Is Arvind Kejriwal a good husband

Asia files

India is shaken by corruption scandals. The anger among the population about this is growing. A man wants to channel the excitement and founds a party against bribery at all levels. But first he pillories the country's elite.

From Christoph Hein

His party does not yet have a name. And yet at least every newspaper reader and television viewer in India knows the face of Arvind Kejriwal. Because the man is waging a great fight: He takes on the corrupt elite of the subcontinent, stabs right into the wasp's nest, and this mercilessly. With it he caused a sensation, taught politicians and business people to fear and had a good chance of winning a lot of votes. The activist has been working behind the scenes for years. He pulled the strings for the anti-corruption movement of the aged Anna Hazare, which was also followed with great interest in the West, with her hunger strike in recent months.

Now Kejriwal is attacking at the very top: at India's largest real estate company and the Gandhi family, which is to be equated with the ruling party. The 44 year old from DLF Ltd. claim to have preferred Robert Varda, the son-in-law of party leader Sonia Gandhi, in real estate deals and to have given him cheaper loans. How deep his statements hit was shown by the price development of the DLF share afterwards: it lost double digits. And although the company denied the allegations, Varda described them as defamatory.

This was followed by the attack on Justice Minister Salman Khurshid, whom the future party founder accused of having embezzled funds, which were intended for the promotion of the disabled, together with his wife Louise. Subsequently, Nitin Gadkari, the leader of the opposition party Bharatiya Janata (BJP), was targeted: She is said to have acquired huge land and diverted the water for the fields to her factories. Kejriwal has not adequately substantiated any of the allegations. But people believe him only because every Indian believes such behavior by the elite from experience to be absolutely credible. And that's dangerous.

Kejriwal's movement “India against Corruption” and the party that emerged from it are difficult to categorize politically - so far the only goal has been the will to clean up the country. “Our goal is to show people that all parties operate under secret agreements, that all parties belong to one family and that they cannot be trusted,” thunders Kejriwal. “From today on, the people will take the political stage. Bribery politicians, your days are numbered. " It is true that corruption and nepotism are rampant right up to the highest political levels in India. Civil rights activists believe that a normal Indian household is forced to spend around 30 percent of its net income on bribery in order to survive.

Anna Hazare was an old man who wanted to bring a regime to its knees with his aura and hunger strikes. When the anti-corruption law called for by him and his supporters failed grandly in parliament, the movement disintegrated. Kejriwal is now seen as a greater threat to the good life of the upper class. Even without the Aura Hazares, he still has the advantage of a suitable education and career. He grew up in a middle-class family in the state of Haryana. Kejriwal completed his training at the globally respected Indian Institute of Technology. Of course, he immediately found a job at Tata Steel, only to quit after a few years and work with the poorest of the poor in Mother Theresa's charity in Calcutta.

This was followed by 14 years as an employee of a tax office, responsible for income tax. That would have ensured him a quiet life and a secure livelihood - probably not even without bribes. But the man with the thick mustache and wire-rimmed glasses did what hardly an Indian would do: he quit the job, bored, disgusted. “I was happy with my job, but then the feeling grew that there was way too much bribery affecting the common man. He had to pay for every work step that an officer would have had to do anyway due to the law, ”he recalls. Now Kejriwal founded non-governmental organizations and was awarded the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Prize in 2006 for his commitment. He received it because he was at the forefront of enforcing a statutory obligation to provide information for the authorities - thanks to it, even the poorest can at least get information about their rights. Then two years ago he started the anti-corruption movement and persuaded Hazare to act as its face.

The head of movement now follows the popular Gandhi epigones. Nobody doubts that Kejriwal knows what he is talking about. That makes him dangerous. Especially since his wife, Sunita, mother of two, is a director of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office at the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Without a doubt, the family lives dangerously. After a brief arrest, Kejriwal reported that the Justice Minister had threatened him massively - which he denies. “He shouldn't speak to me like that,” said Arvind Kejriwal then. “It was no use killing me anymore because the country has awakened. If an Arvind is murdered, the next hundred Arvinds will rise. " At least he could be right about that.

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India's elite in the pillory

From Christoph Hein

India is shaken by corruption scandals. The anger among the population about this is growing. A man wants to channel the excitement and founds a party against bribery at all levels. But first he pillories the country's elite.

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