ST tag for Kodavas: CNC reiterates demand

ST tag for Kodavas: CNC reiterates demand

November 8, 2022

Seeks immediate intervention of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, New Delhi

Madikeri: Codava National Council (CNC) President N.U. Nachappa has reiterated that Kodavas should be accorded tribal status or ST (Scheduled Tribe) tag and the elected representatives should bring the demands of the Kodavas to the notice of the Government and pressurise it to conduct a genuine ethnography study of Kodava tribalism. 

Submitting a memorandum to National Commission for Scheduled Tribes in New Delhi recently, he said that the ST tag for the Kodava tribe and geo-political autonomy are synonymous for Kodavas. He urged the Commission to expedite the long-cherished aspirations of Kodava land geopolitical Autonomy under Articles 244, 371 (read with 6th and 8th Schedule of the Constitution) and also assign ST tag to the Kodava tribe.

Nachappa and the delegation told the Commission that the ST tag for Kodavas is essential to preserve the culture of the Kodava community as well as to secure its future. The tag will also help in preserving the rights of the community and protect the natural and ancestral assets so that these values could be handed over to the next generation.

Stating that the Kodava tribe has its own extraordinary tribal characteristics, he maintained that ST tag is a must for their historical continuity and for the protection of Kodava land, language, cultural heritage, folkloric identity and traditional habitation. Also, the tag was important for their economic and political empowerment, he said.

“The Centre has taken steps to include six tribes in Assam to the schedule list of Constitution to preserve the rich cultural heritage and unique identity of those tribes. In addition, the Narendra Modi-led NDA Government has formulated the exercise of amending the Constitution in order to assign greater autonomy to already existing Article 371 and Sixth Schedule regions of North India,” he said.

“In the present prevailing circumstances, we Kodava tribe certainly need statutory protection with ST tag and geopolitical autonomy under proper Constitutional enactments. Unless the amendments to the Constitution are made, Kodavas will be an extinct community soon and the culture, unique tradition and language will be lost forever,” Nachappa said.  In the past, the Centre had directed the State Government to conduct an ethnographic study on Kodava tribalism and subsequently, the Karnataka Government entrusted this responsibility to the Mysuru-based Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute (KSTRI).

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KSTRI has carried out a major portion of the socio-economic study and created fake economic status. The KSTRI neither collected authentic documents nor produced proper income and expenditure sources but collected only verbal statements, marginalising the real ethnographic issue, Nachappa claimed.

The KSTRI created a fake exaggerated version with a prejudiced mindset under pressure from many dominant communities and from communities that have political and economic clout. The Kodavas want a real ethnographic study to explore and establish a true tribal ethnicity, he said and urged the Commission to intervene and look into the matter urgently and direct an authentic ethnographic study.

Lt.Col. (retd.) B.M. Parvathy, Macharanda Sindhu, Kalimada Ashmi, Karthanda Tej, Kaliyanda Prakash, Jammada Mohan, Palachanda Bipin Kalappa, Madrira Karumbaiah, Karthanda Dillon Thammaiah, Machettira Naveen and others were part of the delegation.


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