Oh, Mother!

Remembering mother on her 107th Birth Day

Idyammal Bellie Gowder

You were everything for us in all those glorious 99 years and 10 months when you were ‘here’.

As we were preparing to celebrate the ‘century’, you chose to leave this earth just a couple of months earlier…seven years ago.

How time flies!

Elle idhale’yu engava harachu

[Bless us all from where ever you are]

MOM 5.jpg
Idyammal Bellie Gowder
Born September 02, 1912
Hubbathalai, The Nilgiris
Died July 13, 2011 (aged 99 years 10 months)
Parents Rao Bahadue HJ Bellie Gowder and Nanji Hethe
Sister of Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder
Spouse B.K.Bellie Gowder [Bearhatti]

[Autographed pencil sketch of Mom by JP in 1968 while she was reading an issue of Femina ]

“I know my mother looks much older than what she is but those wrinkles have the charm of their own. They indicate the signs of her great endurance; and the hard life she has to lead through to bring her children to lead a life that is respected and regarded by others” – JP (24-1-68)

Dear Hands

[Grace Noll Crowell]

My mother’s hands were beautiful,
They are not always smooth and white
They were so busy making dull
And lusterless things clean and bright.

They reached so often to caress
A hurt child crying in the night
They moved as quick as fluttering birds
Among the cups and spoons at tea

They did a thousand lovely things
And did them all so graciously
There is no way to sum them up
The countless things she did for us.

[photo of Idy Hethe’s hand by her grandson Abhi Ari -2010]

Learn Badaga

Let us learn Badaga – the unique language of Badagas of the Blue Mountains

” Ollenge iddiya ? – How are you ?”

‘Suddi saddha ella olliththa ? – (Roughly) ‘ How is everything ? ‘

1. Are you a Badaga ? – Nee ondu Badagana?

2. Yes, I am a Badaga – Ha, Na ondu Badaga

3. What is your name ? – Ninna hesaru aena ?

4. My name is Bhoja – Enna hesaru Bhoja

5. Which is your village ? – Ninna Hatti edu ?

[5a. Amme / Thamma, nee ai hatti ? – Girl/ Boy, which is your village?]

6. My village is Bearhatti – Enna Hatti bandu Bearhatti

7. Whose son/daughter are you ? – Nee dara maathi / hennu ?

8. I am Mela thara (top street) Joghi Gowder’s son / daughter – Na Mela thara Joghi gowdaru maathi / hennu

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Numbers in Badugu /Badaga

1. Ondu (One) 11. Hannondu (Eleven)

2. Eradu (Two) 12. Hanneradu (Twelve)

3. Mooru (Three) 13. Hadimooru (Thirteen)

4. Naakku (Four) 14. Hadanaakku (Fourteen)

5. Iidu (Five) 15. Hadanaidu (Fifteen)

6. Aaru (Six) 16. Hadanaaru (Sixteen)

7. eizhu (Seven) 17. Hadarizhu (Seventeen)

8. Eattu (Eight) 18. Hadarettu (Eighteen)

9. Ombathu ( Nine) 19. Hathombathu (Nineteen)

10. Hathu (Ten) 20. Eipathu (Twenty)

30. Moovathu (Thirty) 40. Nalavathu (Forty)

50. Iivathu (Fifty) 60. Aravathu (Sixty)

70. Elavathu (Seventy) 80. Embathu ( Eighty)

90. Thombathu (Ninrty) 100. Nooru (Hundred)

Days In Badugu/Badaga

1. Aadivaara (Sunday)

2. Sovaara (Monday)

3. Mangavaara ( Tuesday)

4. Bodavaara (Wednesday)

5. Chikkavaara (Thursday)

6. Bellie (Friday)

7. Sani (Saturday)

Months In Badugu/Badaga

It is said that Badaga month usually, starts on every 10th of the English month. Like for example the first Badaga month Koodalu  starts on 10th January.

1. Koodalu (Jan)

2. Aalaani (Feb)

3. Nallaani (Mar)

4. Aani ( Apr)

5. Aadire (May)

6.Aadi (Peraadi) (Jun)

7.Aavaani (Jul)

8.Perattadi (Aug)

9. Dodda Deevige (Sep)

10. Kiru Deevige (Oct)

11. Thai (Nov)

12. Hemmaatti (Dec)

Pleasantly surprised to hear all the Badaga Months being mentioned in this song called ‘Kappu Huttileyu’ . See the widget on the right and click to listen to this great dance number

**************************************

 Hindu-Arabic numeralBadaga and pronunciation
   
 1ஒந்து   (Ondu)
 2எரடு (Eradu)
 3மூறு (Mooru)
 4நாக்கு  (Naaakkuu)
 5ஐது (aidhu)
 6ஆறு (aaru))
 7எழ்ழு (ézhu)
 8எட்டு (ettu)
 9ஒம்பத்து  (Ompathu)

Certain peculiarities of Badaga .

Haalu [haa – as in hospital and lu – as in Zulu] means milk

Hallu [ ha- as hurt and llu – as in loo] means tooth [teeth]. note – there is no plural term.Haasu – spread [the bedding], Haasike – beddingHasu – hunger

Maana – Pride, Mana – heartKaanu – see, Kannu – eye[s] (example – Doctor-a Kaanu, kanna pathi hegina – See the Doctor, he will tell about the eyes]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Peculiar Words

There are some words in Badaga that are truly peculiar. for example :

1. GIJI GIJI ( as in Give & Jinx) – Confusion , mess up / disorderly

GIJI GIJI maada beda – Don’t create confusion

Room aekka ethe GIJI GIJI (ya) hadadhe ? – Why is this room in such a mess?

2. MURUKKU(LU) (Mu ru ku) – Foul mood / mild anger

Amme Ekka maathaduvadu elle ? – Why is sister not talking ?

Ava murukkindu endhave – She is in a foul mood

3. BADAYI (Ba daa ee ) – Show Off (proud)

Appara badayi maadiya – She shows off a lot

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Birds (Hakkilu)

  1. Haddu (Eagle)
  2. Kakke (Crow)
  3. Soray (Dove)
  4. Kili (Parrot)
  5. Emme Hakkilu
  6. Bikkola
  7. Karia(n)chitta (Black bird)
  8. Gubbachi (Sparrow)
  9. Mayilu (Peacock)
  10. Koi (Poultry hen/cock)
  11. Kaadu Koi (Wild hen)
  12. Baathu(koi) – Duck

Mari (chic) –{Koi Mari – chic(ken)}

Also for calf [ for eg) Nei mari – puppy dog]

Animals

  1. Aanay (Elephant)
  2. Kaade -Kaadu Emme – (Bison)
  3. Ottaga (Camel)
  4. Kudire (Horse)
  5. Kaththe (Donkey)
  6. Dana (Cow)
  7. Emme (Buffalo)
  8. Yethu (Bull)
  9. Karu (Calf)
  10. Huli (Tiger)
  11. Singa (Lion)
  12. Siruthe (Panther)
  13. Karadi (Bear)
  14. Maanu (Deer)
  15. Pulli Maanu (Spotted Dear)
  16. Kadamay (Sambar)
  17. Handi (Black Pig)
  18. Kaadandi – kaadu handi – (Wild Pig)
  19. Mullandi – Mullu Handi – (Porcupine)
  20. Seeme Handi (White Pig)
  21. Koda, Korangu (Monkey)
  22. Mola (Rabbit)
  23. Nari (Fox)
  24. Nei (Dog)
  25. Koththi (Cat)
  26. Eli (Rat)
  27. Aame (Turtle)
  28. Nalli (Crab)
  29. Halli (
  30. Haavu (Snake)
  31. Kappe (Frog)
  32. Meenu (Fish)

Insects

  1. Hoo (general for insect)
  2. Nona (Fly)
  3. Selandhi (Spider)
  4. Kunni (Bee)
  5. Eruppu (Ant)
  6. Kosu (Mosquito)
  7. Bendu (Moth/Butterfly)

Anatomy

  1. Mande (Head) – also refers to Hair though there is specific word – Orama
  2. Heddakku (Back of the skull) – usually Badagas have a long heddakku as they donot use cradles. The reason for not using cradles for babies is a story by itself. It is due to the fact that when they left Mysore to escape from the King (Thipu Sultan ?) in the night in a hurry, they had forgotten the baby which was sleeping in the cradle,each thinking that the other person wiould pick up the child.
  3. Moole (Brain)
  4. Nethi (Forehead)
  5. Kenni (Cheeks)
  6. Kannu [eye(s)]
  7. Kivi (Ear)
  8. Mookku (Nose)
  9. Bae (Mouth)
  10. Thudi (lip)
  11. Hallu (Teeth)
  12. Naalenge (Tongue)
  13. Dhaade ( Chin)
  14. Thonde (Throat)
  15. Gaththu (Neck)
  16. Maaru – Nenju – (chest)
  17. Mole (Breast)
  18. Hiththalu – Bennu – (Shoulder)
  19. Kai (Hands)
  20. Mutti (Elbow – also for knee)
  21. Beralu (Fingers)
  22. Hebbatte – Katte (beralu) – [Thumb]
  23. Ugilu (Nails)
  24. Hotte (Stomach)
  25. Mollu Kudi (Naval)
  26. Nadu (Hip)
  27. Pitti (Buttocks)
  28. Thode (Thigh)
  29. Monakkaalu (Knee)
  30. Kaalu (Leg)
  31. Midi (Heel)
  32. Angalu (Foot)

COLOURS (BANNA)1.Kappu – Black 2.BeLLay – White 3. Keppu (Kechay) – Red 4. Pachchay – Green 5. Neela – Blue 6. Arichina (Manja) – Yellow

Also see http://badaga-language.blogspot.in/

The Beauty of Ha sound/word in Badaga

Eliminating Ha (word/sound) is sure way of distorting and destroying Badagu language of its originality and purity

Badaga or  Badagu, is a ‘classic‘ and independent language spoken by Badagas of the Blue Mountains or the Nilgiri hills, in north -west Tamil Nadu, bordering Karnataka and Kerala.

Though it is unique by itself, it can be said to be akin to Halaiya (old) Kannada more than any Dravidian language. But due to the geo – political reasons, it is being identified more with Tamil.

Unfortunately, some ‘over enthusiastic scholars’ and a few elders have been trying to eliminate the sound ‘ha -ஹ ‘ (which is an integral part of the Badaga language and) replace it with ‘ah- அ ‘ with some unacceptable justification that these letters (as well as letter like Ja ஜ, Sa ஸ, Sha ஷ ) do not form part of pure/classical Tamil though they are very much in day to day usage.

Let me elaborate and justify why ha and other letters, like ஜ, ஸ, ஷ etc should remain as a core letters/sounds in Badaga.

A Badaga village is known as Hatti (ஹட்டி) and not as அட்டி.

Our deity/ Goddess is Hethe – ஹெத்தே and not Athe எத்தே

Some day to day words starting with ha

Haalu – ஹாலு – milk

Habba – ஹப்பா – festival

Hannu – ஹண்ணு – fruit

Haavu – ஹாவு – snake

Jana ஜன – people
Janni ஜன்னி – cold

Jav’voni – Young

Jakkadha –  ஜக்கத –  the famous hatti (village)

Hasu ஹஸு – hunger

Haasu ஹாஸு – spread

Hethe nangava Harichali – ஹெத்தே நங்கவ ஹரிச்சலி

Let Hethe bless us !

