- Kapu community has been staging protest demanding inclusion in the Backward Caste list
- They were propagating the reservation cause vehemently through WhatsApp
- With new rule in place, many Kapu leaders have deleted their groups from WhatsApp
Before jumping to conclusions, let’s see what is this WhatsApp regulation? Accordingly, in WhatsApp, if the person forwards, transmits, distributes information without knowing its genuineness or otherwise that results in a loss or wrong done to someone, he/she may come under investigation and can also be made a party or the accused. The person accused may be booked under the IPC or IT Act depending on what is posted.
Coming to Kapu agitation, first let us see what the agitation is about and details about the Kapu community.
Kapu is a farmers community residing in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The strong peasants’ caste comprises nearly 26% of the population of Andhra and Telangana.
Though they are considered one of the forward communities in Andhra Pradesh, the problem escalated when Telangana was formed. Most of them resided in East Godavari and West Godavari and shifted to Telangana after the bifurcation.
Before taking on farming, the Kapus lived in the forests, and when forests were cleared, they took to agriculture.
Socially, Kapu community is considered lower to Kammas and Reddys. Kapus have been accusing these two communities of dominating over them and not allowing them to flourish.
Kapus put forth an argument that Kammas were educated and they got jobs thus are in a better position than them. Thus as Kammas and Reddy already enjoy power in every sector, the Kapus want a reservation. They have demanded to be included in the ‘Backward Castes’ list.
The first major protest in this regard took place in 1993. Following which, a government order was also issued for their inclusion in ‘Backward Castes’. But the order was not implemented, and Kapus blame Kammas constituting most of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members. TDP came to power in 1994.
The practice has continued as Kammas had accused the TDP of breaking their promise of giving Kapus reservations in the government jobs in 2014.
The protest seeking reservation took an ugly turn at the beginning of 2016 when a 51-year-old man committed suicide writing down a note that no reservation to Kapus was the reason behind his death.
The Kapu community leader Mudragada Padmanabham announced an indefinite fast which went on for days. He garnered support from the entire community. But the protest became violent in Tuni, and seven of the Kapu community members were arrested. Following this, the leader called off the indefinite fast.
Since then, the protest took another turn and became strong in the social media. A number of groups were created on WhatsApp for the cause of propagating the Kapu reservation movement.
But however, now with the new rule in place and many people (group admins) being arrested in Bengaluru and other places, the Kapu leaders have decided to stop their propagation through WhatsApp. There are reports that than combating the new rule many have deleted their groups.
The main intention behind deleting the groups from WhatsApp is not to get into a legal tangle. There might be a plan B, but we will have to wait till next step is taken by the Kapus in this regard.
But it is a fact that the new rule has affected the Kapus movement.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:01 PM IST