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Can the BJP grow in Andhra?

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Does the BJP have a chance in Andhra?

The answer to this puzzle we will test the Human Brain of Machiavelli. So complex is the AP caste tangle.
To put it plainly, the AP Caste tangle resembles a re-invented Snake & Ladder game. Caste A hates Caste B. Caste B hates both Caste A & Caste C. Caste D hates Caste A. Hence, Caste D & B are friends. But Caste D also hates Caste C. So, Caste C & Caste A become friends. Meanwhile, a Telugu Superstar’s daughter elopes with a person from Caste A. So, the Superstar’s caste which is Caste C increase their hatred towards Caste A. Meanwhile another Superstar’s son who is from Caste B marries a girl who belongs to Caste A. This leaves both castes confused. How come?? We are fighting on the streets and their kids marry??

So, how does the BJP enter this Mud Hole? Without itself getting muddied and thick with slush? If the BJP makes the State Chief from one caste, it puts away all those castes who hate the caste which the State Chief belongs to. However good a person he might be.

The basis of the AP Caste problem lies in the times of the great Mughal (Bahmani) push towards the South almost a Millennium back. Combined Telangana & Andhra which was one great Telugu land was the gateway to the South. Without conquering this vast area it was impossible to conquer South. Which the Bahmanis (Delhi Sultanate) realized was easier said than done. This great push which lasted for more than 2 centuries completely drained the resources of the Mighty Sultanate, and led them to disarray and ultimate demise across the entire country. The Bahmanis could only end up conquering only the Telangana portion of Telugu Land, and ruled over this land for almost 250yrs along with a certain portion of present day Karnataka, major portion of present day Maharashtra & Chattisgarh. The combined land being ruled by the Bahmanis (Nizams) made that land the biggest & largest Muslim Country in the World, at that time.

Ever wondered why in spite the National Average of Muslims being around 15%, and in some states hovering around 20% and in some around 25% the combined percentage of Muslims in the 3 great Southern States is just only 5-6%? With the exception of Kerala which has a Muslim population of around 20% which is not connected to a Muslim Invasion or rule in anyway.

Like Christianity which gained its reach into Kerala in and around the 2nd Century, Islam too found its way to Kerala through the seas during the times of the Prophet Mohammed himself. The unique geographical location of Kerala contributed to the introduction and growth of 2 alien religions almost around the same time they were initiated in their respective places without the swipe of a single sword or the firing of a single bullet. In comparison, growth of Islam in each and every other state of the country other than Kerala was due to invasions and Mughal/Muslim/Bahmani/Nizam rule. This data gains significance when the sub-data that, the Muslim population of the 4 Southern States of Telangana, AP, TN & Karnataka is not more then 5-6% as compared to the National average of 15%. The massive irony being that Telangana has ended up with a 12% Muslim population after bifurcation and AP to only 3%.

This was the contribution of Telugus in changing the course of History and restricting the Mughal domination only to the North of the Vindhyas and also gradually causing the complete demise of the Mughal/Nizam empires subsequently, which were sapped of resources, aim and commitment contributing to a huge 2 and half Century failure.
Which brings us to the fundamental query? What is the link between the failures of the Mughal push to the caste problem in AP?

When the Bahmanis started their push into the South they ran into a brick wall called as the Great Kakatiya Empire which was one of the largest Hindu Empire ruling those times. The Kakatiyas ruled with their capital at Warangal in present day Telangana and ruled over almost entire present day Telangana & Andhra, parts of Chattisgarh & TN. Their rule was from Year 1163-1323. Their area was so huge that, they encouraged 75 Chieftains called Nayakas to rule on their behalf in the far flung areas with a certain degree of autonomy, but with ultimate loyalty to the Kingdom. These Nayakas were selected based on valor, loyalty and Family names.

Everything was fine, until the Bahmanis started their offensive. The Nayakas who were ruling the bordering areas in the North & West came under attack. They repulsed the attacks and won many victories and were heralded as heroes by the King. This brought out egos & jealousies among the other Nayakas who were to the East & South of the Kingdom. But, the Kakatiya Queen Rudrama Devi brought unity among all of them and made them all jointly repel the repeated attacks of the Bahmanis. The Nayakas were initially opposed to a Lady leading them. But reconciled seeing the kingdom under threat. After her demise, her son Pratap Rudra who was also the greatest of Kakatiya Kings had to again face the brunt of the egos and rivalries between the jealous Nayakas. In spite of these problems he led the Kakatiya Kingdom to its greatest expansion.

Meanwhile based on Family names and titles the individual Nayakas started proclaiming themselves as individual castes. The 3 Main castes which evolved were the Kapu Nayakas, Velama Nayakas & Kamma Nayakas. The most prominent being the Kapu Nayakas, since Pratap Rudra who was an adopted son of Rudramadevi was himself a Kapu. Rudramadevi herself did not have any children. Among the Kapu Nayakas the most prominent being the Reddy Nayakas, who were ruling most part of the Telangana portion of the Kakatiya Empire along with the Velama Nayakas. The other Kapu Nayakas being concentrated in the East. The rivalry and jealousy among the Reddy & Velama Nayakas in present day Telangana was the most. It reached such a zenith that it almost threatened the combined resistance of the Nayakas against the Bahmanis. Finally the inevitable happened. In the great battle against the Bahmanis led by Pratap Rudra in 1323, the Velama Nayakas refused to come into battle and fight alongside the Reddy Nayakas, and the Kakatiya Army was defeated, and Pratap Rudra was taken a prisoner. While being taken to Delhi to be produced before the Sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, the great Pratap Rudra committed suicide on the Banks of the Narmada.

After the victory, with great difficulty the Delhi Sultanate could manage to rule the Kakatiya land only for a decade, and had to withdraw to present day Telangana borders and consolidate itself into the Nizam Kingdom which ruled present day Telangana, South Maharashtra, South Chattisgarh & North Karnataka for 250 years.
The successful repulsion of Bahmani invasions for more than 2 centuries had its own fallout on Telugu land. Telugu society was thrown into complete chaos and disarray with individual chieftains based on family names claiming their own kingdoms. And balance Telugu land being governed by Kapu Nayakas, Reddy Nayakas & Kamma Nayakas, ridden with personal hatred & jealousies. The conquered Reddy & Velama Nayakas of Telangana adjusting themselves to the new regime submitted themselves completely to the Nizam who thought it prudent enough to rule their huge area through Hindus and not rather through Muslims. And who better than those Hindu Nayakas who were more loyal to their caste dominations rather than to their religion. This was a marked difference from the Mughal rule of Akbar and his descendants who preferred to rule their territory through loyal Muslim Chieftans.

The cruelty and barbarism by which these Hindu Velama & Reddy Nayakas ruled their people for 250 years to please the Nizams is unmatched in history. These Reddy & Velama Nayaka families and their descendants & relatives becoming the richest population of Nizam Land in present day Telangana. It would be a surprise to many that, when the Indian Government under Sardar Patel was planning to conquer Nizam, the Velama & Reddy Doras (Chieftans) unleashed a reign of terror on the Hindu population. Some even requested the Nizam to loan them his coveted Arab mercenaries to effectively discharge their terror activities. It is no irony that, 80% of MLAs and MPs from Telangana have always been Reddys & Velamas. And, the present CM KCR himself being a Velama, descendant of Velama Nayakas.

Meanwhile, out of the almost 70 years of Independence, 50+ years have been ruled by Reddys and balance by Kammas. The Corruption & Political Violence unleashed by these 2 Nayaka castes with more than a Millennium of hatred against each other has turned Andhra into a Political inferno. If Reddys who had aligned themselves to the Congress turned Andhra into a Playground kicking about freely, Kammas who had aligned themselves to the TDP turned Andhra into their backyard. The period of time the TDP ruled AP is less than 50% of the time the Reddys ruled AP. But Kammas control 80% of real estate in AP. 70% of colleges, 70% of financial institutions, 90% of Media Outlets. For a caste which is only 5-6% of the State’s population such huge assets tell a story of nepotism unparalleled. No Non-Kamma Politician can hope to grow in Andhra without the scrutiny of 40+ Media Channels owned by Kammas. To make matters worse the BJP interlocutor for AP is Venkiah Naidu who is a Kamma himself and a close confident of Chandra Babu Naidu. To make matters even worse, he has appointed another Kamma Kammampati Hari Babu as the State BJP Chief.
The Reddys have been left licking their wounds after the demise of their Christian leader YSR, and made to look lost and silly under a completely immature and childish Jagan Reddy who greets visitors in his Lotus Pond residence with a huge portrait of Jesus at the background. Jagan Reddy’s tales of corruption during his father’s regime would make a Robert Vadra look like a teenage & immature shop lifter. His mother goes one step ahead. She goes to a public rally with a Bible in her hand. The powerful Reddys most of whom being Hindus don’t mind being led by a Christian Reddy as long as he ensures the political domination of the Community in the State.

So, where is the Silver Lining in this entire worm and snake infested swamp??? The answer lies in 2 castes that are waiting in the sidelines. One is the Brahmins, and the other is the Kapus who were once the main Nayakas in the Kakatiya Empire. The Kapus who chose to be dormant these 70 years after independence have chosen to be more assertive. The advantage the Kapus have is their huge population of Andhra which amounts to almost 25-32% of the State Population. Their adulation to their caste icons Chiranjeevi & his brother Pawan Kalyan is unparalleled, who incidentally are ruling Tollywood unmatched ad unchallenged since 3 decades. Chiranjeevi set the dice rolling in 2009 by setting up the PRP. All he could manage was to refuse a chance to the TDP and allowing a majority to the Congress by splitting the votes. Though not achieving much, he succeeded in setting the cat among the pigeons. The flutter he created during his entry with a 16% vote share in the very 1st go gave an indication of things to come. His subsequent stalling of Jagan’s rise on the aftermath of his father’s demise completely wrecked Jagan’s plans and subsequently the Reddy domination in AP Politics. He played his cards well and merged into the Congress, which Jagan was threatening to purchase all his MLAs lock stock and barrel in his march towards the CM’s throne on his father’s demise. The purchase of the 16 PRP MLAs by Jagan would have ensured his CM’s post on the demise of his Father. In doing so he did have to pay a heavy price. He had to face the fury of the entire Reddy Community and the social indignation of the Kammas who chided him of being a corrupt person who sold himself to merge into the Congress.

His brother Pawan Kalyan took issues further when aligning with the BJP & TDP in 2014 he single handedly snatched victory again from Jagan’s hand and handed the state over to the TDP. But now issues between him and the TDP are coming to a passé. He seems to be maneuvering himself carefully without revealing his cards and not opening himself to the Kamma media. Things will be interesting to see how things turn up in the political cauldron of AP in 2019. How BJP develops him. His personal equation with the PM notwithstanding.

The Brahmins of AP need to wake-up from deep slumber. 70 years of Non-Brahmin power has sent the Brahmins into an ICU. The Brahmins of AP have resorted to massive migration since Independence sensing their total irrelevance in present day Telugu land. A population which was hovering around 8% prior to Independence in the Andhra region of the Madras Presidency has been reduced to just around 3% in the same geographical area. Reddys, Kammas, Kapus, Velamas are all Upper Castes. For all their bravado against Brahmanical culture and domination Tamil Nadu is being actually ruled by a Brahmin, namely Jayalalitha.

Unless the RSS goes deep into AP and re-develops the Brahmin community and leads them away from their rut the hope for BJP can be considered very dim. Since winning an election with the support of Non-Brahmin Upper Castes and with a leader from any of these castes is as unpredictable as a desert storm. Which is why if any State should deserve an award for Corruption each year since past 70 years, it is only Andhra.

Pawan Kalyan seems to be developing and striving for Brahminical qualities. And I believe honestly.
The BJP might feel that it has achieved the unachievable after winning Assam with just around 70% Hindus. But winning Andhra with 90-95% Hindus will be a challenge akin to milking a Bull.

But with the right strategy and approach the Bull can be converted into a cow and milked away as and when needed.


Editors Note: The above post has been edited to delete some offensive content

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