After receiving several threatening phone calls for days, writer, activist and social scientist Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd addressed media persons on Tuesday, on the controversy over his book.
Kancha, a Dalit rights thinker, sought police protection on Monday saying that he was facing threat to his life even as Arya Vysya organisations staged protests in parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh seeking a ban on his book, “Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu (Vysyas are social smugglers)”.
Speaking to reporters, Kancha said, “No matter how much I am threatened or intimidated, my brain will not be scared by bullets and violence. I will continue to write on Ambedkarite and Dalit issues as long as I live.”
He went on to say, “At every temple, Vysyas have a special dharma satram. If they consider everyone equal, they should allocate at least two rooms for Dalits at every guesthouse they constructed at the temples. They should do that if they have respect for human equality, whether it is at Kothagudem or Yadadri.”
Stating that Tribals and Dalits were suffering from a severe crunch of medical facilities of late, he asked the Vysya community to construct a hospital.
“I will personally take the responsibility of sending doctors there,” he said.
Kancha was addressing reporters along with balladeer Gadar and former Chief Secretary Kaki Madhava Rao.
Kancha is presently the Director, Center for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, protestors continued to burn his effigies and lodged police complaints against him. They demanded an immediate ban on the book saying that the content of the book offended their community.
Stating that it was a research book on various communities, Ilaiah denied that he used any derogatory word.
“Social Smuggling is a phrase. It is the economic process of exploitation, which means earning in business but not investing back into society,” he told reporters.