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Who’s Afraid Of Kumari Mayawati?

Mukul Kesavan in the Telegraph:

If someone were to say that Mayawati would be a dreadful prime minister because she’s tyrannical in a paranoid, thin-skinned, temperamental way, I would assume (I think reasonably) that the comment was gendered. Think of contemporaries of Mayawati like Mamata Banerjee or Jayalalithaa or Uma Bharti — every woman in Indian politics who chooses to lead a political party without being beholden to a male patron is typecast as difficult, irrational and unpredictable.

This is not to say that they aren’t all of these bad things: it is simply to point out that a) their male counterparts don’t excite the same sort of criticism and comment, and b) to remind ourselves of how difficult it is to be a female political leader in a systematically male world

Read the full article: Virago in Diamonds

In the Indian Express, Kanchan Chandra on what a Mayawati prime-ministership would be like:

Those who have limited access to education are also those who are least likely to be competitive in this economy. The population with restricted access to education consists disproportionately of caste and religious minorities — exactly the constituency that the BSP aims to speak for.

Surely, a prime minister who is a champion of minority groups should be a prime minister who champions education. There is little in the BSP’s history, and in the history of Mayawati’s own initiatives, to suggest that she will be that prime minister.

Read the full article: If Maywati is PM

Mukul Kesavan in the Telegraph:

If someone were to say that Mayawati would be a dreadful prime minister because she’s tyrannical in a paranoid, thin-skinned, temperamental way, I would assume (I think reasonably) that the comment was gendered. Think of contemporaries of Mayawati like Mamata Banerjee or Jayalalithaa or Uma Bharti — every woman in Indian politics who chooses to lead a political party without being beholden to a male patron is typecast as difficult, irrational and unpredictable.

This is not to say that they aren’t all of these bad things: it is simply to point out that a) their male counterparts don’t excite the same sort of criticism and comment, and b) to remind ourselves of how difficult it is to be a female political leader in a systematically male world

Read the full article: Virago in Diamonds

In the Indian Express, Kanchan Chandra on what a Mayawati prime-ministership would be like:

Those who have limited access to education are also those who are least likely to be competitive in this economy. The population with restricted access to education consists disproportionately of caste and religious minorities — exactly the constituency that the BSP aims to speak for.

Surely, a prime minister who is a champion of minority groups should be a prime minister who champions education. There is little in the BSP’s history, and in the history of Mayawati’s own initiatives, to suggest that she will be that prime minister.

Read the full article: If Maywati is PM

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