Arvind was to make a difference in a most daring way, but that's for later. He appeared for the public services examinations and as he waited for the results, took himself away to Mother Teresa's and Ramakrishna Missions. "I spent some months travelling in Bengal and the North East. I began to realise how backward these parts were. Was it just poverty? Then why my own Haryana, where there is no poverty at all, is backward with illiteracy and male chauvinism?" He had no answers yet to what holds back a community from development; but he had a good set of questions. And that's always the best way to start.
In 1992 he joined the Indian Revenue Service [IRS] and was posted in Income-tax Commissioner's Office in Delhi. Within months, he began to be aware of the silent, collective extortionist machine that his department was running. Citizens were being denied the services that were their right. By withholding information, the department kept the public in darkness as to where their cases stood.
Rights existed on paper. But the process to access them was muddied by the civil servants. It is this that led to corruption, dependencies and backwardness. The malaise is not poverty of incomes but that of information. He now recalled the paradox of Haryana and the North East and understood what was common between them.
What he discovered was not some great, subtle truth. It is obvious to anyone who thinks things through. The difference that Arvin Kejriwal, IRS made, was that he decided to do something to fight back the system he himself was a part of. He turned a mole.
In Kailash Bhoruka a Chartered Accountant and Col Pandey, Indian Army [rtd.], he had two able co-conspirators. Arvind taught them the rules, the ways of the department and the procedures. They met in secret and evolved a strategy. Thus began in the year 2000, an association christened, Parivartan [Change].