varna and jati

Asha Naidu ashanaidu at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri May 28 01:49:18 UTC 1999

I've lived in Bangalore and Pune and have both Keralite and Telugu friends.
In Bangalore, I never experienced any such anti brahmin sentiment. The poor
of Andhra resent only the land owning Reddy and Kamma (I think).

I would agree that those Reddy's and Kamma's who own land AND ill treat
those who work the land for them are resented - and quite justifiably so.
However all Reddys and Kammas do not own land and land particularly in
coastal Andhra is also owned by other communities including Brahmins, Kapu's
and Komtis and some backward classes. As far as my knowledge goes there are
both benevolent and exploitative landlords in all communities. I would
relate bad treatment of minorities to abuse of power and not caste. Land
holdings tend to be small - i.e. few people own hundreds of acres.
Certainly the Brahmins do not deserve disproportionate blame and I agree
with Sujatha that we Indians have discriminated against our own people.

Yet, since Independence we have actually implemented both educational and
job reservations for the deprived (not an easy thing for a poor country like
India) and I find it an encouraging sign that backward classes and scheduled
classes are organising themselves politically and participate in the
democratic process. An interesting article is available at

Infact, people from all four categories (Keralite, Telugu, Kannada, MarAti)
that I've met, stoutly deny that their language is derived from Tamizh, and
insist that it's Samskrutam which is the mother language. Even if they're
actually wrong, it still reflects their respect and affinity towards
Samskrutam, which could never have been achieved by coersion.

Yes there are some Telugu people who are unaware of/deny the undeniably
Dravidian roots of Telugu.  At certain stages Telugu became heavily
sanskritized - and as you say it may reflect their choice of loyalty - I  am
not sure.

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