Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Wednesday, Jan 26, 2005

About Us
Contact Us
Andhra Pradesh
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment |

Andhra Pradesh Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Faction violence has its roots in medieval history

By W. Chandrakanth

HYDERABAD, JAN. 25. The spectre of faction violence that looms large over Rayalaseema region has its roots in medieval history.

After the decisive Thallikota battle in 1565, in which the Bahamani Sultans joined hands with the Deccan rulers to finish off the Vijayanagara Empire's supremacy in South India, the local chieftains of Rayalaseema usurped power and became independent rulers. History records at least 200 such power centres.

The Palegars

These chieftains, known as Palegars, were the warlords of the area and used to collect taxes during the hay days of the Hindu regime. They were ruthless in pursuit of their rivals and passed on the baggage of vengeance to the subsequent generations. The British regime, too, was troubled by them.

The miserable living conditions made youth depend on these chieftains. To ensure permanent loyalty, these leaders developed the practice of financially supporting the families that stood by them.

This mutually beneficial arrangement divided the society on strong emotional lines. Caste, too, came to play a dominant role subsequently in independent India.

Compelling reasons

Backwardness, unemployment, fierce individual loyalties and assured financial support in case of death or injury were some of the reasons that encouraged factionalism here.

If earlier rivalries were confined to Congress leaders, the advent of the Telugu Desam Party in the early eighties gave a new reason for prolonging the bitter rivalry.

The political links are fragile in many cases and only mean a temporary arrangement for leaders. Many of them switch loyalties with the change of government. This switchover makes parties seek replacement with their rivals.

The fight for supremacy has sustained the factions and the process of development has only given the powerful faction leaders new avenues of revenue like contracts, mining and transport - areas of intense competition and enough conflict.

Elected representatives like Mahabaleswar Gupta, Madduri Subba Reddy, Sheshi Reddy or Siva Reddy fell to such conflicts.

Dawn of RoC

The advent of RoC (Reorganisation Committee), a naxalite outfit, strongly divided the society into a conflict area of two dominant castes.

Congress alleged that Paritala Ravi was linked to it. The outfit was said to have eliminated at least 19 persons in Anantapur alone out of 35 killed in all since 1994.

Prominent among them were Gangula Narayana Reddy of Maddelacheruvu and Saane Channa Reddy. The Jubilee Hills car bomb snuffed out 26 innocent lives in 1997 and Paritala Ravi escaped with injuries. It resulted in more murders.

In the last 15 years, 670 Congressmen and 560 TDP men had been done away with, according to police statistics.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Andhra Pradesh

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu