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'Nobody can claim that they know Mayawati's mind'

May 07, 2008
What kind of a psychoprofile do you draw of her?

I do not claim to know the inner recess of her psyche. I had no access to it. I really don't know it and I think her closest associate may not know it. She is an extremely close and private person. People who know her closely say that with Behenji, don't hang around. Nobody can claim that he or she knows Mayawati's mind.

I can say Maywati thinks in a straight line, the shortest distance between two points is her focus, always. She is not worried about anything else. That explains why she is so private. She will never bare her soul. She stays away from the media, saying only what is necessary.

The media is at a disadvantage but for her it is an advantage. Now, she has forced her party people to follow the same thing. Previously, Rashid Alvi or Akbar Ahmed 'Dumpy' would talk but now, everybody, even Dumpy is quiet.

As a person she is driven by relentless ambition. She is not looking for success, she is looking for grand success. That makes her work 24 hours.

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As a Dalit girl child, she faced a lot of discrimination. She grew up in a squalid and crowded background, fighting with eight siblings. She had to fight for the attention of her father. She had a huge problem with her father because in the beginning he definitely favoured his sons. She had to constantly fight. Her father did help her by motivating her to become an IAS officer.

She took the huge step of defying her father and going with Kanshi Ram. It was a risky path. At that time Kanshi Ram was considered a crazy, loony leader. His dreaming of power in the late 1970s was a joke. Her father was worried because here was sure shot success -- you give an exam, you have a reserved quota for Dalits and you become an IAS officer.

She took the gamble. People were upset when they saw a young girl tagging along with Kanshi Ram. They used to say Kanshi Ram is fond of this young woman and it is just a matter of time before he gets over it. She was just a diversion they thought. They all under-estimated Mayawati and never took her seriously. She had to really fight to establish herself.

Image: Top: Mayawati, extreme right, with her parents Prabhu Das Dayal and Ramrati Devi and five of her seven siblings in the 1960s. Below: On her 40th birthday, Mayawati with her mentor Kanshi Ram. Photographs courtesy: Behenji: A Political Biography of Mayawati

Also read: Sonia vs Mayawati: A tale of two rallies
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