30 July, 2021

A Quiet Sultan

The student days of ‘Tipu’ in Mysore

A Quiet Sultan

In the early 1990s, when UP was on the boil, Akhilesh Yadav was far away in Mysore, taking in its understated majesty and gentle air. He was studying for a degree in environmental engineering at the Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE) between 1990 and 1994, having joined when his father was CM. However, within a year of his coming to Mysore, his father lost power.

Among the usual nice things said in retrospect, teachers and other students of that time spoke of some incidents that shed light on Akhilesh’s vulnerability, loneliness and sensitivity. They say Akhilesh was an average student and had a tough time between his first and fifth semesters, but sailed pretty smoothly between the fifth and eighth. One professor recalls that Akhilesh had a specific problem with geology laboratory work. Word is that a teacher repeatedly and deliberately failed him out of a dislike triggered by Mulayam’s Mandal politics and the divisive milieu created by the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Another apparently made a personal remark...

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