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Why I Am Not a Hindu

Why I Am Not a Hindu
A Sudra Critique of Hindutva Philosophy, Culture and Political Economy

  • Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd - Retired, Director, Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad

December 2018 | 192 pages | SAGE Select
‘The most gratifying thing for me [is] that [this book] was listed as a millennium book [by The Pioneer] along with Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste. Moreover, it has been translated into several Indian languages. In a way it has become a weapon in the hands of Dalitbahujan activists’. 
-from the Afterword to the second edition. 

Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd writes with passionate anger, laced with sarcasm, on the caste system and Indian society. He looks at the socioeconomic and cultural differences between the Dalitbahujans and Hindus in the contexts of childhood, family life, market relations, power relations, Gods and Goddesses, death and, not the least, Hindutva. Synthesizing many of the ideas of Bahujans, he presents their vision of a more just society.

In this second edition, Ilaiah Shepherd presents an Afterword that discusses the history of this book, often seen as the manifesto of the downtrodden Dalitbahujans. He talks of its reviews as well as of the abuse he has received from its detractors. He reminds us of the need for an ongoing dialogue. As he says, he wrote the book ‘for all who have open minds. My request to Brahmin, Baniya and neo-Kshatriyas [upper class Sudras] is this: You learnt only what to teach others—the Dalitbahujans. Now in your own interest and in the interest of this great country, you must learn to listen and to read what we have to say.’

Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Childhood Formations
Marriage, Market and Social Relations
The Emergence of Neo-Kshatriyas and the Reorganization of Power Relations
Contemporary Hinduism
Hindu Gods and Us: Our Goddesses and Hindus
Hindu Death and Our Death
Dalitization Not Hinduization
Afterword: On Being an Un-Hindu Indian

‘Ilaiah’s trenchant attack on the spiritual fascism that excludes the weak and the poorest, makes him one of the most passionate and philosophical voices of the Ambedkarite movement and its challenge to Brahminical Hindu society. Ilaiah is one of the foremost thinkers of that powerful counterargument.’

Sagarika Ghose,
Consulting Editor, The Times of India

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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 and 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... More About Author

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ISBN: 9789353282622