In this study, we take up the cases of the dalit movement in coastal Andhra and the agrarian movement in Telangana to examine why these regions have displayed different trajectories of social mobilisation. The crucial dimensions emphasised in the explanation here are divergent historical backgrounds, uneven regional development and the regime changes brought about by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Although the central issue articulated in these movements is related to land, caste and social dominance, their specific manifestation is determined by the nature of power relations, intensity of contradictions and political agency (e.g. communists in Telangana and dalit activists and organisations in coastal Andhra).
The study further examines the relationship between these movements and the macro-political process and the impact of the latter on the former. It is the logic of electoral processes and party strategies to co-opt the issues and active elements along with the internal differences and contradictions among the constituents of these movements (sometimes intensified by the mainstream political forces), which led to the schisms, fragmentation and decline of the movements.