Saturday, September 18, 2021

Kasu Raghavamma, a kind hearted lady

Kasu Brahmananda Reddy and Raghavamma

Kasu Raghavamma who died on Sunday morning in Hyderabad was former chief minister Kasu Brahmananda Reddy’s wife. She breathed her last at her own house in Somajiguda. She was 97. She hails from Mirumamilla village in Nadendla Mandal of Guntur district. She was instrumental in establishing a college at Narasaraopeta in Guntur district for boy and girls.

Brahmananda Reddy was chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh from 1964 to 1971. Reddy was asked to step down from the CM’s seat to placate Dr. M. Channa Reddy who led Telangana movement in 1969-70. Kasu Brahmananda Reddy was later made union home minister (1974-77). It was during his tenure as home minister, Indira Gandhi declared Emergency in 1975 without his knowledge. His deputy Om Mehta was closer to Gandhi family than Reddy. He rebelled against Indira and expelled her from the Congress. She walked away with majority of leaders and cadres. Reddy headed the residual group   called Reddy Congress which later merged with Congress (Indira). Kasu lost 1984 election due to NTR wave. He was appointed as Governor of Maharashtra during Rajiv Gandhi tenure in 1988. He was in Bombay for two years.  He left this world in 1994. Reddy was older than his wife by 15 years.

After he demitted office of Governor, he settled down at Somajiguda residence. He was kind enough to grant a series of interviews to me. I had planned to write his biography. The subject was mooted to him by Peddireddy Changal Reddy, my friend who is a farmers’ leader and son of former minister Peddireddy Timma Reddy. He had access to Kasu’s family. They are related. He made Brahmananda Reddy accept my request.  Before I started interviewing Kasu Brahmanada Reddy, his wife Raghavamma presented me with new khadi clothes and touched my feet as a mark of respect to a Brahmin. She believed in old traditions. I was objecting to it, but she would not listen. She was very kind and spoke about their younger days and her husband’s busy political life. I had just come to Hyderabad from after working for ten years in Vijayawada to take over as editor of Udayam. After five sittings, I had to go back to Vijayawada and from there to Delhi only to return after the great man passed away. My task of writing about his eventful life remained unfulfilled.

But I have fond memories of the way Brahmananda Reddy and Raghavamma treated me with love and respect although I was much younger than them. They were very open and frank. She spoke about the writings on the walls in Telangana during the movement showing her in poor light. She was large hearted enough to forget and forgive things done out of emotions during agitation. She had no anger against the people of Telangana. She lived her remaining life in Hyderabad. They had no children.    

K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor

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