Mysore/Mysuru: The State Government’s move to release funds for the genealogical study of 18 communities of Kodagu has irked the Codava National Council (CNC) as it has alleged that in the name of studying the genealogy of Kodavas, the Government is cheating the Kodava community by including other non-native communities in the study.
Addressing a press conference at Pathrakartara Bhavan yesterday, CNC Chairman Nandineravanda U. Nachappa said that the State Government must conduct a fair ethnographic study to facilitate the inclusion of the Kodava race under the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list as per the directions of the Karnataka High Court.
Opposing the genealogy study of other communities of Kodagu by suppressing the genuine genealogical study of the Kodava community, Nachappa said that the Kodava race has nothing to do with other communities in Kodagu.
He released a memorandum submitted in this regard to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Minister for Social Welfare Kota Srinivas Poojari and Chairman of Karnataka Backward Class Commission Jayaprakash Hegde.
“We don’t have any half-shoots. Kodavas are a single race and a race cannot be multiple communities. How Kashmiri Pundits are indigenous to Kashmir, likewise Kodavas are indigenous to Kodagu. The Kodava race does not come under a quadrilateral caste system and there is no sect, or sub-sect within the Kodava race and do not have multiple communities under its fold,” Nachappa noted.
Those who migrated and settled in Kodagu have copied Kodava culture and are now claiming themselves as Kodavas, the original inhabitants. “They are attempting to delegitimise and uproot the native Kodava race from his soil which is a dangerous act. Under the conspiracies unleashed by them and supported by some elected representatives who have vested interests, the Kodava community is on the verge of losing their unique identity, art and culture,” he said.
Highlighting various documents, gazetteers, census records, Coorg manuals, anthropological surveys and reports, history books, journals and literature from the British era to the Commissions appointed by Governments of independent India like the Havanur Commission Report, Venkatswamy Commission Report and Justice O. Chinnapa Reddy Commission Report, Nachappa said that there is ample proof to establish Kodavas as a unique and exclusive race that has no relation with other communities of Kodagu who are basically migrants.
Why study the migrant population?
“Instead of conducting a study on original Kodava tribalism, the State Government is planning to conduct a study of migrated population and portray it as the study of Kodavas which is an unjust move aimed at destroying the Kodava community. It is an attempt at Kodava race extermination. Everyone wants to use the ‘Kodava brand’ for their ulterior motives and not for protecting or respecting it,” Nachappa added.
The Kodava race has genetically imbibed unique folkloric culture and formulated its own folk legal systems ages ago. Those who infiltrated into Kodagu and have, over the years, copied and aped Kodava culture cannot be called Kodavas,” he noted.
“Instead of destroying the Kodava race by mixing other non-native cultures, the Government must protect their unique identity without any dilution by including Kodavas in the ST list which will be a befitting tribute to the nationalistic and patriotic Kodava race, thereby abiding by true social engineering to save them from extinction,” he urged.
CNC Members Bepadiyanda Biddappa, Kaliyanda Prakash, Chambanda Janathkumar, Apparanda Poovanna and Areyada Girish were present.