Mayawati is an Indian politician, largely known as Kumari Mayawati. Being an icon of millions of Dalits in the country, she is respectably and adoringly referred to as ‘Behen-ji’ (sister). She is the national president of BahujanSamaj Party (BSP), a political organization that seeks to empower the weakest communities in the country, which includes the BahujanSamaj, comprising Dalits (Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), and religious minorities such as Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis, etc. Mayawati has come a long way in her political journey, from humble beginnings to being the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (UP) for 4 terms. Owing to her dramatic rise in the country’s political setup, her life story was referred to as a “miracle of democracy” by P. V. NarasimhaRao, former Prime Minister of India.She remains fully committed and devoted to the cherished goal of “Social Transformation &Economic Emancipation” especially for the people belonging to ‘BahujanSamaj’.
Early Life and Education
Mayawati was born on January 15, 1956 at ShrimatiSuchetaKriplani Hospital, New Delhi. She was born in a Hindu Dalit family that included her father Prabhu Das and mother Ram Rathi. She graduated in Arts stream from Kalindi College and later completed her LLB from the Campus Law Center, which is part of University of Delhi.
Early Political Career
Mayawati’s political career started taking shape when prominent Dalit leader, Kanshi Ram, visited her family in 1977. At that time, Mayawati was employed as a teacher in Inderpuri JJ Colony, Delhi, and simultaneously preparing for the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) exams. Kanshi Ram saw a great leader in Mayawati, and he included her as a member of his team when he launchedBahujanSamaj Party in 1984. In later years, Mayawati emerged as the most able and successful Dalit leader, which prompted Kanshi Ram to declare her as the rightful successor to the party leadership.
- 1989 – Elected Member of Parliament (MP), LokSabha (Bijnor)
- 1994 – Elected Member of Parliament (MP), RajyaSabha
- 1995 – Appointed Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (First Term) – the youngest Chief Minister in the history of the State up until that point, and the first female Dalit Chief Minister in India
- 1997 – Appointed Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (Second Term)
- 2002 – Appointed Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (Third Term)
- 2007 – Appointed Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (Fourth Term) – Absolute majority for BSP
- 2012 – Elected Member of Parliament (MP), RajyaSabha
Awards & Recognition
- 2007 – Time Magazine: Mayawatifeatured in India’s 15 Most Influential list for 2007
- 2007 – Newsweek: Mayawati featured in top woman achievers list
- 2008 – Forbes: Mayawatiranked at 59thplace on Forbes list of the 100 most powerful women in the world
Mayawati has made a decision to remain unmarried so that she can focus entirely on empowering the weaker sections of the society. She is an avid reader and writer. She has authored the following books:
- BahujanSamajAurUskiRajniti (in Hindi and English), 2001
- Mere SangharshmaiJeevanEvam BSP Movement kaSafarnama (in Hindi), Part I -VII, 2006 – 2012
A Travelogue of My Struggle-Ridden Life and BSP Movement (in English), Vol. I-VII, 2008-2012