Buffalo Nationalism: A Critique of Spiritual Fascism

9789353282561

Samya-Sage,

228 pages

Price INR 595.00
Book Club Price INR 505.00
SKU
LWB500
‘O Mother Lachumamma, your blouse is torn, Your hair is soiled, your sari in rags . Even in that condition what have you done. You planted saplings, walking backwards like a bull, In order to produce food from the mud.’ Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd translates these words of the Telugu poet, singer, activist Gaddar to emphasize the productivity of the ordinary people, the Dalit-Bahujans of India, who receive so little in return. Arguing forcefully against spiritual fascism, which refuses equality or freedom to the majority, he commends the buffalo as a productive animal that epitomizes the qualities of the Dalit-Bahujans. This book contains a selection from Ilaiah Shepherd’s columns in The Hindu, Deccan Herald, Deccan Chronicle, Hindustan Times among others and journals such as Mainstream and Economic and Political Weekly. Of particular interest is the new Afterword that discusses his political and social programme for the Sudras of India, presenting his vision of a more just society.

Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd

Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd recently retired as Director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad. He is Chairman of Telangana Mass and Social Organizations (T-Mass) that works for English-medium education. He has helped to build up Dalit-Bahujan and civil liberties movements in India. He received the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Award, 2000.

His paper ‘Experience as Framework of Debate’, which appeared in the Economic & Political Weekly, set up new terms for the debate on the reservation policy during the anti-Mandal struggle in 1990. His contributions have appeared in Economic & Political Weekly, Frontier and Mainstream, and in major national English dailies like The Hindu, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, Deccan Herald and Deccan Chronicle. He is also a regular contributor to Telugu magazines and to dailies like Vaartha and Andhra Jyothi.

As his books raised a major debate in English and other regional media, he wrote a book in Telugu, Manatatwam (Our Philosophy), which put the Dalit-Bahujan productive philosophy in a new perspective. The book became an ideological weapon among Dalit-Bahujan and Left circles in Andhra Pradesh. Among his books are Turning the Pot, Tilling the Land: Dignity of Labour in Our Times and The Weapon of the Other: Dalit-Bahujan Writings and the Remaking of Indian Nationalist Thought.

Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd was a post-doctoral fellow with Dalit Freedom Network, Denver, Colorado, 2004-2005, and as a member of the network, he has deposed before several international committees about the historical role of caste and untouchability in sustaining a modern form of slavery in India. He was a member of the National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) that took the caste and untouchability issue to the UN Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination and Xenophobia at Durban in 2001.