interview | Kusuma H. Karnataka

‘Want to be known beyond the identity of being D.K. Ravi’s wife’

For 31-year-old Kusuma H., the transition from the classroom to canvassing in her constituency appears seamless, but she says the two worlds are very different. The Congress candidate from Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly constituency in the byelections says while she earlier had to learn and teach from a prescribed syllabus as a lecturer, she now does not have the luxury of saying that questions asked by her voters are “out of syllabus.” Speaking to The Hindu, she talks about her plans for the constituency and how she is striving to carve her own identity. Excerpts:

Do you think it is possible to carve your own identity because people know you as late IAS officer D.K. Ravi’s wife? Now D.K. Suresh, MP, also appears to be in the limelight while campaigning for you.

I am D.K. Ravi’s wife and I cannot change that. What I, however, want is to be known beyond that identity. D.K. Suresh sir is an experienced politician who has done a lot of good work and I do not think I will be overshadowed by him.

Why is it important for women to get into electoral politics?

I come from a family of privilege. Despite that, when my husband died, I had to face several accusations as a woman. I often think about the hardships that women who are not as well placed have to face. Politics is a space where we can reach out to people and it is important for women to take the plunge.

What will be your priorities for the constituency if elected to power?

My priority is to improve affordable healthcare, in the midst of a pandemic. There is economic slowdown and people have lost jobs or seen steep cuts in salaries, which needs to be addressed. I also want to focus on education and environment, issues close to my heart.

Is this your one off attempt in politics or are you are here to stay?

I am here to stay. Winning or losing the elections will not change my motive of wanting to help people.

How do you perceive your chances of winning against BJP candidate Munirathna Naidu, who has won twice from here?

I do not think of how strong or popular my opponent is. I am only trying to focus on how I can reach out and convince people that I will do a good job if elected.

You are foreign educated and come from a family of privilege.

Will you be able to understand the problems at grassroots?

People do not know how my initial upbringing was. My father hailed from an agricultural background and was once a bus conductor. I definitely understand the difficulties of people and connect.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 10:17:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/want-to-be-known-beyond-the-identity-of-being-dk-ravis-wife/article32922154.ece

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