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Social activist Aparna, the younger bahu who admires Mulayam and praises Modi

Author: Mohd Faisal Fareed
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: November 30, 2015
URL:    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/social-activist-aparna-the-younger-bahu-who-admires-mulayam-and-praises-modi/

Aparna is a postgraduate in International Relations and Politics from Manchester University and a trained singer in classical and semi-classical music from Bhatkhande Music Institute, Lucknow.

Aparna Yadav denies any plans to join politics but her social activism has often caused ripples in politics, at times leaving her father-in-law’s Samajwadi Party uncomfortable.

Aparna, 26, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger daughter-in-law, has praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, shared a selfie with Modi on social media, and posted against cow slaughter. More recently, she has opposed Aamir Khan for his comments on intolerance at a time when Mulayam has expressed his support to the actor.

She has caused unease to the Samajwadi Party beyond social media too. In September, Aparna went to Gorakhnath temple to meet Yogi Adityanath after the death of Mahant Awaidhtnath. “We had planned a welcome for her but once we got to know of her programme, we decided against it,” said an SP office-bearer in Gorakhpur.

If those look like signs of conflict within the family, Aparna, wife of Mulayam’s son Prateek, wishes her brother-in-law Akhilesh another term as Uttar Pradesh chief minister and declares that Mulayam is the politician she admires the most.

“The ideas and criticism on social media sites are my personal views,” Aparna, the only woman member of the family active on social media and public functions, told The Indian Express. “I always write what is on my mind… Passion is something related to the heart, not the mind, and I follow my heart.”

Mother of one child, Aparna works with a social organisation, Harsh Foundation, as the brand ambassador for its women empowerment campaign B Aware. She has addressed girl students in nearly a dozen districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Aparna is a postgraduate in International Relations and Politics from Manchester University and a trained singer in classical and semi-classical music from Bhatkhande Music Institute, Lucknow. She recorded promotional songs for the SP during the Lok Sabha polls and is a regular performer at Saifai Mahotsav and Lucknow Mahotsav. Both she and Prateek, however, skipped Mulayam’s birthday party in Rampur in 2014; they were in Dubai.

Aparna’s first appearance at a party function was in October last year when she sat alongside Prateek during the SP national convention in Lucknow. Prateek’s uncle Shivpal Yadav refused to talk about Aparna’s activism or political future, if any. A number of party leaders, however, said that they believe it is a only a matter of time before Aparna plunges into politics.

“Social service requires more of Aparna Yadav than politics,” Aparna herself said. “I believe social services don’t need any political platform to grow. Love and acceptance for my work is constantly growing in the society, and I have a feeling that one day people will elect me, their leader, out of love.”

Prateek is confident she will succeed. “I know that she has nerves of steel. If she has taken up an issue and started working on it, she will be on top of it,” he said.

Aparna praised her brother-in-law, saying, “The meaning of Akhilesh is indestructible, so his ideology and principles are indestructible and immortal. He rules UP with an iron hand in a velvet glove. And the secret behind his success is the love and support of his wife, Dimple bhabhi.”

 

 
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