5 October 1952|
Papaiahpet, Warangal, Hyderabad State, India
(now in Telangana, India)
Director, Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP) at Maulana Azad National Urdu University,Hyderabad
|Known for||Writer and speaker on Indian political thought; Dalit activism|
Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Award Nehru Fellow 1994-97Manyawar Kanshiram Smriti Mahanayak Puraskar
Kancha Ilaiah, who now refers to himself symbolically as Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd, (born 5 October 1952) is an Indian political theorist, writer and activist for Dalit rights. He writes in both English and Telugu.
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Kancha Ilaiah was born in the village of Papaiahpet, Warangal district in erstwhile Hyderabad State. His family belonged to the sheep-grazing Kuruma Golla caste, a community designated by the Government of India as an Other Backward Class group. Ilaiah credited his mother, Kancha Kattamma, as pivotal in shaping his political thought. According to Ilaiah, she was at the forefront of the Kurumas' struggle against the forest guards' discriminatory behaviour. Kancha Kattamma was killed during a violent confrontation while protesting against police brutality.
Ilaiah received an M.A. degree in political science and an M.Phil., awarded for his study of land reform in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. He has been a recipient of the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Award and was a Nehru Fellow between 1994-97.
Ilaiah has encouraged proficiency in the English language for Dalits, arguing that it would allow Dalits in India to intellectually engage the world outside India without non-Dalits speaking "for them". In May 2016, in protest against "Brahmanic hegemony" he claims continues to persist in India, Ilaiah appended "Shepherd" to his name. Ilaiah identified in this choice recognition and reaffirmation of his family origins. As an English-language proper noun rather than its equivalent in an Indian language, "Shepherd" is meant to demonstrate a symbolic break with the cultural norms Ilaiah believed "Brahmins" sought to "impose" on Indian society. Ilaiah characterises his name change as a tool for the upliftment of Dalits.
While working as an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Osmania University, several of Ilaiah's colleagues as well as academics affiliated with the university expressed, in an open-letter, their concern with respect to certain articles and opinions Ilaiah had contributed to a local newspaper and advised him against writing material that could inflame sectarian discontent or prejudice.
Ilaiah has also been criticised for believing in the Aryan invasion theory. In November 2015, Ilaiah stated that if Vallabhbhai Patel, the first Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of India credited with forging national unity amidst the intense violence and bloodletting that followed the creation of Pakistan, had been Prime Minister of India, India "would have become Pakistan".
In April 2016, Ilaiah gave a controversial remark that vegetarianism is anti-nationalism. On 18 September 2017, T. G. Venkatesh, a member of Indian Parliament representing the Telugu Desam Party and a prominent leader of Arya Vysya said at a press conference that Ilaiah was a traitor and should be hanged.[why?]
Among Ilaiah's official appointments have been:
- Director, Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP) at Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad
- Member of National Research Committee constituted by the Ministry of Social Justice, New Delhi
- Member – Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi
- Former Member of the National Book Trust, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India, New Delhi for three years
- Member of the Planning Commission Sub Committee to formulate an agenda for land reforms for the XI Five Year Plan
- Member of the UGC Constitutional Committee to oversee the implementation of OBC reservations in all Central and State universities in India
- Former member of the Executive Council of Periyar Maniammai University (Tamil Nadu)
English language publications:
- Ilaiah, K. Why I Am Not a Hindu: A Sudra critique of Hindutva philosophy, culture and political economy] (Calcutta: Samya, 1996) ISBN 8185604185
- Ilaiah, K. God as Political Philosopher: Buddha's Challenge to Brahminism (Calcutta: Samya, 2001) ISBN 8185604444
- Ilaiah, K. Buffalo Nationalism: A Critique of Spiritual Fascism (Calcutta: Samya, 2004) ISBN 818560469X
- Ilaiah, K., & Vyam, D. (2007). Turning the Pot, Tilling the Land: Dignity of Labour in Our Times. Pondicherry: Navayana Pub. ISBN 9788189059095 OCLC 184927533
- Ilaiah, K. Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution (SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd, 2009) ISBN 9788132104339
- Ilaiah, K. Untouchable God: A Novel on Caste and Race (Kolkata: Samya, 2011) ISBN 9788185604336 OCLC 828612357
- Ilaiah, K (1989-01-01). The State and Repressive Culture: The Andhra Experience. Hyderabad: Swecha Prachuranalu. OCLC 21518320
- Bonner, A., Ilaiah, K., Saha, S. K., Engineer, A. A., & Heuze, G. (1994). Democracy in India: A Hollow Shell. Washington D.C: The American University Press. ISBN 1879383268 OCLC 470188534
- Ilaiah, K; Nehru Memorial Museum and Library; Centre for Contemporary Studies (1995-01-01). Caste or Class or Caste-class: A study in Dalitabhujan Consciousness and Struggles in Andhra Pradesh in 1980s]. New Delhi: Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library OCLC 436463940
- Ilaiah, K., & Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. (1996). In Search of the Roots of Anti-Caste Struggle: A Dalitist Reading of the Buddhist Discourse. New Delhi: Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. OCLC 863611670
- Ilaiah, K., & Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. (1997). Productive Labour, Consciousness and History: The Dalitabahujan Alternative. New Delhi: Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. OCLC 793342817
- Ilaiah, K (1999-01-01). Reservations: Experience as Framework of Debate OCLC 606215716
- D'Souza, J., Ilaiah, K., Raj, U., & Dalit Freedom Network. (2004). Dalit Freedom: Now and Forever; The Epic Struggle for Dalit Forever. OCLC 930036331
- Nisar, M., Kandasamy, M., & Ilaiah, K. (2007). Ayyankali: Dalit Leader of Organic Protest. Calicut, Kerala: Other Books. ISBN 9788190388764 OCLC 437026595
- Ilaiah, K (2010-01-01). The Weapon of the Other: Dalitbahujan Writings and the Remaking of Indian Nationalist Thought. Delhi: Longman. ISBN 9788177582468 OCLC 502268560
Telugu language publications:
- ఐలయ్య, క. మన తత్వం: దళిత బహుజన తాత్వికత. హైదరాబాద్: హైదరాబాద్ బుక్ ట్రస్ట్
- "The attempt to censor my writings is part of a larger game plan". Rediff. 24 May 2000. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "How a caste reference in his 2009 book has come back to haunt Kancha Ilaiah".
- "How cow protection laws brutalise our culture".
- "Kancha Ilaiah". Ambedkar.org. 16 November 2000. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- India's President Ram Nath Kovind takes oath, Aljazeera
- Good Shepherd: Dalit thinker Kancha Ilaiah on name, caste, May 27, 2016, Sudipto Mondal , Hindustan Times
- "Modi should ask sadhus to clean the streets".
- "Introduce English in all schools, says Dalit scholar Kancha Ilaiah".
- "In defence of English: Blame the Indian education system, not the language".
- "Good Shepherd: Dalit thinker Kancha Ilaiah on name, caste". Hindustan Times. 2016-05-27. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
- "Who are real Dalits of India".
- "If Sardar Patel was PM, India would've become Pakistan: Kancha Ilaiah". Hindustan Times. 2015-11-30. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
- "Vegetarianism is anti-nationalism: Kancha Ilaiah on Ambedkar's food democracy".
- "TD MP TG Venkatesh says 'Hang ilaiah' for his book". The Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
- "3rd Cycle of Accreditation – NAAC, Self – Study Report, 2013" (PDF). Osmania University. 2013. p. 48. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kancha Ilaiah.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Kancha Ilaiah|
- Christianity Today interview with Ilaiah "Leading Dalit Rights Campaigner in India"
- "One Man Takes Aim At Prejudice With Storybook" Washington Post feature on Ilaiah's children's book.
- Ghadar interview "The State of Dalit Mobilization: An Interview with Kancha Ilaiah"
- DNA India Interview with Ilaiah "Institutes like IITs and IIMs should be closed down"
- Article by Ilaiah "Merit of Reservations"
- Intellectuals Express Solidarity With Kancha Ilaiah