(On 13 June 2016, FORWARD Press received an email from Prof Mahesh Chandra Guru. It said, “Please find [attached] my reaction to the recent attacks on Prof Kancha Ilaiah. It is primarily intended to express my solidarity with the progressive and secular forces in India.” Little did he know that three days later he would end up in prison for “hurting religious sentiments”, the same “crime” of which Prof Ilaiah was accused and for which he defends Prof Ilaiah so passionately here – Editor)
Hinduism is not immune from criticism. India is always greater than Hinduism. Religion is indeed a way of life. Human beings should not become victims of circumstances in the name of customs, traditions and superstitions. Great social reformers have condemned the caste-based superiority-inferiority syndrome perpetuated by the communal forces in India. The Hindutva organizations are bent upon disintegrating India. They are indeed the real threat to national security and sovereignty. They have gained an upper hand under the changed political circumstances. The present government at the Centre is a true representative of Hindu fundamentalists, not of secularists and nationalists in the country.
Recently, Prof Kancha Ilaiah rightly pointed out that the Brahmins as a community have not contributed anything to the production process of the Indian nation. The brahmanical forces are pursuing a hidden agenda of retaining their supremacy in all walks of life even though they don’t deserve it. They are neither the intellectuals nor the soldiers who have sustained the Indian legacy. Long ago, Ambedkar stated that Brahmins have been the worst slaves of the system since times immemorial.
It is a matter of great shame that Brahmin associations in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana burnt effigies of Prof Kancha Ilaiah and filed a case against him for allegedly hurting Hindu sentiments. Prof Ilaiah simply revealed the truth and provided an opportunity for a public debate in the right, democratic spirit. A fine scholar and patriot should not be condemned and harassed in a secular society like India. He has used the Constitutional provisions of freedom of speech and expression to place his views for public scrutiny in a completely non-violent and democratic manner. The politics of Hindutva should be condemned and stopped immediately to save the country from criminalization of politics and victimization of right-thinking progressive forces. The progressive and secular forces firmly stand by Prof Ilaiah for his noble thoughts and deeds in contemporary India.