Is Kammas history not properly chronicled?

Was the task of recording Kammas history ignored by past generations? To a greater extent we have to say ‘Yes’.  Lack of proper material on Kammas has created numerous doubts on their history. Common among them was Kammas don’t have any remarkable history, which is a senseless fallacy. As the scripting of history was overlooked and not given emphasis it has become an uphill task today to identify the exact roots or lineage of Kammas. Unlike Reddys who irrespective of their economic status carry a suffix to their name ‘Reddy’ and could be easily identified, Kammas don’t have such appellation and they carry different tags like Rao, Das, Murthy, Chowdary, Nayudu, Babu et al making it difficult to identify by name. Only surnames to an extent help in the identification of a Kamma. Inscriptions say the journey off all three castes Reddys, Kammas, and Velamas commenced at the same time and the history of Kammas is as old as the history of Reddys and Velamas. In line with 1901’s Madras Census Report, all the four castes Kammas, Velamas, Reddys and Kapus diverged from the same Dravidian sect and their daily chores and rituals as well their life styles are quite similar in nature.

Coming to Velamas, the Zamindari clans evinced an aggressive interest in their history and got it penned during British regime. Though there are several Kamma Zamindars during the same time they didn’t shoulder that task. During the later years when the Kammas of those times tried to get their history composed, the experts of those times somehow were reluctant for the reasons best known to them. Surprisingly, the same historians who rejected Kammas’ proposal, authored Velamas and Reddys histories. Thus we could read between the lines.

Fuelled from such rejections a common man shouldered this arduous task of authoring a book on Kammas History and he was fairly successful. He is none other than Shri Kotta Bhavayya Chowdary. He got his head down for more than 12 years and did an extensive and meticulous study on Gothras and Sur Names of Kammas. He decoded several archaic inscriptions in the process. Ultimately he succeeded in handing over a large repository of information to his next generations and till today his book has become a standard when somebody talks about History of Kammas. This book became an integral part of Andhra’s history. What we could observe here is an individual in his own interest dedicated himself to gather information on Kamms from ages and put it at one place. Whereas in other communities like Velamas and Reddys, the community or a group of community persons as a team took the uphill mantle of getting their history written and they fairly succeeded in that. We can obviously derive that the task of “recording Kamma’s history” was grossly ignored.

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