Freedom of Expression

Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd Files Police Complaint After Threat Calls From Unknown Persons

Shepherd has recently found himself in a controversy over his book, Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu, which Arya Vysya associations say is derogatory and demeaning.

Political scientist, writer and activist Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd. Credit: Facebook

New Delhi: Political scientist, writer and activist Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd lodged a police complaint today at Osmania University police station in Hyderabad after allegedly receiving threat calls from unknown people.

According to a report in the Indian Express, Shepherd claimed he has been receiving calls since Sunday afternoon, with the callers threatening to cut off his tongue. Shepherd told the Indian Express, “Since yesterday, many unknown phone calls kept coming and when I answered, they abused me. The International Arya-Vysya Sangham headed by K. Ramakrishna condemned my writings on a TV channel. Someone threatened to cut my tongue. My effigies have been burnt. I feel terribly threatened by their abuses, phone calls and messages. If anything happens to me they will be responsible”.

Shepherd has recently found himself in a controversy over his book, Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu. Arya Vysya associations have alleged that the title of the book and some of its content are derogatory and demeaning. They took to the streets of Hyderabad and other places in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on Sunday to burn his effigies, reported Deccan Chronicle.

The book claims that Arya Vysyas used to eat non-vegetarian food and were agriculturalists. It says that they turned vegetarian later.

The organisations are also demanding that the book should be withdrawn immediately. They have alleged that Shepherd has made derogatory comments on certain castes in the past too.

Shepherd told Deccan Chronicle that the book is a translation of a chapter from his book published in English titled Post Hindu India.“The book was originally published in 2009 and now a publisher has got it translated into Telugu and published a research based chapter about Vysyas as a booklet. It is a research book on several communities, including Brahmins, Kapus, Golla Kurma, Chakali, Mala and Madiga,” he said.

“I have got abusive SMSs on my phone. Instead of threatening, why don’t they write a counter book. I have not personally abused any individual or any community,” the professor went on to say.