Controversy rages over Kancha Ilaiah’s book

Kancha Ilaiah.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. GIRI

A 20-page book of political thinker and writer Kancha Ilaiah that dubbed ‘Vysyas’, traditionally a trading community, as social smugglers, has inflamed the community members so much that one of its prominent leaders and Rajya Sabha member of the Telugu Desam Party T.G. Venkatesh issued a ‘fatwa’ seeking Mr. Ilaiah’s hanging publicly.

Mr. Venkatesh’s diktat met with an equally stern warning by Telangana Mass and Social Organisation’s Forum (T-MASS) which is spearheading the ideological campaign by Mr. Ilaiah. The T-MASS State convenor John Wesley said the agitating Vysyas will face serious consequences if they did not relent. In the eye of a raging controversy, Mr. Ilaiah has imposed on himself a “house-arrest” till October 4. On Saturday, he faced an agitated mob that allegedly hurled slippers and stones at his car near Parkal in Warangal.

The strains between the two sides cropped up after Mr. Ilaiah culled out a chapter from his 2009 book, Post-Hindu India, and came up with the latest version targeted mainly at Vysyas. Agiri Venkatesh, media committee chairman of Telangana State Arya Vysya Mahasabha, says the community did not take Mr. Ilaiah seriously so far because there was no reference to it in the earlier book. The latter only drew inference to Vysyas not contributing to three ‘Ps’ - production, productivity and protection (meaning national security).

Mr. Ilaiah rewrote a chapter in Post-Hindu India intimidating Brahmins and Reddys and also made remarks against Vysyas, said Vasavi Hospital chairman Ganji Rajamouli Gupta. The community has protested and filed cases, both in police stations and courts in TS and AP, seeking ban of the latest book while Mr. Ilaiah led by T-MASS sought security for him in view of livid threats of death hurled at him. Mr. Ilaiah offered to withdraw his book if Vysya community agreed to provide at least 5 per cent jobs to weaker sections and contribute a part of its profits for farmers’ welfare.

The TDP MP Venkatesh told The Hindu that he did not mean ‘fatwa’ as he was carried away emotionally. However, he warned that things will go out of control if the book was not banned.

Mr. John Wesley countered the demand for book ban saying freedom of speech was a constitutional guarantee. He said the book only analysed the exploitation of oppressed castes in the 3,500-year history of the caste system.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 12:02:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/controversy-rages-over-ilaiahs-book/article19755656.ece

Next Story