Cabinet okays mention of ‘Kodava/Kodavaru’ in Caste Certificate instead of ‘Kodagaru’
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Cabinet okays mention of ‘Kodava/Kodavaru’ in Caste Certificate instead of ‘Kodagaru’

July 28, 2023

Bengaluru: Fulfilling a long-pending demand of Kodavas, the Karnataka Cabinet, which met here on Thursday, agreed to mention as ‘Kodava/Kodavaru’ in the Caste Certificate, instead of ‘Kodagaru,’ who are currently listed in the 3a Category.

Announcing this after the Cabinet meeting here yesterday, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister H.K. Patil said the State Government has accepted the recommendations made by the Karnataka Backward Classes Commission to use the words ‘Kodava’, ‘Kodavaru’, instead of ‘Kodagaru’ in the list of Backward Classes and issue a notification in this regard.

The Commission, after a thorough study, in 2005 and 2010, had recommended the Government to use ‘Kodava’ and ‘Kodavaru’ in Kannada and  ‘Codava’, ‘Codavaru’ in English, instead of ‘Kodagaru’ in the 3a Category list.

The Karnataka High Court, on Dec.16, 2021, had directed the Government to use the name ‘Kodava’, Kodavaru’ as suggested by the Backward Classes Commission. Justice Krishna S. Dixit had passed the order while allowing a petition filed by Codava National Council (CNC).

The Court then had also cautioned the Government of imposing a heavy cost in the next level of legal battle if it does not comply with the order within an outer limit of three months.

CNC’s effort pays off

The Cabinet decision on Thursday is a victory of sorts for CNC and its President N.U. Nachappa, who had fought over the issue for over a decade.

With the change of Government in the State, Nachappa and other CNC members had met Chief Minister Siddharamaiah recently under the leadership of Virajpet MLA  and Advocate A.S. Ponnanna and reiterated the demand for mentioning ‘Kodavaru’ in the Caste Certificate. Nachappa had argued that in the past, it was mentioned as ‘Kodagaru’ in the Caste Certificate, which had an impact on the cultural and social values of the Kodavas.

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He further maintained that the CNC had appealed to the Karnataka Backward Classes Commission Secretary to bring in changes in the Caste Certificate issued under Category 3a.

Now, CM Siddharamaiah, responding to the plea, brought the issue before the Cabinet yesterday, which approved using the term ‘Kodava’, ‘Kodavaru’ in the Caste Certificate instead of ‘Kodagaru.’

The Cabinet decision has also called the bluff of former BJP MLAs of Kodagu, who had turned away from their responsibility regarding the issue for years. When confronted over the issue, the former MLAs in the past had constantly argued that the matter does not come under the purview of the State Government and it is the Centre which has to do it.

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