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Karamchedu, a graphic narrative
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Karamchedu, a graphic narrative

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Unnamati Syama Sundar

syam[On 17th July, 1985, the Kamma landlords of Karamchedu (7 km away from Chirala town in Prakasam District of Andhra Pradesh) and other neighbouring villages attacked the Dalit wada in the village and in the organized violence that followed, eight Dalit villagers were brutally massacred.

Dr. Kathi Padma Rao writes:

Two Kamma youth, Potina Seenu and Rayineedu Prasad, took their buffaloes to the drinking water tank in Madigapalle. They fed the buffaloes with washings of rice in buckets. While they were washing the dirty buckets in the tank, Katti Chandraiah, a Dalit boy, objected to it. His courage angered Seenu and Prasad. They were about to beat up Chandraiah when Munnangi Suvaartha, a Madiga woman, came to the tank to collect water. She tried to protect the boy from the attack of Kamma youths. Seenu and Prasad threw hunters at her. She lifted her vessel and warded off the hunters. Suvaartha’s lifting of vessel in self-defence became a pretext for Kammas, who were itching for a fresh quarrel with Madigas after the election clash. They used the trivial occasion for a ghastly attack on Madigas. ‘A Madiga woman lifted the vessel to attack Kammas. There was no meaning for our caste domination,’ fumed Kammas. But they knew that they alone could not attack Madigas. They mobilised Kammas of seven surrounding villages, swooped on the Madigapalle on July 17th morning. They raided every Dalit’s house, drove Madigas into fields. The blood thirsty Kammas beat Madigas, stabbed them and axed them. They raped Dalit women. They became murderers and barbarians and it was no exaggeration.. They chased and hunted Madigas for over 7 km. The murder and mayhem had no parallel in the Indian subcontinent. Duddu Moshe, Duddu Ramesh, Tella Yehoshua, Tella Moshe, Tella Muthaiah and Duddu Abraham were axed to death by Kammas. In fact, eight Dalits were killed in the Kammas’ attack. Police did not show two bodies to the victims and secretly buried them.

This is a graphic depiction of what happened in Karamchedu]

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Unnamati Syama Sundar is a Ph.D student in the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU. He is also an artist and photographer with keen sensibilities and a critical interest in social and political issues; his cartoons and illustrations appear in many Round Table India articles.

 

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