has secured himself financially. REally great. Salute to him.

I am glad i got an oppurtunity to work with Mr. Alok Khejriwal. I was a volunteer at Prawah an NGO. Through them i got an oppurtunity to spend a few days with Mr. Khejriwal. We were working for the rashan cards at the slum areas in Delhi. We wemt through the entire village with him. By the end all the villages wrere with us . The local shop keeper(government) was looting the Slum dwellers. Towards the end the owner of the shop came up to alokji and threatened him. That time i was in the beginning years of colllege. I would wonder how could someone leave their comfortable life as aN IAS officer and fight for all this . Will it last? is it just ashow off? it was beyond m,e to understand how could someone work for others in such a manner by giving his life for them. Today so many years have gone by , this was 2004, and I thik he’s GOD.

This seems to be a mere glorification. The writer has failed to bring out the other side of the story. There are a lot of things which have gone unreported in this article. Also, there are factual errors. I think the apartment in Mayur Vihar is owned by Prashant Bhushan where Medha and other NBA activists have stayed earlier. Likewise there are other errors too.

The government is trying to avoid the passing of the JANALOKPAL Bill drafted by the Civil Society by unnecessarily raising the issue of law, legality and parliamentary procedures. The fact is that majority of the people in our country want a strong LOKPAL Bill like the one drafted by the Civil Society. But the course of achieving the passage of the bill is really very tedious. The government in power lead by the Congress does not seem to have will to get the bill passed. Most of our parliamentarians are only conscience keepers of status quoist forces of corruption. Then how can it be expected that such a parliament would be willing to allow such a strong bill go through. In the obtaining situation it is only the dictatorship of the majority of people that can force the parliament to pass this bill. I fully support and endorse the strategy of the Civil Society under the advice of Anna Hazare to achieve the objective The statement of some of the spokes persons on behalf the government and the Congress party is illusive and designed to misdirect the course of peoples’ movement.Madhukar Rao, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court, New Delhi

Very Inspiring to read the ‘story of Jan LokPal’ bill. I just created a note with the help of this article. Whom every I spoke, everyone are very frustrated with the corruption. Though not everyone can come to street, I hope all are there to support for a strong Lok Pal bill. This is the first time in my life time I see such an unanimous support from all walks of life.

Refreshing. Really impressed by his attitude, exemplified by his refusal to make peons do his work. And a brilliant strategist, I must say, almost with a sense of theater.

It’s really inspiring to read about Kejriwal. I have been writing about the danger our democracy is at which was created by our political class and they seem to ignore this under the pretext of people’s short term memory…! In fact, by starting this protest, Kejriwal, Anna Hazare & the entire team had saved these politicians and the democracy of our country by providing a platform for the people of this country a platform to vent their ire….! The politicians should thank all of you and take this as a wake up call and start mending their ways! When I say this, remember we are going to witness mother of all scams in ministry of defence in the near future. Poor Antony may not even understand what went wrong as his loyalty will ditch him from questioning the orders from madam…

What a well designed and delivered piece of journalism, Ronnie is awesome as well. Now with the GPS driven AR, interactive video channels preparing to become global entertainment powerhouse players, a road map is found within the lines of Rahul’s exploration of Mr. Screwvala. for many to follow. However, never a follower, our team will help deliver the first 3D & AR enhanced film to the world, and the team in Mumbai headed by Jgnesh Jain embodies the spirit of change and successful creation and delivery of quality content. The cable boxes are still essential for the next eight to ten years but after that, your content will be delivered in amazing new ways. Great article. Bruce Keffer

Another fantastic piece from Caravan. Please keep these indepth profiles coming through! Clearly, entrepreneurs like Ronnie Screwvala are a different breed. To break into the insular world of film making requires a different mentality. What drives these guys? Money is one part of the picture but that cannot explain someone wanting to shape how an industry works. Fame could be a bigger reason. Or maybe business is simply in his blood. .

What an interesting read. Truly quite a journey fr Ronnie the maverick. Great going n look forward to more surprises in the media landscape.

Excellent piece of writing on Bollywood, its working structure and person named Ronnie Screwvala, gut who changed course of hindi movies. Article was very well researched and lucid, well done Rahul.

Awesome article. Thanks Arvind for taking charge. a fellow IITian (Delhi) to another. Good luck and please help us to clean this country.

Sir Kejriwal,
i really salute your efforts and hardwork to make this change happen,i am with u..
really superb writing from author thanks for this article..

Dear sir, heartly congratulations.sir your movement towards ” jan lokpal bill” should achive it’s destination. first of all you & annaji and other members like kiran mad. should take care of yourselves. this movement has a very +ve response in our stat , also in my native area. keep going sir, we are always with you.

