no phule, no ambedkar..

..no ayyankali, narayana guru, periyar or even lohia either. and definitely no kanshi ram. no mayawati. or annadurai or even devraj urs or laloo yadav. one notices the glaring absence of a long, sustained anti-caste, mass movement in the political history of colonial and post-colonial andhra pradesh.

in the last two centuries, the telugus have produced many thinkers, writers and political activists who had risen against many kinds of oppression -- against feudal rule in telangana, against colonial rule and against zamindaries in coastal andhra and rayalaseema, against exploitation of adivasis in telangana and coastal andhra.

but there has never been a large, sustained, mass movement against caste and brahminism in recent history.

caste wasn't the primary focus of either the telangana peasants struggle, the biggest militant movement of its kind in 20th century indian history, or of the four decades old naxalite movement, both of which produced thousands of dalitbahujan martyrs.

there have been many movements, agitations against caste based oppression but none challenged caste like the movements led by all the visionaries i named earlier. now some dalitbahujan supporters of telangana think that a sociopolitical transformation will happen in a separate state because the population of the obcs in telangana is a few percentage points higher than in a united state. add to this irrational belief in the 'magical solution' of telangana the conviction that upper caste brahmin, velama and reddy politicians and intellectuals will help produce not only the 'magical' solution but also perhaps the social transformation later: is there anything illogical in the srikrishna committee report's dismissal of the idea?   

raising mass consciousness, even at the political level, against caste is a long, tough job. ask dr.ambedkar. if you can't go so far back in the past, ask kanshi ram who walked, cycled around a much larger state than telangana and andhra pradesh for nearly two decades before he got anywhere close to his objective.

and while dalitbahujan youth participate in large numbers in the agitation, nursing their beliefs, hapless dalits are being hunted down as witches in villages close to even the state capital. adivasi girls are being killed or being sold.

will the upper caste politicians or intellectuals/activists leading the movement exhibit the same spirit of brotherhood towards the 'impure' classes if the dalitbahujan youth started asking questions about the upper caste hunters of witches and sorcerers in choutuppal and elsewhere?

dr.ambedkar didn't wait for independence or political 'freedom' to press his demands for the protection of the depressed classes.

but these bands of dalitbahujan supporters will wait for the 'magical solution' that'd first empower the obcs, supposedly, and then the dalits. has the empowerment of a few obc communities, as in u.p., tamil nadu or karnataka ever ensured better progress in the war against caste? political empowerment of a few obc communities has never meant broad political empowerment even of all the obcs, leave alone the dalits. and substantial social transformation is still a long way off in all those states. and the valuable lesson we've learnt from all those states is that it is the empowerment of the dalits that should be the primary goal of any sociopolitical  movement that challenges caste: because any anti-caste political movement that is led by a few obc communities (like the yadavs, kurmis, mudaliars, gounders, vanniars, vokkaligas etc) shall ultimately result in only reinforcing caste, by only slightly altering the hierarchy.

i hope they'll revisit kanshi ram.


Sridhar said...

Kuffir, great post. Where would you rank educational empowerment as a tool in freeing dalits from the brahmanical system? Political empowerment is probably supreme but wonder how effective would it be and how realistic it is to achieve it without the emphasis on educational access to the masses - guaranteed primary and secondary education to all. Once the educational profile of these castes is raised, wouldn't the rise of political leadership and anti-caste resistance be an unstoppable natural process. Not sure the current dalit leadership appreciates this enough.

Also, degeneration of institutional power and governance need to be recognized as a product of dominant caste engineering in support of consituent economic interests. Safeguarding the institutional power and independence should be a relentless process in realizing any egalitarian outcomes. Again, I think there is not much appreciation on this front.

sree said...

Kuffir, great post.

I donot understand how the dalitbahujan activists came to the conclusion that a separate state will empower them!!

They don't seem to realize that going by their logic they should have been empowered(at least politically) in Andhra Pradesh itself.

They don't seem to realize that the brahminized classes by showing the number's logic are pitting them against their own fellow dalitbahujan's.

They don't even seem to take any lesson from the fate of devender goud(a prominent leader from an empowred OBC community).

Hope these activists read dr.ambedkars "Anhiliation of caste" atleast once.

Kiran said...


You have been brilliant in the last four posts. Yes, as you have observed the prominence given to "magic" and sentiment over facts by the Delhi rulers is likely to lead to very unpleasant consequences including the humiliation of a 125 year old party by a young leader.

Dait bahujan attitude is sheer laziness. I believe the vast amounts of cash splashing around the state (due to IT - which I believe is almost as easy money as Oil is ) has enables feudal leaders to buy the silence of dalit leaders- this may have made them soft and hanker for make believe short cuts.

kuffir said...


i'd rank education very high-- i've written about it earlier too.unequal access to equal and quality educational opportunities to the dalits and other marginalised classes-- that's an outcome of a certain kind of politics too. but i believe there are no short cuts to real power without a sustained effort to claim equal, basic education rights.


'They don't seem to realize that the brahminized classes by showing the number's logic are pitting them against their own fellow dalitbahujan's.

They don't even seem to take any lesson from the fate of devender goud(a prominent leader from an empowred OBC community).'

yes, those are issues that need serious thought. even among the gouds, munnuru kapus, yadavs and mudiraj etc, there are large sections which are still backward, and are in no position to play a dominant role in the state politics or economy/society (even if a separate state is formed). hence they still seem to hang onto the reddies, velamas and other upper castes' patronage.


welcome back:) and thanks.

Anonymous said...

Bhagya Reddy Varma's son & former MLA Gautam died a few months ago. Gautam devoted his life to the education of dalit & poor children.

There was almost zero coverage of Gautam's to death. I did not see a single obit nor did any leader visit the funeral.

Contrast with the media coverage & tamasha at Veturi/EVV etc.

kuffir said...


yes, the telugu media, just as the national media, plays a vital role in upholding brahminical values and norms.

Anonymous said...

Kuffir, what is your response to Raja's attempts (or attempts on his behalf) to play the dalit card?

kuffir said...


that doesn't seem to have helped him much-- perhaps a more thorough investigation would reveal who's benefitted more.

Anonymous said...

Brahmin domination of castes is long gone, it is extinct as the mammoth Dinosaur. Clinging to the old notion that somehow all current problems of non brahmins is due to Brahmin hegemony is laughable and simply reflects lack of self confidence of lower castes.

This notion is very similar to that of Telangana protagonists who imagine that Seema-Andhra people are entirely responsible for their sufferings.

There are only 2 MLA's in the whole of AP who are Brahmins, so somehow Kufr imagining that Dalits look towards Brahmins, Reddys, Velamas as providing magical solutions in a Telangana state is a non starter.
The latter two castes in the list is understandable, given their domination in the political spectrum but not Brahmins.

What have modern Dalit icons like Mayawati, Spectrum Raja and Justice Dinakaran done for the welfare of Dalits, apart from looting to the hilt and playing the Dalit card when they seem to be in trouble.

The two TRS MLA's who are now languishing in prison for Human trafficking belong to the supposedly Dalit-Bahujan castes.
So not all problems of Dalit-Bahujans can be attributed to upper caste domination.

Anonymous said...

hi sir,

"there has never been a large, sustained, mass movement against caste and brahminism in recent history"

I respectfully disagree with this statement. What about MRPS? While the movement today has become focussed on reservations only, I would consider the move by Manda Krishna Madiga and other MRPS leaders and cadre to use the "Madiga" caste title in their names as one of the most intelligent steps towards challenging traditional caste hierarchies. I agree this is a symbolic move but isn't idea behind the move as good as any theory propounded modern by Dalit intellectuals to fight the traditional hierarchies? MRPS is also a true mass movement.

Also, what about Kancha Illiah? I acknowledge he is OBC and not Dalit, but shouldn't we include "Why I am not a Hindu" as a very good intellectual work within the larger body of Dalit literature?

There are also others like Kathi Padma Rao who have been contributing in their own way (Ok prePRP probably, but still).

Please share your thoughts and correct me if I am wrong.


Subbarao said...

Kancha ilaiah is neither a Dalit expert nor an intellectual as you imagine, he is a pseudo historian under the guise of scholar.

His book "Why I am not a Hindu" is neither a scholarly nor factual work, but a crude representation of his unbridled hatred for the forward castes and paricular Brahmins.
You can read the critique for his book here.


He runs his imagination wild while debating about Dalit bahujans and on several occasions has become a laughing stock in front of the media (ndtv debate with Manish Tiwari sometime back is a example).

Recently while debating the charity culture (or lack thereof) of hindus, he descended into dangerous levels of stereotyping.
He referred to the Abmanis as greed and flashy culture filled Banias but conveniently forgets Rajas and Mayawatis fugality.

Anonymous said...

Subbarao Sir,

Voiceofdharma is unfortunately a very right wing hate spewing hindutva site. Sorry I wont read it.

But even if we keep Iilaih aside, I think my other point regarding MRPS holds good.


blueshift said...


"He referred to the Abmanis as greed and flashy culture filled Banias but conveniently forgets Rajas and Mayawatis fugality."

I believe building a 2 billion$ home is beyond flashy it reflects the egomaniac in Ambanis.

Can you please tell me whats flashy about Raja's and Mayawatis?
wearing a garlend of notes is flashy ? ha ha ha

i agree with anon above on Voiceofdharma there is NO NEED to read it ...lol

Anonymous said...

Re MRPS/Iilaih etc.

The point made by Anonymous (not me but a different guy) was about Kuffir's statement: "there has never been a large, sustained, mass movement against caste and brahminism in recent history"

Iilaih is an individual without a movement so it does not meet the above.

MRPS: it is definitely a movement that is large, sustained & mass based. I think the name tag is relevant but ABCD is even more so.

Andhra region groups: anti-Karamchedu struggle was definitely a movement that is large, sustained & mass based. Even today, it is not totally less. SKC report (page 410) saying "While the Malas of this region seem divided in their outlook,
the Madigas are consistent in their demand for a separate state" is partially a tribute to DMS & other bodies.

My comment is not based on whether MKM, KPR, Sreeramulu or Iiliah are good or not or even whether their cause is correct. I am only interpreting based on Kuffir's definition (large, sustained & mass based movement)

subbarao said...

I am not espousing the voiceofdharma site nor I am a follower of it.
I was just pointing to the critique by MV sastry that was published in several websites where he clinically demolishes Kancha's blissful ignorance on Hindu scriptures without going into any right wing ideological debates. SInce lots of Dalitbahujans and marxists are raving about this book
"WHy I am not a hindu", it is very pertinent to look into the scholarly (or lack thereof) work of this book. Overall, this book is nothing but a sad representation of KAncha's extreme anti Brahmin ideology devoid of any facts or research.

I do agree that Mayawati's 400 Crore assets and Rajas 6000 crores are pale in comparision to Ambanis $2billion abode. I am sure lots of Dalit BAhujans benifited from ill-gotten wealth Maya's and Rajas.

More Kancha's critique

Anonymous said...

I have read both critics of Ilaiah's book. Though I have not read the original book, I think both the critics wrote sense.
Ilaiah is extreme personification of the bankruptcy of dalit-centered intellectuals.
Unfortunately, the owner of this blog also spews such bankruptcy too often for the comfort of serious readers.

blueshift said...

anon above...

lol you have not read the original book and still think that

"Ilaiah is extreme personification of the bankruptcy of dalit-centered intellectuals."

and you already passed judgement that critics have written holy words against Ilaiah.

Good. continue your ignorance some day your future generations will realize the mistake you are doing.

Anonymous said...

OK brothers, it was my fault to get Iliah mixed up in this point. But I am wondering why Kufr sahib has no response to my point on MRPS.

I am very keen on understanding how MRPS fits with the overall Dalit-Bahujan movements.

Coming back to Iliah, I read his book a long time back and I remember my impression was that he had quite a few valid points to make but of course also has an unfortunate fixation on Brahmins in particular (akkaidikedo reddlu kammollu kapulu velamalu etc etc takkuva tinnattu :))His cartoons in particular are also very unfortunate, like some nazi anti semitic cartoons. I think he needs to tone down his rhetoric. Not sure what purpose such rabidness serves.


subbarao said...

In a country where reservations are viewed as a panacea for all ills affecting the society, MRPS is one of myriad outfits that have popped up championing the cause of Madigas using the plank of categorization of SC's.

They cannot be called as a Dalit-Bahujan movememt as its main aim is to grab/share the disproportionate benefits currently enjoyed by their fellow Malas.

So its more of a Dalit vs dalit issue and not a DB vs Forward caste issue. Also Manda Krishna is a wily crook who is using the current Telangana movement to find a political space for himself.Madigas are a majority in Telangana and their vote bank will be crucial in some T districts.

Anonymous said...

To Blueshift above...
The reason is simple, it is easy to read the short critics than to read a whole book.
If one is smart enough, one would get the picture by reading critics.
And the critics here are not some hoi pollois. They are accredited (not in the formal sense) intellectuals unlike anonymous bloggers like us.

blueshift said...

to Anonymous above...

ok good from next time onwards dont buy books "you only read critics than to read a whole book."

why buy a book and read it since its easy to read short para of critic.

you can continue on this.
Because "And the critics here are not some hoi pollois." they are "SUPER" intelligent "SUPER" humans...anything they speak is holy of holy........

FOR YOU MAY BE.....unfortunately NOT FOR ME.

Anonymous said...

yendayya iliah peru cheppagane mee lolli? asalu yee kufr brother yaadiki poyadu? yelanti points respond avvalikada,,,,yavaru kidnap chesarau saarvaadini?

Anonymous said...


I think it is definitely a mass movement.

Their agenda may look single item but look at what they have achieved. Manda Krishna has galvanized an entire people on the self respect platform. This is a great achievement even if you call him names.

Calling MRPS dalit vs. dalit is only partially correct. I would classify this as an identity struggle.

MKM's Telangana politics is interesting. He is carefully mixing his support for Telangana with his fight against "upper castes". The call for SC CM (or Deputy CM in AP) can be tracked in part to this.

Anonymous said...

chusara brothers daarunam. andhra vaadani annamayyani jashuvani kuda vadalledu. emi cheptam desam ela tagaladindi.


Arun said...

There are gr8 Dalit leadrs to fight brahminism no? Like Ex CJI Balakrishnan (what a reputation he left behind for the Supreme Court). Justice Dinakaran of Hi Court(same fellow who was chargesheeted today). Don't forget A. Raja - he of the biggest fraud on India. Madhu Koda the Jharkand CM of many thousand crores fraud of much hated Brahmin money. Mayavati of the statues fame done frm thousands of crores of public money.

Kuffir these can lead Dalit fight against those bleddy brahmins no?

blueshift said...


I agree with you...these leaders cannot fight. Have you heard adarsh scam,Radia is caught but but TATA escaped..?Ambanis .......? are enjoying free air even after putting their legs and hands deep inside 2g scam......nitya saammi is enjoying...shankara charya is enjoying free life even after cases pending...


Dalits people are dragged unnecessarily into scams and subbu sammy unleashes himself to attack dalits. and poor dalits get caught and live in Jails...

Problem is justice system of India is in pocket of brameens.

manan said...

Caste is almost biological and its not going to go away.In the rest of the world the social tensions are suppressed through a massive use of propaganda,intoxicants and by breaking up clans and families,an experiment thats underway in india.
Even if dalits/obc get "empowered" they will stay on as rulers in a similar social system as their ancestors.Today dalits try to get by,but if they get power,they too will become proud of their roots and mark it through various means.This has been happening since time began and there are solid reasons why revolutionaries have been failing time and again.Only thing that youthful misguided passion is being supported by foreign interests against india.Whites in spite of all their liberal proclamations will shoot you for sport as reflected in the case of the italian marines.

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