By T S Sudhir
Is it an act of sedition to say Hyderabad and Kashmir were forcefully annexed to the Indian Union post independence in 1947? Is it an act of sedition to suggest that India must accept the reality (meaning to say – recognise the reality of the LoC) and move on?
My mind, with limited knowledge of law, says not really. Both points were uttered by K Kavitha, TRS MP from Nizamabad and daughter of Telangana chief minister, K Chandrasekhar Rao at a media conclave in July. For which now, on the orders of a lower court in Hyderabad, the city police has booked Kavitha under three different sections of the IPC, one of which is for sedition.
Yes, there is an error when relating history on Kavitha’s part and equating Hyderabad with Kashmir is certainly wrong. The Maharaja of Kashmir did want to remain independent like the Nizam of Hyderabad. But when the Pakistan raiders overran his kingdom, he turned to India for help and agreed to make his kingdom a part of India.
That was not quite the case with Hyderabad where the Nizam had to be shown the might of India to fall in line. Police action in September 1948 ensured the kingdom of Hyderabad – which is largely present-day Telangana – became part of India. But again here, it was only the Nizam who became a reluctant Indian citizen. Because his subjects fed up of the atrocities committed by the Razakars, wanted Hyderabad to merge with the Indian Union. So to say “forcefully annexed” is not entirely rooted in history. The 7th Nizam, Mir Osman Alik Khan was merely the ruler of Hyderabad, he wasn’t Hyderabad.
The second comment is more of a suggestion, a solution to somehow take things forward. But to make it seem as if PoK is akin to a land having been grabbed and you give up the fight against the land grabber, is not quite the thing to say, more so when you are an MP. This is about patriotism, even if it is a tad impractical. Yes, it is highly unlikely that India would be able to get PoK vacated by Pakistan but you do not agree, like a meek country, to shrink in size. Certainly not a big brother like India.
The intent behind Kavitha’s remarks, to my mind, is not wrong. But they certainly go against the idea of India. An India who is strong. An India where the people mattered more than what an autocratic ruler did. For Kavitha to reduce the issue to a petitioner trying to have his day of glory, is not really what one would expect from someone like her.