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The Untouchable
February 6, 2012 5:04 PM   Subscribe

Meet Mayawati, India's multi-millionaire lower-caste power broker and politician (and don't miss the slide show).

Bonus Links: Wikileaks cable alleging that "When she needed new sandals, her private jet flew empty to Mumbai to retrieve her preferred brand". In reaction, she suggested that Assange needs to be sent to a mental asylum.
posted by vidur (7 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
In American terms, Mayawati's position is roughly akin to a granddaughter of slaves being elected governor of New York just a half-century after the abolition of slavery.

Well, when you put it that way....

The Untouchable: Can't touch this!
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 6:07 PM on February 6, 2012


From the first paragraph of the linked article:

If it were an independent country, UP, as it is commonly known, would be the world's fifth-most populous, roughly the size of Brazil.

From the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article on Uttar Pradesh:

Were it a nation in its own right, Uttar Pradesh would be the world's fifth most populous country ahead of Brazil...
posted by euphorb at 6:29 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's a fairly common comparison. When I was growing up, India's population growth was always talked about as "adding an Australia every year".
posted by vidur at 6:42 PM on February 6, 2012


A little too cult-y for my tastes (erecting statutes to yourself?)
posted by leotrotsky at 7:52 PM on February 6, 2012


The garlands of money are very tasteful, though.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 8:10 PM on February 6, 2012


It does raise the question of how much cultural difference and antagonism a functioning democracy can take elegantly: After all, here is a woman who has been elected by Dalits to do exactly what she is doing; I don't think that anyone would dispute that the liberal ideas of accountability, transparency, and incorruptibility really only apply to people who self-identify as "middle class." Hence in America there is the incessant chorus on both sides of the aisle that the people in the other party are betraying the middle class by failing to live up to these three ideals. But if you're a politician whose loyalties do not lie with the middle class, what incentive is there to uphold its ideals? (Nevermind whether or not being a corrupt megalomaniac is actually bad for the system which is the source of your power).
posted by anewnadir at 9:34 PM on February 6, 2012


euphorb: see also California, which depending on measure, is frequently cited as the sixth- through ninth-largest economy in the world. It's an actual factoid, not plagiarism.
posted by dhartung at 12:07 AM on February 7, 2012


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