5 October 1952 |
Papaiahpet, Hyderabad State, India
(now in Telangana, India)
|Education||MA in political science, MPhil on land reforms in Andhra Pradesh|
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-Bahujan movement|
Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Award Nehru Fellow 1994-97Manyawar Kanshiram Smriti MAHANAYAK Puraskar for contribution in awakening of depressed masses in India.
Kancha Ilaiah (also known as Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd; born 5 October 1952) is an Indian academic, writer and activist for Dalit rights. He is a prolific writer in English and Telugu. His books include Why I am not a Hindu, Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution, God As Political Philosopher: Budha's challenge to Brahminism, A Hollow Shell, Turning the pot, tilling the land: Dignity of labour in our times, Untouchable God: A Novel on Caste and Race, The State and Repressive Culture, Manatatwam (in Telugu), and Buffalo Nationalism: A Critique of Spiritual Fascism.
Kancha Ilaiah was born in the village of Papaiahpet, Warangal district, then in Hyderabad State. His family belonged to the sheep-grazing Kuruma Golla caste. Ilaiah cited his mother as one of the people who shaped his political ideas. According to him, she was at the forefront of the Kurumas' struggle against the forest guards' discriminatory behaviour and was killed during a violent confrontation while protesting against police brutality.[dubious ]
Ilaiah has 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 done a Ph.D on Buddhism. His paper was on God as political philosopher- Buddha challenge to Brahminism. 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 contributed to a local newspaper and advised him against writing material that could inflame sectarian discontent or prejudice. Currently, he is serving as director of the Centre for Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad.
In May 2016, in protest against what he considers to be Brahmanic hegemony, Ilaiah revealed that he had appended Shepherd to his name. This choice recognised his family origins and, being an English word rather than Indian, was a symbolic break with the cultural norms that he believed Brahmins sought to impose on Indian society. He saw it as a tool for the upliftment of Dalits.
In February 2013, at the Jaipur Literary Festival, Ilaiah had a spat with Javed Akhtar over religion and Buddhism. Ilaiah has also been criticised for believing in the now discredited Aryan Invasion theory. In November 2015, Ilaiah said that if Vallabhbhai Patel had been Prime Minister of India, India would have become Pakistan.
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 – ICSSR, New Delhi
- Former Member of National Book Trust, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India, New Delhi for three years
- Member of Planning Commission Sub Committee to work out in agenda for Land Reforms for the XI Five Year Plan
- Member of UGC Constitutional Committee to oversee the implementation of OBC reservations in all Central and State
- Universities of India
- Former member of Executive Council – Periyar/Maniyamma University, Tamil Nadu
- 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
- 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
- Ilaiah, K (1989-01-01). The state and repressive culture: the Andhra experience. Hyderabad: Swecha Prachuranalu.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Ilaiah, K (1999-01-01). Reservations: experience as framework of debate
- D'Souza, J., Ilaiah, K., Raj, U., & Dalit Freedom Network. (2004). Dalit Freedom: Now and forever; The epic struggle for Dalit forever.
- Nisar, M., Kandasamy, M., & Ilaiah, K. (2007). Ayyankali: Dalit leader of organic protest.  Calicut, Kerala: Other Books. ISBN 9788190388764
- Ilaiah, K (2010-01-01). The weapon of the other: Dalitbahujan writings and the remaking of Indian nationalist thought. Delhi: Longman.ISBN 9788177582468
- Manatatwam (in Telugu)
- "The attempt to censor my writings is part of a larger game plan". Rediff. 24 May 2000. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
- "Kancha Ilaiah". Ambedkar.org. 16 November 2000. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- ""Modi should ask sadhus to clean the streets"".
- "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.
- "http://www.osmania.ac.in/Naac%20Dept%20Evoluation/Social%20Sciences.pdf" (PDF). p. 48. Retrieved 2016-05-26. External link in
- "Ayyankali : a dalit leader of organic protest (Book, 2007)". [WorldCat.org]. 2016-07-06. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Kancha Ilaiah|
- Christianity Today interview with Ilaiah "Leading Dalit Rights Campaigner in India"
-  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