CNN-IBN visited Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's ancestral village in Bhiwani, Haryana, to get a glimpse into the life and times there, especially since his election to the top post after the recently-concluded Assembly polls in the national capital.
People in the sleepy town of Siwani and Kheda told CNN-IBN how their lives had changed ever since the son of their soil became the Chief Minister of Delhi.
Seen below are some of the rare moments captured on camera:
Arvind Kejriwal’s uncle Girdhari Lal sits wearing an Aam Aadmi cap in the Grain Market of Siwani, a small town in Bhiwani district of Haryana. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was born in Siwani on August 16, 1968. Several of Kejriwal’s relatives from his father’s side continue to live in the Old Grain Market and still practise the family trade.
Girdhari Lal says there is now moral pressure on the extended family to do the ”right thing” as his nephew Arvind Kejriwal is now the Chief Minister of Delhi and with a particularly unusual burden of expectations on his shoulders.
Kalawati does not know precisely when she was born, but guesses she must be 90 years old. Showing her Aam Aadmi Party membership receipt, she says her ”health suddenly improved when Delhi saw Arvind Kejriwal become the chief minister”. She remembers how Kejriwal’s father Gobind used to play as a little boy in Kheda village.
Hanging precariously, a Kheda village resident touches up a stone slab marking the contribution of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s great grandfather who got a well built to supply water to Kheda and five other adjoining villages. Part of the folklore is how Kejriwal’s elder uncle, who now suffers from a nervous affliction, would get up at 3.30 am and walk five kilometres from Siwani town to start a diesel engine that would crank up water from the well.
Children at Kheda village in Bhiwani district of Haryana dash out of the crumbling doorway of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s grandfather’s residence. A cluster of ruins has become a proud memorial for the villagers who are flattered with the recognition Kheda is getting now.
Residents of Kheda, a village five kilometres from Siwani – the place where Arvind Kejriwal was born – point towards the ruins of the houses that belonged to Kejriwal’s ancestors. The village has a number of Rajputs, a few Jats, a few Baniyas and a sprinkling of Brahmins, but emphasise that they are united as a village. In the late 1940s, Kejriwal’s ancestors moved to Siwani to practise their trade in the grain market but never lost connection with the village they came from.