Kancha Ilaiah

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Kancha Ilaiah (born 5 October 1952) is the chairman of the political science department at Osmania University, a social activist and author. He is a Buddhist and a major figure in the ideological movement against the Indian caste system. His position is often called anti-Hindu, as noted by his critics. His field of work is in Dalit-Bahujan (Scheduled Caste and Backward Caste) movement. He is a prolific writer in English and Telugu.


  • All parasites suffer from a constant fear of individualism. . . . The Brahmins as a community shared the animal instinct of not being able to produce anything from the earth. This human caste differs from all the other social communities ever since human beings evolved out of the apes. . . . This unusual instinct of parasitism forced the Brahmans to construct a social process of spiritual fascism that became the fortress of this parasitism.
    • Post-Hindu India. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2009. quoted from Malhotra, R., Nīlakantan, A. (2011). Breaking India: Western interventions in Dravidian and Dalit faultlines
  • Historically-upper castes have suppressed the lower-caste masses with weapons, as the Hindu gods’ origin itself is rooted in the culture of weapon usage. The SC/ST/OBCs will then have to turn to a war of weapons in the process of elimination of Hindu violence from India.
    • Post-Hindu India. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2009. quoted from Malhotra, R., Nīlakantan, A. (2011). Breaking India: Western interventions in Dravidian and Dalit faultlines
  • Hinduism always used violence as creed. For Hinduism, for Hindu dharma, resolving of a conflict is only by killing. There is no other discourse. Debate is not there. You have to kill the enemy. Whereas Buddha believed in discourse and resolving the conflict. So in a system where you have the two streams of thought, debate and discourse, human rights and anti-human rights, even the left has to take that historical tradition and examine its potential and use it for its propaganda systems. It is in this context that I have been saying that there is no use if you simply borrow concepts from the West. Christianity has a different ethic; it was an ethic of sacrifice. Christ's crucifixion is a symbol of sacrifice, it is not a killing symbol. The lamb is a productive symbol.
    • "The State of Dalit Mobilization : An Interview with Kancha Ilaiah" in Ghadar Vol. 1, No. 3 (26 November 1997).
  • I have a feeling that if a Dalitist state gets established it will be a far better Socialist model for the world than the other models which were already established because Dalitbahujan society was never so religiously fundamentalist, there is no such constructed religion like that, it has been much more spontaneous, and they have lived for such a long time with that kind of a thinking. So from that to a kind of conscious educated Dalitist socialist system, I think that the productive forces would get released a thousand times, and equality will come much better but it should be under Dalit leadership. Now if under Dalit women leadership if a Dalitist state and society is established I think we will see a very bright future for the whole country.
    • "The State of Dalit Mobilization : An Interview with Kancha Ilaiah" in Ghadar Vol. 1, No. 3 (26 November 1997).
  • Yes, I hate Hinduism. Hinduism is not ours, it is against us. If we have to become Hindus, the Brahmins will have to change the entire religious texts, our food habits, our gods and goddesses and images. I am angry at the Hindu gods.
    Look at the images of Hindu gods. They wield weapons. We read that Hindu gods killed our own ancestors. How can I worship the killers as divine? What kind of a religion is it? There are three major religions — Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. These major religions were constructed by prophets who sacrificed and struggled in life for people's liberation. All these three religions never said that the larger sections of their people were born from the feet of God.
  • Just as the Brahmins are shouting Hinduise India, we should shout Dalitise India. Shout that we hate Hinduism, we hate Brahmanism. Capture the Hindu temples by expelling the Brahmins from them. … The hated must hate. They must become powerful and organised. I want to create anger.
  • In ancient and medieval India, no Hindu priest would subjugate himself to the rule of law. That was the basic reason why no Hindu institution could evolve a spiritual democratic culture within the religion. We are now living in a borrowed system of political democracy.
  • Reform your texts, reform your history. Say leather is not untouchable to God, the barber's knife is not untouchable to God. Take a Dalit priest and a Brahmin priest to celebrations. Do these symbolic things. Let them (high-caste Hindus) come and sit with Dalits in their huts and eat with them
  • For centuries the so called goddess of education was against the dalit learning, reading and writing in any language. She was the goddess of education of only the high castes — mainly of the brahmins and baniayas.
  • The dalit's main agenda is not reservations. My way of equality is English education. Even if 10% of our children got English education, the intellectual field would have changed. This country would have changed. My hope is education, not reservation — and I emphasize, English education
  • A careful reading of the Gita would show anyone that it fully supports the enslavement of Shudras and OBCs, a process initiated by the Rig Veda itself. Rig Veda formulated the caste structure in Purusha Suktha and the Gita upheld it.
  • Large number of tribes, Dalits and Backward Castes have a historical food culture of beef. The anti-beef agenda has been in the Brahmanical fold. It began with the South Indian Brahmins and then spread to the North and became part of the Gandhian movement. My question is, how can the state impose a certain food culture on people? The state has nothing to do with food. They can give certain food to people depending on the market, but cannot impose that you can or cannot eat certain food items. If beef eating is bad for Brahmins or Baniyas or certain upper castes, then the state is imposing that on the rest of the society. So the state is actually becoming a theocratic state.
  • If the God believed by a person doesn’t have democratic values, where will this person get those democratic values from? In fact, shouldn’t they explain why they create such Gods who are violent, undemocratic and anti-women?
  • Where is the honour in killing someone? Why are caste-based murders being labelled as honour killings? Dalits are being killed for their caste, so these are caste hatred killings and they should be called that.

Quotes about Kancha Ilaiah[edit]

  • These anti-Hindu forces are exploiting the Aryan Invasion Theory to the hilt, infusing crank racism in vast doses into India’s body politic. Read, e.g. Kancha Ilaiah’s book Why I Am Not a Hindu (Calcutta, 1996), sponsored by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, with its anti-Brahmin cartoons: move the hairlocks of the Brahmin villains from the back of the head to just in front of their ears, and you get exact replicas of the anti-Semitic cartoons from the Nazi paper, Der Stürmer
    • Elst, Koenraad (2007). Asterisk in bharopiyasthan: Minor writings on the Aryan invasion debate. also quoted in Malhotra, R., Nīlakantan, A. (2011). Breaking India: Western interventions in Dravidian and Dalit faultlines
  • the book Why I Am Not a Hindu by Kancha Ilaiah, a convert to Christianity. I have seen post-Christian Westerners grimly use it as a formidable argument against Hinduism, not realizing that it is an ordinary missionary pamphlet against caste, to which Hinduism is falsely reduced. Unlike Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Ibn Warraq’s Why I Am Not a Muslim, hefty tomes written by apostates who knew their childhood religion very well, Why I Am Not a Hindu is a caricature for simpletons. It starts out with a few interesting sketches of caste life in his childhood village, but then descends into unwarranted theoretical speculations for which he is simply not equipped. Essentially he assumes, like most haters of Hinduism, that “Hinduism is caste, wholly caste and nothing but caste”, and that the only way to break free from caste is to destroy Hinduism root and branch. The author is hopeful that Hinduism is indeed losing out, and a recent book by him muses about a “post-Hindu India”. That is of course the missionary vision.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about: