Mamata Banerjee, called as 'Didi' by her followers celebratesher 65th birthday on 5th January 2020. She is a dire brand leader who hascreated a unique cult for herself in the Indian politics. She is the founderleader of the Trinamool Congress Party, who has created history in the WestBengal politics by snatching power from the jaws of Left that had been rulingthe state for the past three decades. She has been the Chief Minister of WestBengal since 2011, becoming the first woman to hold the office. She has alsoserved as the Railway Minister of India, Minister of Coal and Minister of Statefor Human Resource Development.

Early Life and Family

Mamata Banerjee was born in a Bengali Brahmin family on 5January 1955 in Calcutta, West Bengal, India. When she was just 17 years old,her father, Promileswar Banerjee, died due to lack of proper medical treatment.And, she had to suffer huge hardships during her early life.

In academics, Mamata finished her higher secondary educationfrom Deshbandhu Sishu Sikshalaya, Kolkata. She did her graduation from JogamayaDevi College. She was very interested in pursuing law and received a degreewith it from Jogesh Chandra Choudhury College of Law, Calcutta University in1982. Later, she got her Master's degree in Islamic History from the Universityof Calcutta and doctorate from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology,Odisha. Her mother died at the age of 81 in 2011.

Political Career

Mamata started her political career with Congress; she becamethe general secretary of Mahila Congress (I) in 1976. In 1984 Lok Sabhaelection, she became the youngest parliamentarian even defeating veteranleader, Sommath Chatterjee from Jadavpur parliamentary Constituency in thestate. In the 1980s, she also became the general secretary of the Indian YouthCongress. But in 1989, she lost her constituency in the Lok Sabha Election andagain in 1991, she won from the Calcutta South constituency and retained herposition until 2009.

In 1991, she positioned as the Union Minister of State for HumanResources Development, Youth Affairs, and Sports, and Women and ChildDevelopment under the P.V. Narasimha Rao government. That time, she was thefirst female, who headed all these departments. When she was the SportsMinister, she protested against the government's indifference towards herproposal to improve in India. Due to the disagreement, in the year 1997, shedecided to depart the Indian National Congress and established her party, AllIndian Trinamool Congress.

 In 1999, she joined herhands with the National Democratic Alliance and got the position of railwayminister under the Vajpayee government. In 2002, she represented her firstrailway budget in which, she took decision to benefit her state the most.

After the Tehelka expose in 2001, she left the NDA cabinet andjoined the Congress Party for West Bengal's 2001 elections. In January 2004,she returned to the NDA cabinet and held the post of Minister of Coal and Minestill the general election of 20 May 2004.

In October 2005, she protested against the West Bengalgovernment and Tata Company to oppose setting up of Nano car production factoryin Singur and the Nandigram violence where the state government tried to getland for a chemical hub forcefully.

She suffered further setbacks in 2005, when her party lost powerof the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and in 2006, the Trinamool Congress wasbeaten in the West Bengal's Assembly Elections losing quite a lot of itsmembers. Before the 2009 General Election, she joined the United ProgressiveAlliance and won her seat in the election and again received the RailwayMinister position for her second tenure.

In the 2010 Municipal Elections in West Bengal, Mamata's partyTMC won Kolkata Municipal Corporation by a margin of 62 seats. In the 2011 WestBengal Election, her party came in power and Mamata Banerjee became the firstfemale CM of West Bengal and ended the 34 year rule of Communist Party of India

Poetry and Painting

Apart from her political accomplishments, Mamata wroteprolifically in both English and Bengali. She published over two dozen books,including nonfiction, works like Strugglefor Existence (1998), and the Slaughterof Democracy (2006) and a volume of poetry. Moreover, she is an amateurpainter; her 300 paintings were sold for Rs 9 crore. One of her paintings named'Flower Power' was auctioned at agala event in New York City in October 2010. With a base price of $2500, andafter 5 bids, it was sold at $3000.

Mamata has remained single throughout her life. She lives a verysimple life, she always dresses in a traditional white saree with a cotton bagslung on her shoulder and 'Hawai chappal' (sleeper). It is also said, shealways does her laundry.

In spite of Narendra Modi's influence in India, Mamata Banerjeemanaged to retain her position as the CM of the state. She is one of thecountry's toughest women besides her unique style of politics, her strugglesand achievements; starting from her days in college politics to defeating theformidable over-three decades-old Left Front government in West Bengal in 2011made her an amazing lady with extraordinary qualities.  In 2012, Time Magazine placed her in the listof "100 Most Influential People in the World"; in 2012, Bloomberg Marketsmagazine listed her among the 50 most influential people in the world offinance.

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