“The Reddy brothers have overturned the traditional rules of Indian politics.
“Conventional wisdom suggests that caste is the key determinant of political power. The rise of the Mandal forces has accentuated the belief that social engineering is critical to building a political base. That, whether it be the Yadavs of the Hindi heartland or the Dravidian parties in the South, caste loyalties are seen to be the defining badge of political mobility.
“In Karnataka, too, the Lingayats and the Vokkaligas have emerged as the main competitors for backward class dominance in the state’s caste cauldron.
“The Reddys have changed the rules of the game. The Reddy brothers — Karunakara, Janardhana and Somasekhara — are originally Andhra Reddys, with strong ties to their home state. In Karnataka, the Andhra Reddys number only a few lakh, making them a marginal votebank. But what they didn’t have in votes, the Reddys have more than made up with ‘notes’. By building a vast treasure chest through their extensive mining operations, they have created a situation where money power is a substitute to caste power. In a sense, they have almost rendered caste irrelevant, creating the basis for a new form of post-Mandal politics.”
Read the full article: Rough and Reddy