"Anaganaga Oka Raju".....(once upon a time,there was a king). Thus start all the folk stories of Andhra and describe the various adventures the king accomplishes. All these kings (folkheroes like Bangaru Thimma Raju ) were invariably Kammas.
No that is too fantastic a claim.
The Kammas were considered synonymous with bravery and chivalry while the kamma women were icons of beauty and chastity. But, all this was 'once upon a time' i.e. the glory of the past. (It is a different story, that the term "raju" is presently being applied to the Vadde Rajus or Oriyan kings).
Well Oriyan kings are still kings.
If we go through the history of a thousand years, we can easily ascertain that the social status and life style and customs of the Rajputs in the North and the Kammas in the South were one and the same.
There is scant evidence of Rajputs being linked to Kammas. However there are quite a few Rajus who may have stronger claim particularly to the clan of Sisodias.
In likelihood it is the reverse, many Rajputs were descended from southern aristorcrats such as those introduced by Rashtrakutas and Chalukyas during the Great Karnata Expansion.
Wherever they went they built forts and started to rule. Their profession was fighting. Their ladies had the customs of gosha and sati. Around 1000 A.D., probably they might have been related. We can note that the Chalukyas who were basically from Kamma Nadu first ruled over Karnataka and Maharashtra and later ruled Gujarat as Solankis (one of the tribes among the Rajputs). Here, we can refer to the stories in a famous book of that times, Suka Saptati Kathalu, where in the Kammas were mentioned among the various kings who came to witness the marriage of the princess of Ujjaini. There was even mention of two sects of Kammas, "Suryanamsi" (Solar clan) and "Chandravamsi" (lunar clan), akin to the Rajputs.
Suryanvanshi and Chandravanshi are common to all agrarian yeoman warrior communities. It may just mean the Kammas are an amalgalm.
The Kammas follwed vedic traditions like wearing the sacred thread and had rishi gothras. ( e.g. The mikkilineni family of gandikota belongs to the 'bharadhwaja' gothra). But, the Kammas deviated from the vedic tradition in the 12th century due to the social revolutions in south India.
After the fall of Gandikota the Kammas lost a major share of their political power and took to agriculture. A majority of them left their royal customs like the 'gosha' of their ladies during the severe drought conditions of the 1770's. Neverthless, they held an esteemed position in the soceity and referred to as 'Kamma Varu', in the highest degree of reverence. But, due to the unimaginable changes the country (and the world) has undergone in the twentieth century, the status of the Kammas started to deteriorate slowly since the 1930's and it has hastened up after the 80's.
The Indian soceity which stood still since some hundreds of years was set into a turmoil by the developments in educational, technical and communication fields after India attained Independence. New ideals like socialism and communism have started to influence the mindset of the people. The educated persons from the lower sections of the society resented the existing system and started to fight for their rights.
Can you blame them?
No one is willing to accept another as 'superior'. People from many ordinary communities have attained the zenith of power and prosperity. But, when it came to their past, every community started to pale before the glory of the Kammas.
Far fetched claim.
It is here that the Kammas and the history of Andhra are being targeted and a purposeful confusion is being created systematically with the purpose of depriving the Kammas of their heritage, glory and superiority. What they could not have, let no one else have.
That's quite an allegation.
Since around the 1930's efforts have began to distort the Andhra history as propaganda started to become more powerful than the facts. Some 'Kingdoms' have been newly created as having ruled Andhra in the 14th century and their role is being blown out of proportion. Today, historians are taking lot of care not to mention the word 'Kamma' when they had to mention the castes of the kings. Wherever the term 'naidu' appears, they are creating ambiguity ( because some castes like the boyas who served in the vijayanagar army as generals or Sena Nayakas also had 'naidu' as title and in the last century many servant and concubine castes of the Kammas and Velamas started calling themselves 'naidus', to boost up their social status ).
Look nayaka and Naidu are just title that could be applied to any person who proved his worthiness in battle and it was his to use for him and his posterity. A bunch of these guys came together in couple of generations to form a caste. These titles are not the patented by Kammas or any one else.
