While celebrated Dalit writer Kancha Ilaiah has been alleging threat to life over his new controversial book, Telangana's IT minister K T Rama Rao has reminded the writer how freedom of expression does not give him the right to insult anyone. In a series of tweets on the raging controversy over Ilaiah's book and the reaction it has elicited among Arya Vysya community, Rao lashed out at the writer for 'abusing freedom of expression.
The minister reacted to the controversy after being tagged on a tweet by a journalist over threats to Ilaiah over his book 'Komatollu Samajika Smagglarlu' that translates to Komatollu-Arya Vysyas- are social smugglers. Saharika Ghosh asked why no protection was being extended to the writer in the face of threats by the community that he had targetted in his book.
"Freedom of expression doesn't confer upon anyone the right to insult as they wish," K T Rama Rao tweeted in response. He, however, also added that if the threat perception was real, the state police would review the need to provide protection to the writer. Ilaiah has already registered a complaint with the police about threat calls and messages he has been receiving from unknown persons for his comments about the community in his book.
Rama Rao stood his ground when asked about the violent nature of threats being issued to the writer.
No differing with you on the death threats but abuse of freedom of expression to deride, insult & target specific community is reprehensible https://t.co/MOm1VInOs8— KTR (@KTRTRS) September 28, 2017
Members of the Ary Vysya community have been holding protests against Kancha Ilaiah for his remarks, burning effigies of the writer and seeking a ban on his book. Meanwhile, Ilaiah has agreed to change the title of his book if the community makes reservations for backward classes, Dalits in their establishments. The power community is generally the business class in the state.
Ilaiah claimed that he was attacked with stones and sticks that were hurled at him while attending an event in Bhupalpally.