A Telugu Desam Party MP, TG Venkatesh, criticised writer and social scientist Kancha Ilaiah’s new book Samajika Smugglurlu Komatollu, and said he was a traitor who deserved to be hanged in public.
The book is at the centre of a controversy because it claims the Arya Vysya community used to eat meat and were agriculturalists. It has sparked protests across the state as Arya Vysya associations have claimed the title of the book, which translates as “Komatollu are social smugglers”, is demeaning,
On Sunday, Venkatesh, who is also a prominent leader of the Arya Vysya community, said Ilaiah’s writing was intended to divide society, the Deccan Chronicle reported. Venkatesh was participating in a conference organised by the Arya Vysya Mahasabha, when he said community members across the country would file cases against Ilaiah.
After the meeting, the TDP legislator reportedly said there should be a rule in India, like in the Gulf nations, under which blasphemy and speaking in a hurtful manner about religion should be punished with stoning and hanging in public. The MP, who is believed to be a popular leader in the state, repeated his statements in a few television interviews too. “I am clarifying that I didn’t say kill him,” he said in an interview to TV9. “But people who comment like Ilaiah should be hanged by making changes in law, as such comments could lead to a situation where people might get killed.”
“Can a Parliament member who issued a threat against a citizen continue in the Parliament? Ilaiah said in response. “It is for the BJP and TDP to decide,” he said.
On September 11, Ilaiah had filed a police complaint after he said he received threat calls for the book.