Writer and social scientist Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd who came out of his self-imposed house arrest on Thursday declared that he no longer fears anyone, and if he dies, the state is to be blamed.
Speaking to TNM, Ilaiah said that he will continue campaigning and participate in seminars, without protection.
“If I die, the state should take responsibility. If I die let the world know that the state had failed,” he remarked.
Ilaiah was addressing a gathering speaking on the eve of his birthday celebrations at the Osmania University in Hyderabad.
Discussing his future course of action, Ilaiah detailed that he would organise a sustained campaign in the state demanding that the government introduce English medium with a common syllabus from LKG to Class 12, besides striving for the implementation of reservations in private sector.
He observed that all the universities and the public institutes should mandatorily implement 27% reservation to the marginalized communities without the ‘farce’ discussion of merit.
“Those who don’t take in the Dalit-Bahujan students, citing the farcical notion of merit. They should be labelled as ‘anti-nationals’,” he said.
When asked about the Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao’s view that Kancha had been abusing his freedom of speech, Ilaiah responded, “As a minister, he should ensure security to an individual, irrespective of his personal beliefs. He miserably failed in it.”
Expressing his dissatisfaction over the Indian intellectuals who didn’t express solidarity, when he was under attack for writing a book, which is critical in nature, he said, “Social smuggler is an academic concept. This should be an academic discussion and scholars should engage in it.”
Several people took part in the birthday celebrations, which also coincided with Indian English day, the day social reformer Raja Mohan Roy first opened an English school in India.
Addressing the gathering, Ilaiah thundered, “I am not afraid of death. A person who fears death cannot change the society.”
Ilaiah is facing the ire of the Vysya (kommatis) community, who have objected to his book ‘Saamajika Smugglerlu Kommatollu’ (Kommatis are social smugglers).
There was an attempt to attack him in Parakal, Warangal recently, when a mob tried to stop his car and assault him. Following this incident, he confined himself to his house and declared self-imposed house arrest, as the state government failed to provide security despite his repeated complaints.
Kancha is presently the Director, Center for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad.