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Ancient history Origin There are many theories about the origins of the word "Kamma" and the social group known as the Kammas. These include: Buddhist origin: the people who lived in the Krishna River valley, where Buddhism prevailed, were named from the Theravada Buddhist concept of Kamma in Pali or Karma in Sanskrit.
This shows that the ancestors of Kammas and Velamas were either Buddhists or Jains who did not follow gotra system and that both the social groups had a common history. The historical reasons for the dichotomy of the two groups are not known, although many stories abound. The affiliation of Kammas as a caste to the ruling dynasties could not be ascribed till 11th century.
Around this time many warriors from Kammanadu joined the forces of the Kakatiya dynasty. In Warangal region Kammas are called Kamma Kapus. One of the most famous commanders during the time of Rudrama Devi and Prataparudra II was Dadi Nagadeva who played a prominent role in warding off the attack of the Yadava king of Devagiri. Ganna was the commander of Warangal fort. He was captured, converted to Islam and taken to Delhi along with Prataparudra.
Another warrior of repute was Muppidi Nayaka who went on an expedition to Kanchi , defeated the Pandya king and merged it with Kakatiya dynasty in CE. The inhuman atrocities perpetrated by the Muslims on Telugu people later prompted two Kamma chieftains, Musunuri Prolaya Nayaka and Musunuri Kapaya Nayaka, who served the Kakatiya king Prataparudra, to raise the banner of revolt. During the reign of Sri Krishnadevaraya Kammas belonging to thirty seven gotras were living in the city of Vijayanagar.
The Gandikota Kammas kept the Muslim rulers like the Bahmanis at bay and protected Telugu land for a long time to come. Kammas controlled large swathes of southern and northern Tamil Nadu for several years under the title of Nayacker or Naicker or Naidu, which was a legacy of the Vijayanagara Empire. The Zamindaris of Ilaiyarasanadal and Kurivikulam in Tamil Nadu belong to Pemmasani families  Martial clans: Many clans belonging to Kamma social group figure prominently in the battles during Vijayanagara era and in the subsequent years.
It took another 90 years to consolidate the Muslim power in Andhra country with the capture of Gandikota in Kamma nayaks migrated in large numbers to the Tamil region. During the Golkonda period, the Sayapaneni Nayaks — ruled Dupadu region as vassals of the Golkonda sultans. Ibrahim Qutb Shah captured Kondavidu in Vasireddy Sadasiva Nayudu ruled Nandigama paragana from to Chinapadmanabha Nayudu got a grant of villages from Abul Hassan Tanisha in His successors ruled until During this period the French and the British were trying to gain control of the Andhra country.
Jaggayya ruled Chintapalli from onwards. The British gained control of Andhra by from Golkonda Nawabs. Another Kamma principality during Golkonda period was Devarakota with Challapalli as its capital. His successors ruled as vassals of Golkonda till the French took over in and later the British in The armies of Zamindars and Deshmukhs were dismantled and only the power of tax collection was left intact. The British recognized their prominence and made them village heads Talari also known as Chowdary to collect taxes.
The association of Kammas with the land and agriculture is legendary. The martial prowess of Kammas was put to good use to tame the lands in modern times. Randhawa eulogized the spirit of Kamma farmers. Availability of water and the natural propensity for hard work made the Kammas wealthy and prosperous. The zamindars of Challapalli and Kapileswarapuram founded many schools and libraries. In the modern times, the pace of the growth in wealth accelerated due to their enterprise and notable achievements in business, real estate, farming, arts and movie industry, education, medicine, engineering, media and high technology.
This migration is continuing in line with the many socio-cultural changes being experienced by the state of Andhra Pradesh. Other surnames indicate the villages to which the persons originally belonged to.
Naicker title is used in the areas south of Coimbatore districts. Sub-Divisions According to the census of British India there were six divisions viz. In modern times these divisions have all but vanished. Politics The Kamma caste have been considered to be Upper Shudras under the Hindu varna system of ritual ranking.
During the twentieth century a number of leaders like Prof N. Several Kammas were also attracted to leftist ideals and joined the Communist Party. It was a strong political force in the state until the mid sixties. Many wealthy Kammas willingly relinquished their lands and actively worked for the land distribution reforms. This helped many landless individuals attain middle class status and brought about greater economic development of the state as a whole.
However, their affinity towards the Communist party in the early days led them to lose political clout along with the diminished influence of the Communist party throughout the world. Current status This unreferenced section requires citations to ensure verifiability. A large number of Kamma families have migrated to urban centres in India and abroad. Their enterprising nature and hard work has helped them retain their affluent status.
In villages, land reforms forced many Kammas to give away their lands to the government, to be donated to the poor and landless. Subsequently, land holdings got fragmented and presently most of the Kammas living in rural areas are small farmers. The vagaries of weather and a lack of good "support prices" made agriculture unremunerative.
Loss of interest in agriculture coupled with the opportunities in urban areas have only exacerbated the situation. Andhrula Charitra. Vol 1. Russell and R. Lai, , Asian Educational Services, p. Krishnarao, V. Sastrulu, Madras, , p. Hassan, , Asian Educational Services, p. B and Rice, J. Lewis, A.
Lambton and P. D, by N. Ranga, p. Nilakanta Sastry, Iswara Dutt, pp. Vadivelu, , Mittal Publications, New Delhi, p. Narayanarau, D. Shulman and S.
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