The brother-in-law of Kakatiya Emperor Ganapati Deva ,Jayappa , despite clearly being mentioned as a Kamma Lord and King of Kamma Nadu, was said to belong to some Ayya caste. (Can anyone tell what was this caste?).
Arya Kshatriya? Again probably just a title than an ethnonym.
And, Suravaram Pratap Reddy has directly hijacked the great Musunuri Nayakas, claiming them to be reddis. The stories like the "Suka Saptathi Kathalu" are not available today. The inscription of Vemareddi stating that he has served the 'lotus feet of Kapaya Nayaka' is not mentioned anywhere. And historians are overlooking a simple fact that the Chalukyas, Kakatiyas, Musunuri Nayakas and later the Vijayanagar kings had a common emblem; Adi Varaha (a wild boar), with a sword and moon crescent indicating they were continuation of the same lunar clan.
That's because they all claim descent from Yadavas, especially the Vijayanagar kings. This Varaha was an incarnation of Vishnu.
Most of the Kammas had access to the British education because of their financial position. This pseudo education ( the pun "I was born brave and intelligent; my education ruined me" can be aptly applied here ) confused and misguided the very rich and powerful Kammas like the many Rajas and Zamindars due to which they worked against their own instincts, against their own community and traditions and against their own benefits in the illusion of high level thinking and ideals and allowed their sub-ordinates like the kapus and balijas to become rich and powerful which in the long run proved disastrous for themselves in particular and to the total community in general (french-revolution syndrome).
Or perhaps given half a chance, the Kapus and Balijas outshined their erstwhile superiors. The French Revolution was much as an intellectual and elitist revolt against the monarchy as it was based on mass discontent.
After two or three generations, they became a menace by claiming the glory of the Kammas and Velamas as theirs and started claiming to be 'naidus'. Even politically and socially they became antagonised to the Kammas.
Once again the Kammas are simply the cream of the crop of the Kapus and other castes. So in a way they are not really all that incorrect.
The dynamics of human psychology and behavior is very complex and it can be read only by instincts and not by any generalised rules. The Kammas learnt it the hard way. Many Kammas entered into the freedom struggle and donated all their properties with the impression that they are promoting the cause of the country and it will be put to good use. And, as we can see today, their sacrifice became meaningless as many oppurtunistic people of low origins have gulped up the properties donated by them (in the form of politicians and corrupt officers) and became millionaires, while their own offspring became paupers. ( Today, we are witnessing thousands of acres of temple lands,worth thousands of crores being encroached or occupied by politicians and corrupt officials utilising the so many loops in the revenue system. At the same time the descendants of the various rajas who have donated those lands are leading ordinary or less than ordinary lives ).
This is not unique to Kammas or kings in post independence India. The new republic of India which had strong egalitarian instincts took a dim view of monarchies which it saw as anachronistic.
When the land ceiling act was invoked, the Kammas who were the richest caste then with many families holding thousands of acres of fertile lands, gave up their lands voluntarily beleiving that the government is fighting for a worthy and just cause of bringing about an egalitarian soceity. Despite being aware that such a rule was coming into force, they made no efforts to save their lands or at least distribute it themselves among their near and dear. Being leaders to all, they never thought along caste lines, while others started to think so. The other land owning commmunities like the reddis did not lose much of their holdings as they utilised all the loopholes of the law to retain their lands. Finally, the land ceiling act turned out to be a gameplan to strip the Kammas off their lands (as far as Andhra is considered) and make them look like 'idealistic idiots' .
Come now. Kammas did manage to usurp quite a few low caste lands themselves. However much of is due to the establishment of Andhra Pradesh where Kammas thought they would get a quid pro quo in lands vs government representation and power but that was not forthcoming from the Congress/Reddy combine. That much is true.
Being hot-tempered and fighters for justice, the Kammas are easily influenced by ideals that seem to stand for justice and equality. It was the highly educated Kammas who were first inspired by communism and socialism.
More fool Kammas.
Kamma Communists fought with Kamma rajas and zamindars and made their lands to be distributed among the lower castes who were generally serfs, labourers and children of the concubines of the rajas.
Again with the concubines, if you super horny Kammas would stop thinking with your dicks perhaps you wouldn't be in this predicament!
In prosperous areas like Diviseema (which was the estate of Raja Yarlagadda Sivaramakrishna Prasad Naidu, popularly known as the Challapalli Raja and ranked no.1 among 'Andhra Pramukhas' of 1950's) these labourers who got into posession of fertile lands became very rich and powerful and started calling themselves 'naidus'. (An essential quality of human psychology which yearns for identity after the basic needs are satisfied; next stage is fighting for supremacy).
Nothing wrong with that.
After two generations they kicked out these very communists on caste grounds.
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
They became so possessive of the word 'Naidu', that they are claiming even historical figures like Raja Venkatadri Naidu, the famous king of Amaravati of 19th century as belonging to their castes. As a climax to such identity-seeking and self-boosting gimmicks, the greatest king of Vijayanagar, Sri Krishna Deva Raya is being claimed by these neo-rich low caste people as belonging to their castes (god only knows the reasons) and his statues are being unveiled in caste meetings.
Here I have to agree. For more modern version of this phenomenon all you have to do is check out Wikipedia or the websites of various castes where they don't restrict to their ambitions in laying claim to Krishnadevaraya but go as far as to claim Lord Krishna himself as one of their own.
During the 1960's and the 70's the 'educated' Kammas considered physical work degrading and it became fashionable to go to clubs, drink and play cards.
Hahaha! Then what do you expect your fate to be?
And maintaining concubines has come down as an aristocratic custom from generations.
Here we go again.
Very rich Kamma families became debt-ridden and sold their gold, lands and properties while their uneducated serfs(Paleru) and servants who were accustomed to physical work and their concubines ('bhogam' people) became new masters of the lands and properties and eventually became rich.
Who told you to get sloshed, gamble and spend your cash on mistresses rather than work? What use crying about it now?
All these neo-rich people of so many miscellaneous castes started calling themselves 'naidus'. All these miscellaneous communities were initially loyal and respectful to the Kammas, but as generations changed, and the newly acquired riches bloated their egos (There is a saying about the low born;One forgets his caste if his stomach is full )
What is low born business?
they began to grudge and hate the Kammas, and their anti-kamma feelings are being kept sustained and utilised successfully by the congress party.
Caste politics is a dirty business and yes Congress is guilty but neither is our TDP and NTR completely unstained by all this.
The Kammas being a royal race are endowed with beauty and good physical features so much so they can be recognised by mere appearence on most of the occasions.
No, I would have to disagree. There are sure some attractive specimens, but in general they just seem to be a more prosperous and (somewhat) fairer skinned versions of Kapus.
Their noble qualities and aristocratic lifestyle which aroused awe and respect among others in the good olden days are at present turning others against them with zealousy and hatred, because nowadays each community is trying to assert itself and elevate its existing status, and no one is willing to accept anothers superiority.
I am not aware of an aristocratic lifestyle . Most these days are farmers or small zamindars or at the opposite end engineers and accountants. In other words,the usual middle class Indian.
Historically there was never any enmity between the Kammas and the Reddis. There can not be, as their status and professions were different. The Kammas were warriors whose profession was fighting and ruling and they built forts wherever they went, whereas the reddis built tanks and started cultivation.
The two are not mutually exclusive.
After being introduced into the military service by a reddi woman Nayakuralu Nagamma who shrewdly entered the court of the kings of Palnadu after appeasing the king with her talent and beauty, the reddis served the Kammas loyally in various ranks.
Looks like Kamma women were asleep at the wheel . How did this Reddy woman manage to make her way into the kings bedchamber even as Kamma women were so drop dead gorgeous!
And the great Musunuri Kapaya Naidu made Vemareddi (a pantakapu ), who proclaimed himself a servant of his lotus feet, a king, amid strong opposition from the Velamas, because Vemareddi was not eligible for coronation as he was a sudra. Actually this deed of Kapaya Naidu sparked off a Kamma-Velama clash and cost him his life and kingdom and threw Andhra permanently into the hands of muslims.
Not entirely true. Prataparudra also made some errors in judgement despite his courage, resolve and spirited resistance. But yes they didn't help.
The reddis became dominant after Independence as the changed circumstances superbly suited them. Being land-owners and village heads, they held considerable clout in the village setup and could influence all sections, particularly labourers who are huge in numbers,thus huge votes. Besides, the reddis themselves are numerically strong, one aspect they outright win over the Kammas and the other two royal castes,the Velamas and Rajus. Added to this their utmost loyalty towards the caste and shrewd, cunning and broker skills came in very handy in a democratic setup.
Eh? Are you not also loyal to your caste? Isnt it hypocritical when you condemn others for something you practice yourself?
The reddis realised that even in these changed circumstances, it is the Kammas who can challenge their political domination. (Acharya N.G.Ranga would have become the first C.M. of Andhra Pradesh instead of N.Sanjeeva Reddy, had prominent Kamma leaders like Kalluri Chandramouli supported him. Chandramouli and others supported Sanjeeva Reddy because they thought he would be a puppet in their hands compared to a stalwart like Acharya Ranga. Of course, they drastically underestimated Mr. Reddy). They analysed the loopholes of the new democratic setup very well and mastered the vote politics.
Come off it, it was proportional representation , it would be Kapus or perhaps Yadavs who would be politically powerful. These groups weren't as organized as Kammas or Reddys
They started Gerrymandering (a process where the votes of a particular community are scattered so that they become ineffective). At the time the formation of A.P., Kamma dominated districts like Bellary and Raichur were surrendered to Karnataka and Tiruttani and Vellore were given to Tamil Nadu.
Yes but these Kammas thought of themselves more as Tamils or Kannadigas than Telugus. It wouldn't surprise if they themselves had a hand in acceding to those states.
During the first reservation to the Assembly constituencies the Kamma dominated constituencies were given a cut by reserving some of them. And during the recent delimitation (follwed in 2009 elections), Gade venkata Reddy was made member of the delimitation committee and he very effectively 'gerrymandered' the remaining Kamma constituencies. Almost 25 seats of the Kammas have been either reserved or gerrymandered. The Kammas are no longer a political force now, a far cry from the position they enjoyed under the leadership of N.T.Rama Rao.
Prophecy proven wrong. CB Naidu is once again CM.
The saddest thing for the Kammas is that their most revered gurus, the brahmins, who thrived under the protection and subsistence offered by the Kamma kings and Zamindars (The story in the puranas itself indicates that the Kammas were created to protect the brahmins) also became antagonised because of certain developments of the 20th century. (That the Kammas have some Haihaya element in them could also be the reason, since Haihayas were considered prime enemies by the brahmins ).
Haihayas had an odd habit of supporting foreign invasions. The most notorious one was where they supported the mleccha invasions of the Kambojas and Sakas against King Sagara.
Anyway Brahmins often had a bad habit of supporting who patronized them especially in the Kali yuga. They went as far as to enlist as generals in Ghazni (Tilak),Mughal(Birbal) and Tipu Sultan's(Shyama Iyengar) armies
Some elite Kammas under the influence of foreign education began to think radically and questioned the superiority of the brahmins and their propreitry over the vedas. Stalwarts like Tripuraneni Ramaswamy Chowdary preached atheism.
More fool Kammas.
They learnt all the vedas and to end the monopoly of the brahmins in certain fields, prepared priests from other communities, particularly from the Kammas. And the Kamma Zamindars took lead in the Justice Party which was an anti-brahmin establishment, whereas the Congress party was dominated by brahmins. And after Independence the brahmins met competition from the Kammas in two fields hitherto monopolised by them, films and education. As a result of all these, the brahmins perceived threat from the Kammas and started to oppose and belittle them by devoiding them of their place in the history. But,in the process they themselves lost their protectors and their situation has become rather pitiable.
