HYDERABAD: Veteran Congress leader and former Governor Margaret Alva visited Hyderabad on Tuesday for the first edition of Prabha Khaitan Foundation’s “Kalam”, where she had a reading of her autobiography ‘Courage & Commitment’, followed by an interactive session with the audience.
The event witnessed Alva in an engaging conversation about her legacy in politics spanning over five deacdes, and confronting the controversies that have rocked her career with author and columnist Sriram Karri at Hotel Taj Krishna.
‘Courage & Commitment’ her ‘unflinchingly honest autobiography’ details her 40-year career under four Prime Ministers, namely, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, P.V. Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh, and her eventual transition from politician to governor. Over the years, she has been witness to several events that have played an important part in her political narrative.
When asked about Congress’ present situation, she says that the Party has to change in tune with the aspirations of young people of the country and stop being a “single centre party.”
She complimented Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a terrific orator, able to sell his ideas like nobody else. “He connects with large sections of people and that is why he has won and is safely ensconced in New Delhi. But I don’t subscribe to all his ideas; I hate the beef ban, the sedition cases, the emergency-like situation.”
She took three years to finish her book, and though it is said to be unflinchingly honest there was an initial screening process in which her children helped her a lot, she said in an exclusive with Hyderabad
Being a crusader of women empowerment, she believes that both politics as well as literature have always given women a platform and says that she is thrilled to see the current scenario in literature, though in politics there is scope for more.
“Women at grassroot levels have the power to change things. Policies have been made and moulded for empowerment, but their implementation is yet to be empowered,” she said going on to talk about how religious and caste based constraints are still holding women back.
Margaret Alva’s literary journey has just begun. She says she has plans about writing in the future, in forms of both, columns and books “I still haven’t written about my Raj Bhavan days. I am planning to, but I don’t find time,” she concluded.