Dear Sir
Good Evning , sir aapke sath me & mere 500 farmars hai aap aage baden jab bhi jarurat ho aap call kar sakte hai , me chahta hoon ki mera jeevan desh ko luteron se bachane ke kam aaye.
Tanks sir mukesh bunkar

A political alternative is the need of the hour. Many common citizens believe that without stealing public money, without having enough black money, without hiding everything and without being dishonest, it is impossible to fight election or rule the country. Arvind is trying hard to prove it wrong. It is not easy, but he has dared to challenge the powerful and wealthy political fraternity. He is the iron man of India. Those we hope for a better India, should support him. During India independence movement, many leaders had parted ways from Gandhi/Nehru team. We all know who they are and we have highest regards for their sacrifices. So, the goals by Anna and Arvind are same. I will say, support both of them in their fight against the monstrous corruption.

This article slaps one very hard who says Arvind is doing it for his personal ambition to get power. I salute you Arvid Ji. Jai Hind

Arvind sir, you r the only who can save the nation now…we are really proud of you. God bless you always…..and thanks for all you are doing for the nation….a big salute to you

= FAZAL PATEL . BHARUCH – 392001 ( Guj. India ) 09824717970

This article is basically a hagiography of Arvind Kejriwal. All the naive and impressionable youth of this country are singing his hosannas, and that is quite understandable. But the writer needs to fact-check his own article before publishing it. The first two years of leave from IRS with pay was granted because he applied for a study leave. After two years he could not show evidence of any academic pursuits. He did not get further extension of leave and was asked to report back for duty. He was then forced to take two more years of leave, this time on loss of pay. At the time of quitting IRS at the end of his four year leave period, he had availed over nine lakhs of rupees in educational loans. The sources of his foreign funds is up for scrutiny under FERA. Also his refusal to be transparent about his connections to organisations like ABVP, RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP, Shiv Sena etc., is suspect. It is everyone’s right to agitate in a democracy, but burning a bill in public that is under consideration of Parliament is an unacceptable insult, like burning of the national flag. The philosophy of end justifies the means which Kejriwal practices is a facist principle that cuts both ways. The government ministers then, like P. Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Pranab Mukherjee also used the same ‘end justifies the means’ to sweep aside the India Against Corruption movement. Double speak, promises, threats, intimidation, arrest, delaying tactics etc., were freely used to brow beat the movement. If Indian middle class is ready to embrace anarchy, chaos and disruption of public peace and order in its fight against corruption, it could end up falling from the frying pan into the fire. Unfortunately, even Kejriwal will not be able to save India from the forces he would have unleashed. No person or group should arrogate to themselves dictatorial tendencies and take the law into their own hands. We have a Constitution and laws established to abide by, uphold and protect. The best of human intentions are tainted by the lust for fame, power and greed.

Burning a flag is like burning a national flag….seriously …..and what is watching porn inside running assembly.
Guys like you are the reason why our country is in this state.
You cant digest that somebody is doing anything good , you think its impossible to be selfless and work for others.
“We have a Constitution and laws established to abide by, uphold and protect.”…..really seems like either you dont live in India….or were in coma from last 66 years.
Please dont mislead people.

Truly inspirational. May god give him good health to help him in his endeavours. Very well written article. I wish everyone reads this..

I agree with you Akash. We tend to forget one basic fact, politicians are from the same society as you and me are. They will as corrupt as we are. How many times we have paid more than MRP at shop? why do we tolerate that, because we have money and no time to fight. The same attitude majority have towards politician. We do not want to fight our war we just want some anna, some kejriwal to fight it for us. we can ‘like’ on facebook, and we think we are done.

For peoples like Akash, simply a human waste in the world. As soon as possible these waste things should be recycle with complete change in DNA & bone marrow.

The hon’ble president of India finds the anarchy and chaos being created by AAP unacceptable. Okay, Arvind Kejriwal is the only honest man in this country. But is AAP for change or only for headline grabbing and vigilante tactics. Taking the law into one’s own hands, insulting government servants and obstructing them from performing their duty, alienating foreign nationals, painting everyone with the same brush is not going to get AAP anywhere. Kejriwal’s downfall is only one sting operation away.

It is a wonderful insight into Kejriwal’s life. I could not stop reading till I reached the last page. My compliments to Mr Mehboob Jeelani for wonderful piece of article. He has tried to remain unbiased towards or against Kejriwal, and let the reader decide.

We need such leaders to come up. He is educated, hard working, honest and has the fire in his belly. In fact after we gained our hard earned independence, these kinds of leaders should have come up and lead India. In turn, we fell into the hands of goons and mafia who decided to contest elections and won because there were not many choices. This lead to rampant corruption from top to down. If the top is corrupt, he would not curb corruption under him, and so on and so forth. But yes this can’t go on for ever, the citizen of India are fed up of this and are ready to support someone who is ready to fight corruption. The average Indian is busy earning his bread and trying to send his kids to a good school, he may not be able to come out in the street and fight corruption, but he is fed up of the corruption, he wants an end to it, he wants good governance.

Mr Akash. You seem to be a planted bot on behalf of the corrupt government. And please don’t think nobody can see it. Its loud and clear. You have said exactly the things a corrupt politician/ corrupt official says. Thanks for giving us a first hand demonstration of how corruption justifies itself. And Mr Shivam Semwal I completely agree with you.

