Lit Fest: Javed Akhtar goes head to head with Kancha Illaiah over God
Jaipur: Coming down heavily on the caste structure in Hindu religion, author Kancha IIlaiah on Friday advocated adopting the Buddha's ideology as a way to achieve secularism in the country, generating a lively debate among the fellow panelists at the Jaipur literature festival here.
Religious conversion, caste structure within religions and position of dalits after conversion were the main talking points of the session titled "God as a Political Philospoher: Dalit Perspectives on Buddhism," where Ilaiah engaged with author Ajay Navaria and poet Nirupama Dutt.
"A dalit who converts to Christianity can become a pastor or be an equal in the mosque or can touch the Guru Granth Sahib. But he can do none of this in Hinduism. He cannot become anything," Ilaiah said.
"No dalit can become a priest in a Hindu temple," said the author of " Why I am not a Hindu" who also pointed out that Buddhism has always advocated the ideas of equality, abolition of caste structure, notion of justice and women's rights.