Writer and social scientist, Professor Kancha Ilaiah on Saturday demanded TDP MP TG Venkatesh's suspension, and questioned party chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu delay in removing the parliamentarian from the party.
He was referring to an attack by the Rajya Sabha member on American Senator H Trent Franks.
The threats received by Kancha Ilaiah and with the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru, found their way to the United States Congress, after a member of the US House of Representatives raised the issues earlier this month.
Harold Trent Franks, from Arizona’s 8th congressional district in the US House of Representatives, raised the two issues on October 12, in a speech that lasted for around four minutes.
Speaking about Kancha, Franks said, "Just weeks ago, another prominent figure, Professor Kancha Ilaiah, known for critiquing India's caste system, was threatened by a Hindu member of India's Parliament in India. This MP, an ally of the current BJP government, demanded that Kancha be hanged."
Arya Vysya organisations have been holding protests in parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and burning the writer's effigies, seeking a ban on his book, 'Samaajika Smugglerlu Komatollu' (Social Smugglers: Komattis).
"Following this, he received numerous death threats. A mob tried to attack the professor with stones. Was Ilaiah's crime significant? His crime was that he was the author of 'Why I am not a Hindu'...This book was described in a polarised context of modern India, specifically dealing with the productivity of the Dalits and lower castes," Franks added.
In conclusion, Franks said, "Our trusted ally and friend, India, is better than this. Professor Kancha Ilaiah's right and freedom of speech should not be infringed, and his protection should be of utmost priority to the Indian government."
Following this, TG Venkatesh hit back, asking the American senator if he would keep quiet if their religion or ancestors were targeted.
Last month, Venkatesh had said that people like Kancha should be 'publicly hanged'.
The booklet ‘Saamajika Smugglerlu: Komatollu’ is the Telugu translation of his English book Post-Hindu India, written in 2009.
Kancha has defended his book, telling reporters earlier, "Social Smuggling is a phrase. It is the economic process of exploitation, which means earning in business but not investing back into society."
He was a professor from the political science department from Osmania University and is currently the Director, Center for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad.