A language takes thousands of years to develop and to to be in ‘circulation’ it needs to be actively spoken. But to survive, it needs a script that can be easily and effectively used. Badaga language (படக பாஷை), spoken by a few lakhs of people called Badagas belonging to the Nilgiris in South India, is an unique language that can stand on its own merit and has stood the test of time.
Sadly, there is ‘deep corruption’ of this beautiful ‘bashe’ by the unmindful and unscientific mixing of Tamil and English by Badagas themselves who think that conversing in Tamil or English is more fashionable.
Attempts have been made by a few to develop a Badaga Script, notably by Anandhan Raju, Kadasolai Yogesh Raj and Karimora Saravana Raju [tough not related, the name Raju is coincidental]. Anandhan Raju, first published his ‘fully developed‘ script in this website and it can be easily accessed and downloded. See Badaga Script page
Though Tamil and English scripts has been used to ‘reflect’ full sentences/stories/ballads etc of Badaga, a couple of hundred years back, it comes as a surprise to learn that in the late 1800s, Kannada script was been used by German Missionaries, who were desperate to convert the natives to Christianity. They published a few chapters of Bible in Badaga
Vinodh Rajan, who is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of St Andrews, Scotland writes to say, “I am more interesting in writing systems of minority languages and I came across Badaga. I was researching the net and I found that Badaga used a modified Tamil with “:” sign to denote b,d,g etc which are absent in Tamil as in ப:ட:க:. I then stumbled upon documents where Badaga was written in Kannada script”. I find the use of ‘CHANDRA BINDU’, a (Sanskrit) Vedic character.
The Badaga language is a minority language in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is spoken by approximately 400 000 people around the Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu. It is closely related to the Kannada language. However, Badaga does not have any script of its own. At present, it is commonly written using the Tamil script. Recently, there have been attempts to create a separate Badaga script .
In the late 19th century, the Christian missionaries attempted to use the Kannada script to write Badaga (perhaps due the language’s similarity to Kannada). Several New Testament gospel books were translated into Badaga and published using the Kannada script  .
Badaga Orthography in Kannada Script
Badaga when written with Kannada orthography seems to use only un-aspirated consonants. It also uses subjoined Kannada LLLA, which probably represents the retroflex vowels unique to the Badaga language.
But the most interesting is the use of a spacing Candrabindu character, which probably represents nasalization.
(Sample Text from the Gospel of Luke in Badaga Language)
māḍu, yēkāṁdale yeṁgū yeṁga tappugāraruga buṭṭaneyō ; innu eṁgḻuva
sōdanega sētade kēḍoṁda tappisu, eṁdu hḻēgivi enna .
[Read his full article]