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K Kavitha, Anupriya Patel & Pratap Simha, first-time MPs of TRS, Apna Dal & BJP Pic: Indian Express
K Kavitha, Anupriya Patel & Pratap Simha, first-time MPs of TRS, Apna Dal & BJP Pic: Indian Express

What TRS MP Kavitha Actually Said On Kashmir, Telangana & Uniform Civil Code

There is a controversy about the comments made by MP Kavitha Kalvakuntla, regarding Telangana not being part of Indian union. Here are the original questions and answers that we are sharing for our readers to understand the context of the comments. While the right-wing is busy projecting what she said about Telangana not being part of Indian union prior to 1947-48 to paint her views as muslim appeasement, they conveniently skipped the part where she supported the uniform civil code!

The comments were quoted in a transcribed article in a Indian Express article about 1st time MPs and the challenges they face. It’s a free-wheeling chat between 3 1st time MPs – Kavitha, Anupriya Patel and Pratap Sinha. The latter two belong to Apna Dal and BJP. The three were answering for common questions from few people in what is called an ‘Idea Exchange’. The article was published in another Express concern Financial Express later and was picked up by Indian and foreign media before now being used for propaganda. The MP spoke candidly on several counts from India’s inertia over Kashmir’s occupied parts, Telangana’s protections in gentleman’s agreement, uniform civil code and she hiring tuition classes to understand Lok Sabha procedures.

Coming to the controversial comments, here are the questions and answers, italicized -

Manoj CG: Kavitha, you said you feel strongly about Jammu and Kashmir. As young MPs, how do you feel about issues like Article 370 and the uniform civil code which are on the BJP’s agenda?

K Kavitha: Jammu and Kashmir and Telangana were both formed forcefully and at the same time annexed to the Indian union. When I say I feel strongly, it’s because we were both separate countries, but were merged with the Indian union after independence. In 1947, we were not a part of India. After 1947, we became a part of India. Then the troubles really started. None of our people were very rich before. So it’s from the people’s perspective that I’ve started reading about Jammu and Kashmir. We need to solve issues, particularly the Kashmiri Pandits’ issue which is put up in the agenda of the BJP. They say we can all take them back home, but it is just a political statement. You have to create a safe environment before you take them there. We need to come out clean on Jammu and Kashmir. Few parts were not ours, we should agree, we should redraw the international lines, and move on. Development is suffering and you see frequent bombings. Our economy takes a toll. Even in the Budget, almost R2.50 lakh crore has been allotted to defence. If we have a peaceful environment in our bordering states, we don’t have to spend so much on defence. We can spend that money on education, women’s development or sanitation. Today, if I talk about no bathrooms in girls’ schools, I should be ashamed of myself being a citizen of this country.

ANUPRIYA PATEL: To me, this idea is very strange that we are a nation and we have a separate system in a state that falls within the boundary of the Indian union. However, I totally agree where Article 370 is concerned. I heard the honourable PM say that, ‘Why can’t we talk about it? Why can’t we discuss it?’. I feel that there should be debate over Article 370, its existence and its relevance.

PRATAP SIMHA: As far as the uniform civil code is concerned, the BJP has a stated stand on this, I don’t want to talk more on this issue, and Modiji has called for a debate on Article 370. Has Article 370 achieved what it intended to? If a Kashmiri woman marries someone not from J&K, her children will not have the right to her property. We need to raise our voice against this kind of discrimination. There are no industries in Jammu and Kashmir because they will not allow the industries to flourish there. And in 2009, during the Amarnath Yatra, the pilgrims were not allowed to have a permanent structure there.

K KAVITHA: On the issue of not owning land or property, Kashmir and Telangana have similar laws. We also had a condition, a council, which said that no outsider could hold land in Telangana. But when NT Rama Rao came to power and scrapped the council, he violated the Constitution, nobody was there to hear our voice, it’s all gone. But Kashmir still has that law and council, so natives have that protection. But when you want to completely remove it, we have to seriously think of the capacity of the natives regarding the issue. The same thing we had in Telangana, but once it was removed, we suffered very, very seriously. So when we are talking about the property rights of Kashmiris, the opinion of the natives should be sought.

MANOJ CG: What about uniform civil code?

K Kavitha: A lot of Muslim organisations are opposing it, but I am for uniform civil code. We cannot control anybody’s religion, but when it comes to law and order, to control the internal security issues, a citizen is a citizen and should be dealt with that way. So certain clauses need to be included in the uniform civil code, some could be debated about. Only the marriage clause could be excluded and dealt with separately.

Raghvendra Rao: You mentioned about the hurdles you face as first-time MPs in Parliament. Can you cite instances?

K Kavitha: I hired somebody who knows the procedures, and I sat for tuition for two full days to understand the procedures. I have a background in computer sciences, I don’t know the Budget also, numbers give me tension, so I took tuitions for two-three days to understand the Budget. One good thing about this Parliament is that I have seen many people sitting there from morning till evening. The session was on till 8.30 pm and people were still sitting there. As first timers, we are trying to learn. Sitting in the House from morning till evening, I think we are trying to learn.

15 comments

  1. Its clear what she spoke is offensive. I dont understand any misinterpretation here. She says like Telangana never wanted to be part of India. In that case. How can she tell to leave away the occupied Kashmir. Well if they keep encroaching the whole state, does she prefer giving up entire state? Spending money against terrorism sounded waste to her? How funny? May be she is out of mind

  2. She saying we don’t need to spent tht much ammount instead we can use tht money for women empowerment ..a big lol.. someone tell her ..sweety just once take a look on our neighbours on china’s defence buget..or USA or japan .. sweety this world is too dangerious ..once came out from ur daddy’s cover then u will see .. and also without ur daddy’s cover u can even win a panchayat election. So think and do homework before give such type of statements.

    • Does you know any thing about telangana until before the fighting for separate state like it has been included in 1951 till they were in a mess etc i am sure that you don’t know any thing about it right the same way you dont understand what she was trying say she was saying if we get over the bifurcation issues at borders then our focus can be fully on development she does’t mean the money spent was waste instead she is saying it can be utilized if we bring new policies

  3. It shows the M.P Kavita’ had immature knowledge on politics …First of all she must know the nature of Pakistan….They will never satisfies with Kashmir after giving Kashmir they will come for Delhi by saying Akbar name ….after they show east Pakistan(Bangladesh).

  4. Well, Ms Rao should take some history lessons also, for British set all indian princely states free when they left. it was upto Sardar Patels to discuss and amalgamate the states to accept the Indian constitution & nationhood.

    So claiming that Kashir & Telangana were annexed is a lie – in fact Goa was the only state which had to be annexed from Portuguese after a war. Both in Kashmir & Telangana, the heads of the state acquised willingly to be part of India – there’s no going back on it, and if she accepts the constraints, it’ll be better, else Telangana people can look forward to decades of being pushed even deeper into backwardness, by the actions of their leaders. Hope sense will prevail.

    • I agree with you on one point it joined by willingness but during that there were some Agreement which is called gentlemen agreement does you know about this and how far it is implemented and where were you when the employees of telangana were forced to resign job during JAI Andhra Movement first you and study about JAI Andhra Movement and what they were done to telanganites how many people were manhandled. does a single manhandling occurred during telangana agitation

  5. M.P Kavita’ had immature knowledge on politics..she don’t know history of india…

  6. This doesn’t surprise most because most MPs do not have basics on many topics. It just so happened that Ms. Kavitha spoke out on a TV and someone picked it up. Since Telangana is a hot topic, this entire incident was quoted all over.
    What is surprising is – doesn’t Ms. Kavitha acknowledge the enormous benefits that Hyderabad gained (using common AP budget)? If so, where did the “locals” suffer? Land was always “bought” from a landlord, not ‘cheated’.
    At the end, this is another set of politicians who came to power to build their own empire. Nothing to do with – “working for the people”!!

    • If you say the land was not cheated what about gurukul lands and the lands of neighborhood hyderabad, does any one knows how many small families suffered being taken the land for industries (software or Hardware).

      • And how many buildings they constructed from the AP Budget though its not about buildings, the lands were given to sez was 1500 where as the construction took place merely in 500 acres what happen to 1000 acres. people never know until it arrest the involved MPS. we came to know Y S Jagan only after arrest how much money laundering the same KCR will bring out all the land which has been taken

  7. Kavitha does not exhibit either a sense of identity or knowledge of history. “….we were both separate countries”. So, what she means is that Telanganites would have been quite happy being part of Pakistan had not Sardar Patel intervened and Nizam’s secret petition to the UN succeeded!! Even the interviewer does not seem to know much history, he should have immediately asked why did then Telanganites struggle with the Nizam at all then? Why did the Telanganites raise an armed struggle against the Nizam? Telugu was banned, would this lady been even the “Kavitha” that she is today had Hyderabad state merged with Pakistan?

    • The young MP has more knowledge than most people commenting here. Both Kashmir and Hyderabad states didn’t wanted to join the Indian state. It means the rulers of these states did not want to join the Indian state. It does not mean the people of these states did not wanted to be part of Indian Union.
      Not many here know that people of Hyderabad state fought the Nizams (razakars) for independence. Even the king of Kashmir was undecided on joining the Indian state until Pakistan attacked Kashmir. She merely stated these historic facts. No where in the interview do you see the MP talking about the 2 states not being part of the Indian Union.

      Most of the people commenting against the young MP are just people from Andhra who are against the Telangana state formation.

  8. M.P Kavita’ had immature knowledge on politics..she don’t know history of india

    • Most likely, you don’t have knowledge and need history classes on Telangana/Hyderbad ..do you know what was Operation Polo? when was it took place?

  9. Perhaps that’s the reason when Prof.Jayashankar formed Telangana Jana Vedika, in late 1990s for its first meeting Yasin Malik, Chairman, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front ( who is the strong supporter of ‘Independent Kashmir’) was invited as Chief Guest. As per the writings of Salman Khurshid (Jammu & Kashmir-Beyond Terrorism) the former foreign minister of UPA govt., Yasin Malik has killed Kashmiri Pandits to whom govt. of India has showered grace and protected his life, as he is a heart patient. It is not surprising the line taken by Honourable M.P. Kavita, the Telangana Leader as Prof. Jayashankar was the Philosopher and Guide to TRS. Whether these leaders want to take India the USSR way ? Time only may tell.

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