KTR was addressing the third edition of the Telangana Vikasa Samithi.

Peculiar situation in India where youre either a patriot or anti-national KTR
news Politics Monday, August 12, 2019 - 08:01

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working president K Taraka Rama Rao (KTR) on Saturday said that the country's political discourse is witnessing a peculiar situation where politics, religion, nationalism are intertwined.

KTR was addressing the third edition of the Telangana Vikasa Samithi along with political scientist  Neera Chandhoke, former Information Commissioner Madabhushi Sridhar, Telangana Vikasa Samithi president Deshapathi Srinivas and several intellectuals.

Addressing the gathering, KTR said that there should be enough space in a democracy even though one may not agree with what others speak. He added that the situation in the country has reached a place where there is no room for discussion and dissent.

Referring to Neera Chandhoke’s disclaimer that she didn’t mean to offend anyway, KTR said, “This is Hyderabad, not Delhi. We (TRS) might not agree with each other on all issues, but we certainly have tolerance and wisdom to listen to debate, discuss and dissent as well.”

KTR said that Telangana has always had religious tolerance and co-existence and that during the time of the Nizam’s, they used to make offerings to the Bhadradri Rama temple.

Furthermore, he added that there is a peculiar situation in the country is reflecting intolerance. “When you’re with me you’re a patriot, when you’re not with me you’re an anti-national,” he said.

KTR added that he was astonished to see support in favour of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur when she said called Nathuram Godse a patriot during parliamentary elections. KTR said, “I was angry ..and immediately condemned it. But what was worse was the response it garnered from some netizens who tweeted in her support. I was taken aback by their reaction. Where is this country going when we cannot even respect the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.”

He also said that if the religious hatred grows, future generations would not have the kind of India which people currently know.

However, KTR's apparent discontent with ruling BJP didn't go down well with saffron party leaders in the state. Telangana BJP president Dr K Laxman took exception to KTR's statements and asked if the TRS was seeing the AIMIM party as the secular party. “TRS is hand-in-glove with Majlis (AIMIM) and they're carrying them on their shoulders. They're speaking in a way that will hurt the sentiments of the Hindus.” He added that TRS doesn't have a right to talk about patriotism.

He also warned TRS that it will lose its' footing if they continue to talk the same way in the future. The BJP is trying to position itself as an alternative to the ruling TRS after winning four seats in the recent Lok Sabha elections. 

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