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From a Shepherd Boy to an Intellectual

From a Shepherd Boy to an Intellectual
My Memoirs

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

January 2019 | 372 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd

‘Caste is Race in Ancient Times,

Race is Caste in Modern Times,

Untouchability is an Aryan Construct.

They said God has not created Untouchables.’

Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd goes on to say, ‘Many people from the Brahmin–Baniya castes have written about their own greatness in their autobiographies, in English and in the regional languages. But I have not seen even a single autobiography of a person born and brought up in the shepherd community’. He adds that it is in writing about themselves that people gain a sense of self-respect. Shepherd’s evocative memoirs reveal the struggle for education and dignity that a great majority of Indians undergo. As a little boy herding sheep and goats, he and his brother were the first to go to school. The author writes of his long and often interrupted journey to becoming a writer and an intellectual, without support and having to overcome adversities.

Is Ilaiah an Unworthy Name?
Eating the Brains and Learning the Unknown
Getting Free from Saraswathi
The Song of Death and Rebellion Against the Priest
Choosing between Two Lusts: Life or Knowledge
Do Ilaiahs Teach in the University?
Working Between Adivasis and Anglicans of India
My Experiments with Untruth
International Victory and National Defeat
What I Ate, How I Wrote and How I Lived
Key features

·         In English, this is the first written account of growing up in an OBC family and covers social issues that affect the lower castes.

·         The book lays bare this democracy's discrimination against lower castes: from scorn about the author's attempts to educate himself to physical attacks by upper caste groups like Arya Vysya Samaj.

·         Ilaiah argues that the intellectual participation of OBCs (who contribute significantly to the economy but are not given opportunities to educate themselves) is essential to end the stranglehold of Brahmins and Baniyas on society. There's need for new politics of inclusion.

·         Ilaiah's memoir will be of immense value to a large number of marginalized Indians.

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ISBN: 9789381345412