Kancha Ilaiah wants schoolchildren to sing the song of equality

The scholar has penned a poem and has made an appeal to sing it as a prayer in schools

By Basant Kumar Mohanty in New Delhi, The Telegraph

Dalit-Bahujan scholar Kancha Ilaiah, author of Why I am not a Hindu, has added Shepherd to his name to assert the dignity of his parental profession.

In his latest memoir, From a Shepherd Boy to an Intellectual, the researcher has written about his struggle in academia dominated by the upper castes.

In the book released on Monday, Ilaiah has penned a poem highlighting the notion of equality and made an appeal to make schoolchildren sing the song as a prayer.

The prayer starts with the words “God you created all of us equal”.

At the book release, Ilaiah said the upper castes have never recognised the knowledge possessed by people who are involved in the production of resources.Ilaiah was criticised and physically attacked by the upper castes, particularly the trader community, in 2017 because of his criticism of the caste system.

“The Brahmin associations of the Telugu states in 2015 attacked my writings. They abused my name Ilaiah as unworthy name, my caste as unworthy of respect. In order to answer them I had to add the word ‘Shepherd’ to my name as mark of my parental profession as it is most respected profession globally both spiritually and socially,” he has written in the book released on Monday.
Ilaiah has appealed to youngsters and first-generation learners to pursue knowledge in life and not run after upper-caste girls and said English-medium teaching could bring social revolution for the deprived sections.

Ilaiah is the first intellectual among Dalit-Bahujans to pen his memoirs.

Prayer Song for School Children

God, You Created All of Us Equal

God, you created all of us equal,

God, you created male and female equal,

God, you created no caste among us,

God, you allowed no untouchability among us,

God, you created all of us equal,

God, you told us to work and live,

God, you told us to respect our parents,

God, we pray you as proud Indians,

God, you created all Indians equal.

From Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd’s

“From a Shepherd Boy to an Intellectual—My Memoirs”