A popular writer and activist Kancha Ilaiah, has caught up in a controversy over a Telugu book that describes Vysyas – members of the trading community – as “social smugglers”.
Known for his pro-Dalit stand the author had complained to the Hyderabad police on Monday that he has been receiving threat calls from unidentified people ever since his book was launched.
“The calls and messages are abusive, and they have even threatened to cut off my tongue,” Maybe they intend to murder me just like Gauri Lankesh was killed in Bengaluru” says Ilaiah.
A particularly caustic extract from the book goes: “Vysyas have always hated Shudras, Dalits and OBCs who are involved in the production of goods. They never take up the job of protecting the country – there is no baniya regiment in the Army. They are part of the ruling class – Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are baniyas – and they are backed by business tycoons like the Ambanis and Adanis. They are culturally vegetarians, so how can they fight mighty enemies like Pakistan and China if they don’t eat meat or beef?”
The Arya Vysya Sangham held protest rallies across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh after the contents of the book were circulated in the social media.
The Vysya community demanded that the book be banned, and Ilaiah placed under arrest immediately.