KAMMA's - A Dominant Caste and Territory in South India
Ms. Dalel Benbabaali, Postdoctoral Researcher,
Department of Anthropology of the London School of Economics and Political Science
KAMMA's - A Dominant Caste and Territory in South India - Telugu Version
Dominant caste and territory in South India: The case of the Kammas of Andhra Pradesh
I do not dispute any of the statements of this article. The rise of Kammas (under 5% of state's population) from nobody in 1850's to occupy the centre stage of truncated AP's political, economic, education, medical, real estate, financial, media, entertainment, industrial, services, govt service, ... almost in all walks of life is attributable to irrigation facilities associated with Godavari anicut and Bezwada anicut built in 1850's by Sir Arthur Cotton. Vijayawada, present capital of AP and 2nd largest city in AP which was a small town (smaller than Machilipatnam, Guntur, Gudivada, Nandigama, Nuzvid in 1881) rose to prominence with Bezwada Anicut in 1850's and Prakasam Barrage in 1950's. Not withstanding some aberrations, rise of Kamma's is attributable to their hard working nature, propensity to migrate for prosperity, education and entrepreneurship with risk taking tendencies and belief in real estate. Today apart from Krishna & Godavari delta regions they have become formidable forces in Coimbatore, Chennai, Bangalore, Bellary, Davanagere & Raichur districts, Hyderabad city, Nizamabad & Khammam districts, New Jersey and Callifornia. The separation of Telangana state adversely stopped their further investments in Hyderabad and the same are diverted to Bangalore and Vijayawada effecting growth and economy of Hyderabad city. While they suffered huge real estate and investment losses and erosion in their property valuations, with their acumen-ship they would recuperate over time. But the economic damage to Hyderabad city would be felt after self momentum dies down in two years.
In Krishna delta region Kammas, being 5% of state population and 20% in that region owns 80% of the irrigated land. And that is the strength of their base.