Protests Against Kancha Ilaiah Turn Obscene, Threaten Violence
Arya Vysya outrage against writer and social scientist Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd is taking extreme forms online and offline. Even as protests continue across the Telugu states over Kancha’s book Samajika Smugglerlu: Komatollu (Social Smugglers: The Komatis), a video* circulating online shows two children urinating on a photo of the thinker.
In the video, which is being circulated on Facebook and on WhatsApp groups, a group of men wearing saffron shawls are seen encouraging two boys to urinate on Kancha’s photo. As they do so, the men hoot and shout, ‘Jai Vysya ki Jai’.
A group of women have also released a song titled Ilaiah Niku Damaku Leda (Ilaiah don’t you have a brain), which consists of threats and insults to the social scientist.
The one-minute song describes him ‘brainless,’ and threatens that he will die if he takes on the Vysya community.
Physical Threats and Protests
The violence promised against Kancha has not just remained online, however. On Saturday, Kancha was allegedly attacked with slippers and stones by members of the Arya Vysya community outside the Parakal police station, when he was returning to Hyderabad from an event in Bhupalpally.
According to reports, the writer’s driver had diverted his car to the Parakal police station when a protest demonstration involving around 200 people had tried to block it. The writer was forced to seek protection within the police station when the demonstrators reached there and allegedly attacked him. He could leave only after the crowd was dispersed by the police.
Earlier, members of Arya Vysya associations had also distributed images of Kancha to be used as doormats.
Jute sacks with his photo printed on them were distributed to Arya Vysya shopkeepers and at local temples, with community members urged to wipe their dirty feet on his image as a sign of protest. The protest was condemned as being ‘objectionable’ and ‘casteist’ by Dalit activists and rationalists.
Following the attack on him, Kancha has reportedly declared that he is on a self-imposed house arrest till 4 October.
Announcing the decision, Kancha wrote:
“I am losing faith in the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech also. In this fearful situation I took the following decisions:
- Till October 4, 2017 end I impose a Self-House Arrest myself and remain at Home. If I need to go out on personal needs like (medical and other) I will inform the Osmania Police Station.
- I remain silent for all the media networkers of the State are concerned. If they are national or international by appointment I may speak. That is also in good faith.”
(Note: As a matter of editorial policy, The News Minute is not publishing the obscene protest video.)
(This article was first published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)