O Mother Lachumamma, your blouse is torn, Your hair is soiled, your sari in rags, You have no money to buy new ones. 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 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, deprived of the gains of development and globalization but not of the losses in their wake. Arguing forcefully for social justice, this book contains a selection from Kancha Ilaiahs columns in popular newspapers like The Hindu, The Deccan Herald, The Deccan Chronicle, The Hindustan Times among others, and journals like Mainstream and the Economic and Political Weekly. Strongly advocating the Dalitization of Indian society that will undo its moorings in spiritual fascism, which refuses equality or freedom to the majority, he commends the positive values of the buffalo as a productive beast that epitomizes the qualities of the Dalit-Bahujans. Among the many issues he tackles are the right to conversion, the role of the OBCs as providing muscle power to the Hindutva forces, the imperative need for the spread of English amongst all castes and for reservation quotas in education and employment, on globalization and gender. Combative, heartfelt, intellectually rigorous, these pieces present his vision of a more just society.
About the Author
Kancha Ilaiah is Professor and Head, Department of Political Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad, and an activist in the Dalit-Bahujan and Civil Liberties Movement. His columns are published in many national newspapers and journals and he is also a well-known political commentator.