Telugu movies, whether Brahmin or Kamma ,nowadays Kamma, were more often than not the worst major regional industry in terms of quality. It could not match the edginess of Tamil films, the poetic nature of Bengali features or the high brow content of Malayalam. Coarse, vulgar and formula are the adjectives applied to Telugu films alteast from the early 1970s till today. Kamma dominance in this industry is nothing to brag about.
The Kammas because of their martial background despise cheating,brokering and begging and are generally very sincere and hardworking like the sikhs. As a result they became very good enterpreneurs, successful industralists and excelled in many fields. They are the leading doctors and engineers. They dominated the film industry as heroes and producers.
Mainly by blatant nepotism.
They were actually lagging in the political field after Independence where numerical strength rather than bravery and courage, brokering and negotiating skills in the place of sincerity and efficiency are required. But a gigantic force which smashed up all odds called NT Rama Rao (As a coincidence NTR belongs to the same recherla gothra of Brahma Naidu, who was equally worshipped by the masses as an incarnation of god ) rolled into the political scene and made up for the lapse. All these factors further fuelled the hatred and zealousy of the other communities, which were evident in the 1988 riots.
More than the changes in the outside world and outsiders, the crucial factor is the change in the Kammas themselves over a span of two or three generations. They became money-minded and gave in to the wordly pleasures. They weaned away from their martial tradition and discouraged their children from entering into any quarrels or fightings, even when they had to. They put their children into residential schools right from their childhood and they have no practical knowledge. The present generation became like parrots in a cage and they don't know their traditions nor their roots and they have become indeed very fragile. Even till the 1980's there was a sense of superiority and strong bonding among the Kammas and when provoked, they were ready to come out into the streets for a fight wielding swords and spears. That generation vanished altogether.
Not entirely true, the author will be pleased to know they are still quite a few of these rogues about in Hyderabad and cities in the coastal districts.
Now, the situation today is such that the Kammas who were once dreaded by the Pathans are fearing street rowdies.
Well Pathan fighting skills are quite over rated but I get what you are trying to convey. And as above it will come as a relief to you that your caste is not under represented under the august category of rowdies as well.
Their social status and dominance are drastically coming down. But the Kammas are not aware of all these. Actually they have neither time nor interest in such things. Lot of Kammas migrated to the US in the 1970's. Being highly intelligent, they dominated the computer software field in the last decade and migration to the US increased exponentially.
More exaggeration, there is no dominance of any single ethnic group in the software industry as it is quite diversified.
As it became a craze, even very well-to-do families sent their children to the US leaving no successors for their local domination in the villages, which eventually will pass on to other castes in the coming years. They are so unaware or uncaring about the past that they themselves call others as 'naidus'.
If those guys remain back and are taking care of the home turf don't they deserve to be called Naidus rather than these absentee landlord Kammas?
They are unaware of the uniquenes and greatness involved in their customs and are reluctant to continue them thinking them as a waste of money or out of fashion or old-traditioned. They fail to understand that heritage is an invaluable wealth which they must pass on to their children (in preference to the bank currency, bungalows or cars) and it is impossible to regain it once it is lost. ( After ten years, there might be no one who knows how to tie the customary Dhoti). Vast majority of the heritage is already lost and it is high time the community acted (that too on a war-footing) so that atleast, the remaining fraction is redeeemed. Otherwise, the coming generations will have to live without any identity, respect or pride.
Welcome to India where the majority of people live like sheep and slaves thanks to Gandhi Nehru rule.
Eventually, if they do not take any measures to reclaim their glory, they will have to live like the falcon in the story, which accidentally gets into a flock of crows in its childhood and lives with them thinking himself also a crow and wondering at the agility and might of the falcons hovering far up in the sky.
You can thank the martial race theory and British and Thapar renditions of history where Indians were portrayed as passive recipients of foreign invasions ignoring all their glorious histories of resistance and victories. That is a feature not a bug of all post indepence administrations as well. You don't want the masses to start getting ideas of viewing the government as a neo colonial entity and sieze power in order to place a true son of the soil on the throne. No ,better to be crows than falcons is our motto for now.