Kirantej Naidu Jallepalli
Naidu(also spelt Nayudu or Naidoo) is a title used by various social groups of the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states of India. It is also used in Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa and Chattisgarh. It is a Telugu derivation of the Sanskrit Nayaka, meaning "protector" or "leader".
- Naidu is the caste name of the people belonging to the Kapu castes and its subcastes Balija/ Balija Naidu , Telaga, Ontari, and Turpu Kapu in Andhra Pradesh , Tamil Nadu,Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.This caste uses title Naidu and it constitutes more than twenty five per cent of A.P population.
- Medieval Andhra dynasties like the Vishnukundins and Chalukyas conferred the title Nayaka/Nayakudu to a commander or a leader of a band of soldiers.
- A title denoting a village or lineage headman.
- A person whose ancestor had served as a Danda-nayaka (Army Commander) in the Vishnukundina dynasty or the Vijayanagara Empire.
- A person whose ancestors (usually warriors) had received land and the title Nayaka as a part of the Nayankarapuvaram system for services rendered to the court during the Kakatheeya dynasty. Nayaka was one among approximately 25 titles used by the Kakatiyas to create a new political infrastructure to undercut the authority of heredity regional elites. .
 Title usage
In the medieval times, the title Naidu initially was associated primarily with the people who served as commanders under various Andhra dynasties, such as Chalukya, Kakatiya, etc. Initially, the title was conferred upon Kapu , Telaga, Balija communities. However, during the expansion of the Vijayanagar kingdom into Southern India, the title was conferred upon other non-Telugu speaking communities who served as Commanders, Barons or Governors under the Vijayanagar emperors in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka -- hence the widespread usage of the surname Naidu among many non-Telugu speaking communities in states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Orissa.
The word Naidu is used by the older writers in southern India in several senses, of which the following example given by Yule and Burnell may be cited:
- It denoted a Commander or a Governor.
- Native captain or headman.
- Title of honor among Hindus in the Deccan. "The kings of deccan also have a custom when they will honor a man or recompence their service done, and raise him to dignity and honor. They give him the title of Nayak." -Linschoten
- The general name of the Kings of Vijayanagar.
- Naik, Naickan, Naicker, Nayak or Nayakkan has been used by the Tamil communities like Pallis, Vanniars, Irulas, Vedans, and also by various Kannada castes apart from Telugu speaking Communities
Edgar Thurston describes Naidu as a title used mostly by Telugu classes like Balija, Bestha, Kamma, Ekari, Gavara, Velama, Golla etc.
Though originally not meant to be a heredity title, by modern times, the Naidu title had been inherited by many, although they no longer were governors, army commanders or tax collectors.
Nayaka's origins can be traced to the expansion of the Western Chalukyas into Andhra country during the 7th Century. The Nayaka / Danda Nayaka term started being used during the Vishnukundina dynasty which ruled from the Krishna and Godavari deltas during the 3rd Century A.D. Little is known about the title usage (or the people who made up this community) prior to that.
According to Edgar Thurston (Castes and Tribes of Southern India Vol. 5; p.138) "Naidu" or "Nayudu" is a title used by several Telugu castes (in alphabetical order): Balija, Boyar caste, Gavara, Kalingi, Kamma, Kapu, Mudiraju, Reddy, Telaga, Uppiliya,Velama, Idiga,Valmiki.
- Mogers in some parts of South Canara prefer the title Naiker to the ordinary caste title of Marakaleru.
- Some Bunt (community) people have the same title.
- The headman amongst the Lambadis is called Naik.
- Naicker and Naique is a hereditary title in some Brahman families.
- Naik, Naiko, Nayako, Pattanayak appear as the title of various Oriya classes.
- The protector groups in the Afghan Pashtunwali system are called Naiks.
In Karnataka the population of Balija Naidus (Kapus/Telagas) is about 45 lakhs.
 Tamil Nadu
Unlike in Andhra, a lot of communities have the tile Naidu. And most of them are sometimes referred to as Subcastes of Naidu which is not right as they are different communities. The title Naidu is used only by people of Telugu origins, whereas Tamil speaking communities, such as in Arcot district, use the title Naicker. But several Balijas and Kammas also have the title Naicker. Both titles carry the same meaning. For Example, E.V.Ramasami Naicker was a Balija Naidu and had the title Naicker.
According to "The Tribes and Castes of The Central Provinces Of India" (R.V.Russell) and "The Castes and Tribes of Southern India" (Edgar Thurston) and "Balija Kula Charithra" (Kante Narayana Desayi), the kings of Vijayanagar, Madurai and Thanjavur belonged to Balija Naidu caste. See more of Nayak dynasty. 1896 book Balijawaru Puranam by Salem Sri Pagadala Narasimhalu Naidu is also a good reference.
The communities that use Naidu title are predominantly in Coimbatore Districtare from Balija Naidu, Kamma castes. Naicker is also used by some other Telugu-speaking communities in the district. Balijas are present in large numbers in this district and use the title naidu.
In Kerala there are just about 5000 families spread all over Kerala state.Their ancestors migrated around 200 years back from Madurai region. Some families came from Tirunelveli region. They are mostly Gavara Balija which is regarded as other backward castes in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. But in Kerala Naidu was in OBC in 1950's and 60's. But later on it was vanished from the list and now Naidu is not getting any concessions. This is being taken up by the members of Naidu community in Kerala. They had a unique culture. Earlier marriages were solemnised on four days. There were different Telugu songs for each ceremony of the marriage. Of course these songs are in corrupted form due to inheritance by word of mouth. These songs are no longer in practice now. In Kerala the two major sub-sects of Naidu caste are Balija and Kavara(Gavara) Naidus. The Naidus of Pattipparambu of Kerala can be classified as balija Naidus.Balija Naidus wear a conical shaped Thali(Mangala sutram),where as the other sub-sect Kavara(Gavara) Balija Naidus wear a pot-shaped Thali(Mangala sutram).However there is no clear distinction between these two subsects in the modern times due to close interaction especially marriages.
 Usage abroad
In South Africa a variant spelling "Naidoo" is used amongst its Telugu citizens. The usage does not denote Telugu ancestry any longer as intermarriages had diluted such identities. In Sri Lanka, it is used amongst the Hill Country Tamils of Indian origin, and in Mauritius it is a common surname of Tamil populations. In Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana, it is a surname of the broader Indian diaspora. In Malaysia it is used by Telugus to denote their Telugu ancestry.
 Well known Naidus
- S. V. Ranga Rao — Telugu and Tamil actor ,producer
- Savithri — Telugu and Tamil actress,proucer
- Chiranjeevi — Telugu actor, Prajarajyam party founder
- Pawan Kalyan — Telugu actor
- Pasupuleti Kannamba — Telugu and Tamil actress and producer
- Dasari Narayana Rao — Telugu director,actor and producer
- Rajanala — actor
- G. Varalakshmi — actress
- Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga — politician
- Santha Kumari — Telugu and Tamil actress and producer
- Allu Rama Lingaiah — actor
- Kaikala Satyanarayana — actor and producer
- Srihari — actor and producer
- Bhanu Chander —actor
- Nagendra Babu — actor and producer
- Allu Arjun — actor
- Sneha — actress
- E.V.Ramasami Naicker — founder of Dravida Kazhagam and social reformer
- Veerapandiya Kattabomman — freedom fighter
- Kaneganti Hanumanthu — freedom fighter
- Kurma Venkata Reddy Naidu — Chief Minister of Madras Presidency
- Grandhi Venkata Reddy Naidu — First Law Minister of Andhra Pradesh
- Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu — musician
- C. K. Nayudu — first Captain of Indian Cricket
- Kodi Rammurthy Naidu —famous bodybuilder and wrestler
- Raghupathi Venkaiah| Naidu — father of Telugu Cinema
- P. V. Rangaiah NaiduIPS — former Union Minister
