“House arrest or not, the only thing one can state with any certainty is that the junta will never be able to get rid of her. She will remain a unifying force for those who desire to see a different Myanmar, and the junta fears her more than anything else,” writes Jesper Bengtsson in “Aung San Suu Kyi: A Biography”.
“Through her ability to unite the many political and ethnic groups in Myanmar she is, and will remain, the foremost threat against their prolonged monopoly of power. This is the reason they have kept her under house arrest for a decade and a half.”
Bengtsson says in his book, published by Amaryllis, he tries to portray the true picture of “one of the most interesting political personalities of our time” and provide an insight into her family and background in Asia and Europe, her political values and her time as a politician. He, however, feels it is not a comprehensive biography of Suu Kyi, as such a project would require for a start her own participation.
The Nobel laureate was released from house arrest in November 2010. She was earlier set free for almost two years in 2002-03.
“The military gave me seven years of rest, so now I am full of energy to continue my work,” she said after her release.
She is hopeful but very cautious to predict anything for the future.
“My hope for the short term future is that we can continue to rebuild our organisation and change more than we have done so far. But the only thing I can predict is that we will continue to work very hard. What I hope for is that the rest of the world continues to give us strong support,” she told Bengtsson.
The book tells about Suu Kyi's early life, her student life in India, her father Aung Sang and his role in the nationalist movement. Suu Kyi was born to Aung Sang and Khin Kyi on June 19, 1945. Her name literally means ‘Strange Collection of Brilliant Victories'.
There is also a mention of Malavika Karlekar, who attended the same class as Suu Kyi during her years in India. According to Karlekar, Suu Kyi was very self-disciplined right from the beginning.
“This was even visible in her posture while sitting down, not to mention how she carried herself and spoke. She was also academically brilliant.”
Malavika described the class as being full of just gawky teenagers at first. However, according to Malavika, during her time in India, Suu Kyi developed from being a shy girl into a self-confident person, from having been an almost self-effacing schoolchild into a person with strong and unshakeable convictions.