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Old April 6th, 2013, 03:28 AM   #1
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Shudras protected Brahmins against the Turks in the past


I am reading the book "Cultural History of Medieval India" and it mentions an interesting
incident which happened in the 14th century. In the 14th century the Turkic invaders of
the Delhi Sultanate raided several parts of southern India which led to the decline of several
kingdoms like the Yadava Dynasty and Kakatiya Dynasty. After the collapse of the
Kakatiya Dynasty a south Indian general called Prola emerged and defeated the Turkic invaders
and drove the Turks out of south India. The General Prola was from the Shudra caste (the
lowest caste) and he
made himself king after his successful campaigns against the Turks.
A record of Prola stated that "he restored to Brahmanas their ancient agraharas".
Here is the link for the whole record.
Cultural History Of Medieval India - Google Books
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Old April 6th, 2013, 06:43 AM   #2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theseus View Post
I am reading the book "Cultural History of Medieval India" and it mentions an interesting
incident which happened in the 14th century. In the 14th century the Turkic invaders of
the Delhi Sultanate raided several parts of southern India which led to the decline of several
kingdoms like the Yadava Dynasty and Kakatiya Dynasty. After the collapse of the
Kakatiya Dynasty a south Indian general called Prola emerged and defeated the Turkic invaders
and drove the Turks out of south India. The General Prola was from the Shudra caste (the
lowest caste) and he
made himself king after his successful campaigns against the Turks.
A record of Prola stated that "he restored to Brahmanas their ancient agraharas".
Here is the link for the whole record.
Cultural History Of Medieval India - Google Books
Interesting. Thanks for the share Theseus.
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Old April 6th, 2013, 11:14 AM   #3

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Prola was probably one of the 75 nayaks serving king prataparudra [last kakatiya king] who was defeated by muhammed bin thuglaq.Prola united some nayaks and drove out the turks.
Nayak meaning itself is leader; probably brahmins considered them shudras .
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Old April 6th, 2013, 11:35 AM   #4
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According to Wikipedia Prola was probably Prolaya Vema Reddy who was the founder
of the Reddy Dynasty in 14th century.
[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddy_dynasty]Reddy dynasty - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
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Old April 6th, 2013, 09:21 PM   #5

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Interesting information.

Btw just out of curiosity, What was the attitude of the Brahmins towards the Shudras in that particular area, especially after 14th century? was it similar to that of other parts of India? or Sis it become more harmonious?

Last edited by Jinit; April 6th, 2013 at 11:04 PM.
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Old April 6th, 2013, 10:42 PM   #6

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According to Wikipedia Prola was probably Prolaya Vema Reddy who was the founder
of the Reddy Dynasty in 14th century.
Reddy dynasty - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yup possible, nayak was a tag given to the guardians of the 75 states or regions under the last kakatiya king and they proclaimed independence after its fall.
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Old April 7th, 2013, 12:35 AM   #7
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Interesting information.

Btw just out of curiosity, What was the attitude of the Brahmins towards the Shudras in that particular area, especially after 14th century? was it similar to that of other parts of India? or Sis it become more harmonious?
Honestly I don't know. When I read the book I was surprised that a Shudra became a king in the 14th century.
According to many historians the caste system became more rigid during the period of the 11th century to 16th century so its strange that a Shudra was even able to become a general.
Anyway during the period of the Maratha Empire a lot of people from the lower caste like the
Shindes and Holkars were appointed generals and later they even became kings. I think it depends on the
king. The rulers of the Maratha Empire like Shivaji and Shahu selected the generals because of
the ability and not caste. The rulers of the Kakatiya Dyansty probably did the same thing.
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Old April 13th, 2013, 09:59 AM   #8

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Well , this might be a reason ; The islamic cultural shock reached a bit late to south and thus the caste system still maintained its fluidity thus offering a chance for the able individuals to climb up the ladder .
So a shudra becomes a king and protects brahmins and thus legitimizes his position.

Coming to that of Kakatiyas' generals , it often surprises me that they enlisted their generals were mostly of non-kshatriya origin [ according to brahmins' perception ] .
Most of the able generals of the kakatiyas belonged to Kammas , Kapus and Reddys [ who carved kingdoms after their center collapsed] and all the aforementioned castes are termed as shudras who transformed themselves post kakatiyas as 'kshatriyas ' . So this implies that caste system still was rigid in 14th century in south .
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Old April 13th, 2013, 10:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Well , this might be a reason ; The islamic cultural shock reached a bit late to south and thus the caste system still maintained its fluidity thus offering a chance for the able individuals to climb up the ladder .
So a shudra becomes a king and protects brahmins and thus legitimizes his position.

Coming to that of Kakatiyas' generals , it often surprises me that they enlisted their generals were mostly of non-kshatriya origin [ according to brahmins' perception ] .
Most of the able generals of the kakatiyas belonged to Kammas , Kapus and Reddys [ who carved kingdoms after their center collapsed] and all the aforementioned castes are termed as shudras who transformed themselves post kakatiyas as 'kshatriyas ' . So this implies that caste system still was rigid in 14th century in south .
I thought Kammas. Kapus, and Reddys are still officially recognized as shudras? Aren't they OBC?
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Old April 13th, 2013, 10:44 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kauchenvinci-0 View Post
Well , this might be a reason ; The islamic cultural shock reached a bit late to south and thus the caste system still maintained its fluidity thus offering a chance for the able individuals to climb up the ladder .
So a shudra becomes a king and protects brahmins and thus legitimizes his position.
Another reason might be Bhakti movement. It started earlier in south India than in the north India.

However surprising thing in this case isn't that the Shudras protected Brhamins (afterall nobody questioned the supremacy of Brahmins in the society) but that Shudra's position as ruler was accepted by others!!!

Anyway caste system or not, looking at the Indian history it is evident that power was the topmost (and IMO) only requisite to become a ruler.


Quote:
Coming to that of Kakatiyas' generals , it often surprises me that they enlisted their generals were mostly of non-kshatriya origin [ according to brahmins' perception ]
A priest in the local temple once gave me rather interesting opinion behind the apperance of rulers from the lower castes after the Islamic invasion.

The advantage of the caste system was that everybody was master in their own field as they were doing the same work for generations, which created a very highly skilled society. however the same thing was also the disadvantage of the caste system, that they were expert only in their own field. So for example Kashtriyas were expert rulers and soldiers. However once their army had been slaughtered in the battlefield the whole society would have became defanceless. Brahmins and Vaishyas were obviously didn't have mentality nor the phisique to fight. The only one who might have some physique and ability to fight were the Shudras as they mostly performed laborous tasks. And hence the sudden emergance of the lower castes as soldiers after Islamic invasion especially in South india. Anyway it was just his opinion only.
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