- Mallipudi Raju Pallam Mangapati — Union minister
- Chegondi Venkata Harirama Jogaiah — politician and film producer
- Ramakrishna Badiga — politician and businessman
- P. Shiv Shankar — former Union minister
- Pappala Chalapathirao — Parliament member
- Dharmapuri Srinivas —PCC chief of A.P
- Botsa Jhansi Lakshmi —Parliament member
- Manikonda Chalapathi Rau — journalist,close friend of Jawaharlal Nehru
- Vikram Akula — founder of SKS Microfinance
- Venugopal Rao — cricketer
- Sekhar Tam Tam — physician
- Marthand K. Venkatesh — editor
- Master Venu — music director
- Ramesh Naidu — music director
- Devi Sri Prasad — music director and singer
- Ramana Gogula — music director and singer
- Chakri — music director and singer
- Kodi Ramakrishna — director
- Sekhar Kammula — director and producer
- Nagesh Kukunoor — director and producer
- V.V. Vinayak — director
- Krishna Vamsi — director
- Allu Aravind — producer
- A. M. Rathnam — producer
- Chota K. Naidu — cinematographer
- Shyam K. Naidu — cinematographer
- Vijayakanth — Tamil film actor and politician
- M.R. Radha — Tamil actor
- Raadhika Sarathkumar — Tamil and Telugu actress and producer
- V. Hanumantha Rao — politician
- D. K. Audikesavulu Naidu — politician, industrialist and founder of Educational Institutes
- Edida Nageshwara Rao — producer
- Thotta Tharani — art director
- Jayam Ravi — actor
- Ravi Krishna — actor
- Sukumar — director
- M. S. Narayana — actor
- Ram Charan Teja — actor
- K. Keshava Rao — politician
- Sai Prathap Annayyagari — politician
- C. Ramachandraiah — politician
- Balashowry Vallabhaneni — politician
- Tapi Dharma Rao Naidu — writer
- Sadhu Kuppuswami Naidu — Renowned Social worker with title Sevaka ratnam in Fiji
- M. Raja — director
- Thirumalai Nayak— king of Madurai dynasty
- Rani Mangammal — queen of Madurai dynasty
- Gangadevi —Famous queen of Vijayanagar dynasty,writer of Madhura vijayam
- Srini Kopollu — Microsoft India
- Shobha Naidu — Kuchipudi dancer
- Vice Admiral R D Katari — first Chief of Naval Staff (22 April, 1958 – 4 June, 1962)
- Ponnala Laxmiah — State Minister of Irrigation, Andhra Pradesh
- Kamichetty Venougopala Rao Naidou — Grand Old Man of Yanam, Pondicherry
- Kamichetty Sri Parassourama Varaprassada Rao Naidu — Speaker of Pondicherry
- Ambati Rayudu — cricketer
- E.V.K.S. Elangovan — central minister
- E. V. K. Sampath — Politician (Nephew of Periar)
- K.Veeramani — Politician (Nephew of Periar)
- M R Seetharam — Ex MLA, Karnataka
- Ananth Sreeram —Lyricist
- Adinarayana Rao— music director and producer
- Mohan (editor) — editor and producer
- Narayana — founder of Narayana Educational Institutes, Nellore
- M S Ramaiah — founder of M S Ramaiah Medical College and other educational institutes, Bangalore
- M. V. Bhaskara Rao I.P.S — former DGP, Andhra Pradesh
- Yerramsetti Sai — novelist
- Selam Pagadala Narasimhalu Nayudu — writer and industrialist
- R (Rajanala)Nageswara Rao —actor
- Thyaga Raju — actor
- Devika — actress
- The Tribes and Castes of The Central Provinces Of India(R.V.Russell)
- The Castes and Tribes of Southern India(EdgarThurston)
- Balija Kula Charithra (Kante Narayana Desayi)
- Balijavaaru puranam by Salem Pagadala Narasimhalu Naidu
- Naidu Family Welfare Association, Thrissur - Brief History Of Naidu Community
- Questioning Ramayanas - by Paula Richman
- The Literary Cultures in History - by Sheldon I Pollock
- Further Sources of Vijayanagara History By K A Nilakanta Sastry
- Penumbral Visions - by Sanjay Subrahmanyam
- Munnuru Kapu Kulabhyudayamu A Book on Historical Details of Munnuru Kapu Community written by Sri Bojjam Narsimlu, 1968 - Akhila Bharata Telugu Munnuru Kaapu Samaakya Adyakshulu
- Article on Kirantej Naidu in Hindu