And the speaker is…

… Meira Kumar who’s making the news world-wide, for being the first woman Speaker of the House, and a Dalit, but is no stranger to Indian politics. Indians remember her as Jagjiwan Ram’s daughter, an IFS officer and former Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment.

A profile by Pankaj Vohra in the Hindustan Times:

It was in December, 1985 — in one of the keenest battles for future Dalit leadership in a by-election from Bijnore in Uttar Pradesh — that Meira Kumar of the Congress trounced Ram Vilas Paswan and Mayawati in a triangular fight. The victory was by a narrow margin but it did provide an indication of which way Dalit politics would move from then on.

More here.

And the international community watches on as well:

India’s lower house of parliament elected Meira Kumar, a former diplomat and five-term Congress party lawmaker, as speaker, the first time a woman has been chosen to run a male-dominated chamber known for its rowdy debates and frequent walkouts.

More from that Bloomberg story here.

And if you’re thirsting for more, here is Mint on Meira Kumar.

And now let’s hope we’ll soon be posting updates on the Women’s Reservation Bill!

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