Mala (caste)

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Mala community
Regions with significant populations
Andhra Pradesh
Telugu language

Mala are Dalits from the south Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. Mala groups are considered as Scheduled Castes by the Government of India.

The history of Mala caste dates back to late 11th century.



According to Government of India census data from 2001,[1] Malas constituted 41.6 percent (5,139,305) of the Scheduled Castes (SC) population in the then state of Andhra Pradesh, which has subsequently been bifurcated by the creation of Telangana state.[2] They are largely concentrated in the Coastal Andhra region.[citation needed] They are also classified as a Scheduled Caste in Karnataka.[3]

Mala Christians[edit]

A small section of the Malas also turned to Christianity but after noticing the similar caste politics in the Telugu Catholic church, shifted to Protestantism instead. They are prominent in the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC), Church of South India (CSI). They have made very good use of the Christian educational programs, considerably elevating their social position and now form part of the upper middle class. These Christian Malas are commonly called Merugumala people, who came from Godavari Krishna basin. They are not considered Scheduled Castes by the Government of India but fall under the "BC-C" category (Backward castes C-category) with 1% Reservation at state level and at national level they come under Other Backward Class (OBC, List of OBC's; Andhra Pradesh list, Entry the Central List-60 (Scheduled castes converts to Christianity and their progeny) ).[4] They have been demanding central Government to accord them SC status on par with Dalit Buddhists, Dalit Sikhs and not to discriminate them on religious grounds for being Dalit Christians. The case is pending with the Supreme Court since 2005 when it was filed on behalf of Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims (Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz).[citation needed]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Tables on Individual Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST),2001" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Tables on Individual Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST),2001" (PDF).
  3. ^
  4. ^ List of OBC's, Andhra Pradesh State. "Central list of other backward classes" (PDF).
  • Reich, D. et al., Nature 461, 489-494, 2009.
  • Bouckaert, R., Lemey, P., Dunn, M., Greenhill, S. J., Alekseyenko, A. V., Drummond, A. J., Gray, R. D., Suchard, M. A., & Atkinson, Q. D.*, Mapping the origins and expansion of the Indo-European language family. Science, 337:957–960. , 2012.