Great article on Arvind Kejriwal. Thanks for the honest journalism when it is needed most today and is hardly seen.
I will also request for an article on present day hard work of the Aam Admi Party and Arvind Kejriwal. We the honest and intelligent citizens are bored of the paid media with its easily visible biased or unintelligent shows…

Excellent insight in Kejriwal’s life!

Can anyone take pain to translate this article in Hindi without altering its spirit? It will help in reaching to larger audience.

A great Article by Jeelani and I appreciate your insights on Kejriwal. Honest and Competent Man Mr. Arvind Kejriwal to lead Delhi (B.Tech IITian, IAS/IRS Income Tax Commissioner) with high merit-based education, great communicator along with proven track record of being honest till date with a deep mind of social service helping Delhi Slums for the past 10 years without expecting anything!! PLEASE GIVE AT LEAST ONE CHANCE FOR HIM IN THIS DELHI ELECTIONS and if he is Voted and prove himself with his effective and outstanding Governance, then it will be a MODEL for other states and Nation to replicate. DELHIITES….PLEASE…. PLEASE….PLEASE….We all beg you to vote for him in this December Election and throw the corrupt Congress/BJP from Power!! Jai Hind!!

The irony, Prabasini! You are just proving the point that Akash Sagar and many others have raised. For (arrogant) people like you and Mr. Kejriwal, who ever talks against them is a planted bot from the government or other parties! If this is the way forward, then I am against it

Mr Jeelani, thank you. Your coverage and Kejriwal both have changed my beliefs – despite the despicable curbs on free speech, capable people still exist and there is hope for democracy.

आम आदमी की एक ही पहचान … अरविन्द केजरीवाल ..! आम आदमी जिंदाबाद … अना हजारे जिंदाबाद।।
corrupt bjee congoo bongo .. shame on ! you have looted us .. us the common people…! now we will teach bjpee n congo lesson. in 2014!

A well written and well researched piece of journalism.Mr Mehboob Jeelani has wonderfully articulated his story,and reading it were as if a screenplay was unfolding,,could not wait to read any continuation that Mr.Jeelani would be offering.
In the hindsight,i request Mr.Jeelani,,to write a book on the same subject,,i am sure there would be many takers..
plz mr.Jeelani.

Great Article on Sir Arvind Kejriwal. It was clear to me from that he was the man behind the IAC movement and this article removes any doubt.

A correction to your article : As far as my memory serves I remember that Kejriwal was from Mechanical Engineering and not Electrical.

We all see a great political wave set in the Indian history. But i would be more happy to see the same wave of non corrupt politics prevailing in the entire country. The system needs to be cleaned in all corners of this country. Mr Arvind Kejriwal we all Indians see a hope in new era of politics through your vision and commitment. Meanwhile I would like to also alert you that delivery of good governance will set an example and will be a key to the formation of successful NON CORRUPT INDIA. Any political party could have touched millions of INDIANS through their honest effort to give good governance but they missed the chance by acting like primary school kids fighting each other on national medias and making fool of themselves. I’m thankful to you that your party that its not doing any cheap strategies to capture “Vote Banks”. We all are with you and support to you as long as you remain as an Indian for the Indians than indulging in any caste, creed, religion, community, language… vote bank politics which already these existing politicians think that “divide and rule is better” and practicing.
All the best for AAP.

It’s too inspiring. Thanks for letting us know the efforts of a simple man. Mr. Arvind, my best wishes to you and your team for a GREAT Corruption Free INDIA. A True Gandhian “Be a Change” Motto perfectly implemented. Bharat Mata ki Jai.

Simply realistic and appealing portrayal of Arvind Kejriwal who has been the real brain in Team Anna from Day one, manipulating and masterminding the whole series of events. As promised, he made Anna, the Gandhi of Maharashtra as Gandhi of India. Anna, a genuine, simpleton, who has been fighting relentless against corruption in Maharashtra for long and who strongly believes in the significance of developing rural India, as he has proved in his and surrounding villages of Ralegaon Siddhi, has been made a national icon only by Kejriwal’s consistent planning of the Movement.

Thank you Caravan for showing the real character of Kejriwal. It all makes sense now. I was wondering how is it possible someone like Kejriwal popping up suddenly and becoming a CM of Delhi. If he continues his gung-ho style, subtly hegemonic delivery of powers with the help of massive public support, he can give a hard time to NaMo. By joining COngress in Delhi, it means he is just going to divide the vote bank of BJP. Or, he can just do something big before elections, something like breaking ties with the Congress, if BJP comes out strong. Kejriwal is not likely to fall because his call is full of desi daal, which is tired of misgovernance, corruption, and other types of mahakaals.

Sh Arvind is a modern day Arjun, fighting the mahabarat againt curroption n evil politicians. May god gv him strength to serve his country n change d dirty politics. Huge respect n regards for him.

Good article. It kindles our enthusiasm to elect an honest leader who will also be efficient like Arvind Kejriwal. Wish him a glorious political career!

Such a fascinating piece of writing !
surely the best i have read from a journalist.
Kudos to Mr. Arvind Kejriwal. He is the hero india deserves right now.
Today,he has formed a political party too. What a remarkable man he is !
his will be a golden name in the history of india :)

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