Thursday, 1 November 2012

Arvind Kejriwal Before India Against Corruption

Before India Against Corruption and Jan Lokpal Bill movement happened Mr Arvind Kejriwal was an RTI activist of some renown. It was for this contribution to Right To Information Act implementation that he received the Ramon Magsaysay award in 2006. The citation of his award for Emergent Leaderships talks about this anti corruption work and his use of the Delhi Right to Information Act 2001 for exposing corruption and also his successful campaign against water privatization in Delhi.

The very first time I heard Mr Kejriwal speak was in 2008 when I saw a Youtube video recording of his speech in Google India in July of the same year. He spoke about the RTI act and how it empowers individuals in fighting corruption. In light of all the criticism that Mr Kejriwal has been facing recently from some people regarding his methods of attacking politicians and industrialists for personal political gain I would like to share with my readers this video which is an informal but very informative presentation by Mr Kejriwal. When I heard it for the first time I also found it inspiring. His credentials as an anti-corruption crusader cannot as yet be questioned. He may be a novice politician but he is a seasoned social activist with leadership skills.

"We have a right to information because every citizen in this country pays tax. Even a beggar pays tax."
- Arvind Kejriwal

PS: In the post I had mentioned about Arvind's activism against water privatization in Delhi. Unfortunately the Delhi government in July 2012 has approved a pilot project for water privatization in consultation with the Planning Commissions whose deputy chairman is Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia. This should come as a reminder to us that the menace of corruption and crony capitalism has deep roots and one victory against it is never enough. Here's a link to an excellent article arguing why water privatization is not a good Idea.

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