Arvind Yadav—Hindustan Times/Getty Images
April 23, 2014

Arvind Kejriwal is the antithesis of the modern-day Indian politician. He’s no Hindu nationalist, he doesn’t have a famous surname, and no, there is no evidence that he has made money from politics.

A former civil servant, he cut his teeth in public life as an activist campaigning for greater transparency in government. But it was his role as the driving force behind a grassroots anticorruption movement in 2011 that catapulted him onto the national stage. Late last year, he became chief minister of Delhi following a remarkable political debut by his Aam Aadmi, or common man, party.

Though his administration lasted a mere 49 days, with Kejriwal proving less adept at turning the wheels of government than campaigning against it, his image as the quintessential outsider taking on powerful interests — a David versus many mighty Goliaths — has earned him a unique place in Indian politics.

Sardesai is the editor in chief of the IBN18 Network

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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