Never without his trademark green and orange turban, the new Law Minister of India subscribes to the ideology of letting one’s work speak for itself. An ideal member for the Modi cabinet, he keeps his distance from the shutterbugs, yet genial to all who meet him.
Arjun Ram Meghwal was born into a weaver’s family in the tiny desert village of Kishmidesar in Bikaner district. After receiving his early education at a government school he went on to graduate with a Masters in political science followed by a law degree. His foray into advanced education continued with an MBA degree from the University of Philippines. Mr Meghwal then served as a government officer; he took voluntary retirement while serving as a district magistrate.
However, public service beckoned and Mr Meghwal threw his hat in the ring winning in Bikaner to be elected to the 15th Lok Sabha in 2009. Since then, there was no looking back. Mr Meghwal currently is a third-time parliamentarian having served in various capacities in the last fourteen years.
In 2014, he was Chief Whip of the BJP in the Lok Sabha and swiftly, two years later, was appointed as the Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs. He followed this by later serving as the Minister of State for Water Resources and Minister of State for Heavy Industries. In fact, up until this morning, Mr Meghwal was serving as Minister of State for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs.
A recipient of both, the Sansad Ratna and the Sansad Maharatana Award, one can spot the assiduous minister riding his bicycle to Parliament on a cold winter morning – a place where he has made his mark through sheer hard work. Known to be a silent worker, Mr Meghwal has been instrumental in managing the floor for the government in both the Houses of Parliament, gathering supporters for every bill Government wanted passed and ensuring the numbers required for it to be turned into a law.
For the ministry of law and justice, these are turbulent times. However, the former bureaucrat in whom the Prime Minister has reposed his faith will, the BJP hopes, calm things down by extending an olive branch to the judiciary, yet be able to stand steadfast with the government’s agenda.