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Arvind Kejriwal’s man has remained in protest mode since his student days
It was in March 2005 that Naveen Jaihind (32), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Rohtak Lok Sabha seat, first developed aversion to widespread corruption. It happened when the Ghaziabad police sought a bribe of Rs. 5,000 to hand over the body of his 19-year-old cousin, who had died in a road accident.
Naveen, who hails from Bhainsuru Kalan village of Rohtak district, reluctantly paid bribe, despite the fact that about 10 of his relatives were working with either the Delhi police or the Haryana police.
Two years later, he saw Arvind Kejriwal on television, seeking support for cleansing the system by introducing Swaraj in the country, and he chose to go to Delhi to support his agitation with volunteers of Jaihind Chhatra Morcha, which Naveen had formed in 2006.
After working for a few years with Kejriwal, he was entrusted with the responsibility of providing security to social activist Anna Hazare in 2012. It was his morcha’s volunteers who undertook the task of securing the stage for Anna’s rally at Ramlila Maidan.
Now, he is gearing up to take on Congress heavyweight Deepender Singh Hooda, son of Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
“I’m the way I was and not interested in shunning my original self for any allurement,” says Naveen, the son of a small-time shopkeeper. He is the eldest of four siblings, who are all unemployed.
Sharing his first experience as a protester, he said: “I was in Class 12 when I staged a protest before my school principal for underpaying stipend money to National Cadet Corps students deputed at a village on election duty during 1999.”
Though he had to face suspension, the sit- in paid off as he and his partner were paid their due amount, he recalls.
MDU, HIS CRADLE
Taking up the cause of flushing out outsiders from the hostel of Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU), where he studied from graduation till PhD in physical education, he formed a student body, Jaihind Chhatra Morcha.
The chief job of their morcha was to org anise blood donation camps on martyrs’ anniversaries and gherao MDU authorities to press for students’ demands.
The surname Jaihind was suggested by free-dom fighter Lalti Ram, who came to inaugu-rate a blood donation camp on the MDU campus in 2005.
MEETING LIFE PARTNER
“I had vowed to remain a bachelor all my life till I met Swati, who was the in-charge of Delhi af fairs of India Against Corruption. I was moved by her conviction,” says Naveen, who married her on January 23 at an Arya Samaj temple in New Delhi. She had put her life in danger for him during an agitation when he was thrashed by the Delhi police, he adds.
Swati, an engineer by profession, is conducting a research on pesticides under a project of Greenpeace, an NGO.