In the late 80s and 90s, as markets opened up, builders with connections to farmers' parties such as the JDS managed to get exemptions from the Urban Land Ceiling Act and started converting large tracts of farmlands for commercial use to build tech parks and housing colonies
It was under pressure from so-called farmers' leaders like HDD that the Urban Land Ceiling Act was repealed altogether in 1999. It was in the 90s that a small section of Vokkaligas suddenly became millionaires by entering the real estate sector
The rags to riches stories of a few Vokkaligas helped Gowda further his reputation as a man who brought power and prosperity to this shudhra community that has faced social and economic marginalisation in Hindu-Brahmin society for millennia
The truth however is that Vokkaligas continue to be backward in parameters such as education and income compared to forward castes. The only thing Gowda did was create a super rich class among them
The real estate goons patronised by Gowda and his party facilitated a wholesale transfer of land from farming shudhra communities such as Vokkaligas to prospectors and social smugglers from the Brahmin-Bania communities pretending to be IT-BT and corporate visionaries
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