Mayawati-Maya means Illusion.As elections in UP advance, it seriously calls for a biography of Mayawati-lady of the moment.Cropped hair, smart attire and here-for-some-serious-business look completed by a handbag; this can be any woman in today’s India but in UP this lady is their CM, Sushri Behan Kumari Mayawati. She is all set to complete her first full term as CM of UP and by any measure it indeed is a big achievement.
Behenji for the masses had a very modest beginning as daughter of Prabhu Dayal, a section head in postal department.She went onto do BA, B.Ed and LLB and started teaching at a School in JJ Colony, Inderpuri in Delhi.
How politics happened and how she met her mentor Kanshiram is an interesting story. While preparing for IAS to become district collector one late night, she found none other than a highly respected dalit leader Kanshiram, knocking at her door. Kanshiram had heard about Mayawati’s passion to work for dalit cause and so he shared with her his theory of a ‘Bahujan Samaj’. This meeting changed the course of her life within moments. She realized it was through politics and not IAS that her vision for dalit upliftment would turn into a reality.Such conviction makes her biography a source of inspiration for many. She left home and followed her political ambitions with a strong conviction initially by working under Kanshiram and later helming Bahujan Samaj Party herself. She has seen her party grow from an idea to a party winning 21 seats in 2009 Lok Sabha Elections.More details on this can be found in not exactly a biography but a book charting her political career, ‘Behenji’ by Ajoy Bose.
She indeed has a sharp mind and a great political sense.As suggests a reading of her autobiography, ‘Mere Sangharshmay Jeevan Aur Bahujan Movement Ka Safarnama’. In order to win elections in UP and to see Bahujan Samaj Party grow into a national party of significance she realized how important it was to attract votes from upper castes, muslims and other backward classes. She not only gave brahmin and muslim candidates tickets during elections but also promised reservations for poor section of upper castes. Thus BSP quit chanting, “Teer taraju aur talwar inko maaro jute chaar” and took to, “Hathi nahi ganesh hai brahma vishnu mahesh hai” & “Brahmin shankh bajaega hathi dilli jaega”. She has also vowed to embrace Buddhism, the day she gets majority at the center.
Controversies as well have surrounded her as she has faced serious allegations of amassing wealth disproportionate to her income in the past and recently faced flak for her statue building drive of dalit icons most notedly of herself at a whopping cost of Rs.2000 crores.
PS:Maya means Illusion but Mayawati is a lot of substance!