Can’t label an entire community: Telangana Minister Harish Rao counters Kancha Ilaiah

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Harish Rao said that a person’s character can’t be decided, based on the caste they were born into.
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Telangana Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao joined the growing chorus of critics against writer and social scientist Kancha Ilaiah, and his book, “Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu (Komataollu- Societal  smugglers)”.
Arya Vysya organisations have been holding protests in parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and burning the writer’s effigies, seeking a ban on his book.
Responding to the issue on Thursday, Minister Harish Rao condemned the author’s alleged attempts to brand an entire race of people as ‘smugglers’.
The Minister was responding after a representation made by Vysya community members during a meeting in Sangareddy on Thursday. 
Speaking at the meeting, the Minister said, “There are good and bad people in every community. Some spread love, while some spread hate. However, one can’t label a whole community in such a way. It is not good for any intellectual, and no intellectual will appreciate such efforts.”
He also said that we can’t decide the character of a person, based on the caste he/she was born into.
While stating that Telangana has a great culture of communal harmony and collective co-habitation, he assured the community that he will take the matter to the state government and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
After receiving several threatening phone calls for days, Kancha, an academician, sought police protection last week, saying that he was facing a threat to his life.
He also addressed media persons after the controversy over his book.
“It is a well-researched book. I wrote it highlighting economic conditions from the Gupta period to contemporary times. Social smuggling is not a derogatory word like Smuggling. It is taken out of context. I wrote it to highlight the social and economic exploitation that had been practiced,” Kancha Ilaiah said.
“Social Smuggling is a phrase. It is the economic process of exploitation, which means earning in business but not investing back into society,” he told reporters.
 “No matter how much I am threatened or intimidated, my brain will not be scared by bullets and violence. I will continue to write on Ambedkarite and Dalit issues as long as I live,” he added.
This comes one day after TRS MLA Bigala Ganesh Gupta, who represents the Nizamabad urban constituency had criticized the book and asked the author to tender an apology to the community. 
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Civil Supplies Minister Pratipatti Pulla Rao also demanded that the writer remove the objectionable content against the Vysya community in the book.
Kancha is presently the Director, Center for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad.
 
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