Badaga Script – Barey

Badugu Barey (Badaga Script )

Yogesh Raju (Kadasole)

LEARN BADUGU-Rvd 4(1)

LEARN BADUGU-Rvd 4(2)

 

LEARN BADUGU-Rvd 4(3)

LEARN BADUGU-Rvd 4(4)

LEARN BADUGU-Rvd 4(5)

 

Badugu (Badaga) Script

Yogesh 2

Yogesh Raju from Kadasole has been working on a Badaga (he prefers to say Badagu) script for the past fifty odd years. In fact, the script was developed in 1968 itself and was taught in Mael Hosattai of Mael(Mel) Seemay. He is convinced that Badaga – Badagu is an unique Dravidian language by itself (as opposed to being a derivative of Tamil or Kannada, as some over enthusiastic supporters of these languages claim it to be. He has been propagating/teaching Badugu Script ever since.

Badugu Grammar was ‘written’ in two parts eleven years back and was released in a function at Coonoor in a press meet. The script appeared in the Tamil vernacular news paper ‘Dina Thanthi’ in 1991

IMG-20190508-WA0023

A language without a script is bound to face extinction sooner or later. No question about it. Earlier, why even today, many Badagas communicate with each other in Badaga by using the scripts of English or Tamil, in which most of the educated Badagas are proficient with. The draw back of using these languages is that there are no equal or suitable letters (alphabets) to truly bring out some sounds/words used by Badagas.

For example, Ha which is extensively used in Badaga does not have an equivalent in PURE Tamil, though in today’s Tamil, ஹ is freely used. But unfortunately, some professionals, have started using ah – அ instead. They have gone to the extent of justifying this by corrupting words like hatti (village – ஹட்டி) as atti – அட்டி. A sure way to destroy the originality of Badaga.

In English, there is no equivalent to  La – ள or Na – ண which is extensively used. oLLIththu – good or haNa – money etc

See the pages on Badaga Barey under Badaga language in this website

Yogesh has been doing very good service to the society to preserve the greatness of Badaga by not only creating a script but teaching the same to youngsters in schools and online

We wish him success in his endevour – Wg.Cdr. Bellie Jayaprakash

(www.badaga.co , http://www.badaga.in)

The HALF-A-CENTUARY OLD BADUGU SCRIPT by  Yogesh Kadasole 

Yogesh 1a 

BADUGU BARE(Y) – Badugu Script, was conceived in 1968. Now it is reaching a greater number that is growing faster.

LakshaNa (grammar) & Maathartha (dictionary) are enriching Badugu, the language of Badugas, a Prilmitive native tribe of Nigiris from more than 2000 years back.

The Badugu bare was born 50 Years ago, at Mel Hosahatty at southern side of Nilgiris, in Kundhe Seeme though I belong to Thodhanaadu seeme.  Then developed other letters in the course of time (they letters were not developed in a day or two); after long research and avoiding any clash between any letters and avoiding any confusion when writing with speed and considering the psychology and the writing ability and pattern of the young children the script was developed further and experimented. in 1968 Itself, by teaching younger students and conducting tests.

All these happened at Hosahatty- some names I remember: Markanda at kunda, Bheema, Mahalinga, Krishnamoorthi (cousin of GuNa magesa, VC of a University in Gujarath), etc. (one interesting incident: one student(4th) asked me why there are two ‘in’s in Tamil and why they call one ‘in’ as ‘indh’ when that ‘in’ comes in between a word and why this confusion in Tamil. I wondered at his intelligence and it helped me in analysing the language. I. told the ‘students’ that ‘we are learning our Badugu and should forget about other languages when studying Badugu that our Badugu script has only appropriate letters for the sounds of Badugu language.The beauty is they studied in 3 hours and when I dictated some words (which I did not teach) they wrote them correctly!).

 

@tv interview @Blru

Then in due course of time the script was corrected for shortcomings and  shape given with writing flexibility- this took some more time, about 6 more months. But at that time the scripts for the words ‘QWA’ and ‘GWA’ were not there, it was Introduced in 1970 only.

After the research in all the ‘sabdha’ (sounds) of Badugu words, by which time Ii had collected and arranged some Badugu words (say around 1000 words). IN 1991 this script was published by a friend from Nandhatty-Gudalur who is a correspondent of  Tamil Daily “Dinathandhi”. 

Seeing this 15 gentlemen (14 from Kotagiri area and one Tamilian lady from Avinashi) studied it through correspondence. We used to write in inland letters and only in Badugu script!! (the name in the address were also written in Badugu apart from English); I still preserve them (please note that at that time there was no tv and mobiles !!!)

Later on I worked for five years for collecting old and rare Badugu words from very old elders – some words like ‘banda’, ‘mammukoosu’, ‘sisukoosu’, ‘burude’, etc,….from Maelseeme (in Hasanur, bordering Karnataka) also. (25yrs back my father, KP.Raju, a freedom fighter, established a school there and my brother (Ganesh) was teaching there and I also used to go on holidays and taught in that school).

Now around 7000 words have been collected and arranged in alphabetical order. Then started writing ‘Maaththartha’ (dictionary); after writng about 50 pages I felt the immediate need for ‘Lakshana’ (Grammar) and worked for 4 to 5 years , wrote two parts (completed in 2010) of GRAMMAR .

After this, the  script was posted in the Face Book, last year(2012). Because of the efforts taken by BWC (convener: Singan Sathu), more than two thousand people around the world are studying our script through internet. Then many youngsters who studied it joined and we under the banner of BLPG (which was instrumental in the formation of BMS) started teaching the Badugu bare at villages in weekends (so far around 50 villages were covered).

Apart from this the ‘Learn Badugu’ lessons are being posted in the FB groups at regular intervals (so far 32 lessons were posted in first phase and in the second phase also many lessons were posted). Now Maththartha(dictionary) work is continuing.

Now FB group BBB has been created and the website- http://www.swadhandhrabadugu.org  started for Badugu and the related history. In April, 2014, we conducted free 3 day camp at Reach Matriculation school, Coonoor, with the help of Prakasam Malla Gowder. Also conducted classes at cities like Coimbatore and Chennai with the support of Badagar Welfare Association, Chennai, and at Gudalur- Gudalur Badugar Nala Sangha, apart from many workshops conducted.Such classes are continuing.

I came out of Indian Bank on VRS, for the purpose of this work and also for services under BBB and BMS. Also visited UAE, at the invitation of Dubai Baduga Association, and taught Badugu script there in Dec. 2014. 

Singhan Sathu (of BWC, and AGM of Corporation Bank, and the previous President of Erode Baduga Association) introduced the Badugu script in face book. BLPG started; then BMS started.Some of the people who are pillars in Badugu teaching are:- Attuboil Raja, Senthil Kerappadu, Harihara Emarald Bhoja, Nijanth G Halagowda, Valli Aanandh, Pavithra, Aneesh, Ajeeth. Sivaraj (Selakore) a 1991 Correspondence student (now a Hindhi and Badugu teacher) has taken the mantle of teaching in many villages with a team, all with the blessings of HirOdayya, the Almighty.

Badugu Badhukku; Long live Badugu.

(From 2016 an exclusive FB group – BADUGU BARE(y) and BAASHE.- has been started. It is dedicated only for Badugu language and Script. Lessons and Videos are posted regularly). 

Yogesh (Kadasolai) mob-8903471808. email: yogeshr070&gmail.com.

Face book group timeline for learning Badugu script:- BADUGU BARE(y)  and BAASHE’ (script and language) -BBB

Website:-     www.swadhandhrabadugu.org

Badaga Blessings

badaga-blessing1sketch by JP

One of the wonderful and deeply meaningful customs of Badagas, is the seeking of the blessings of elders. That is, whenever any person meets/visits an elder, he or she seeks the blessings of the elderly person [elderly does not mean aged/old but only elder by age] by bowing the head and requesting “Harachu (bless me)”. If any headgear like cap/turban is worn, the same is removed before seeking blessings. Foot wear also removed.

The elder, placing his/her right hand [or both hands] on top of the head of the youngster would bless [broadly] with the following words – footwear [kevaru / mettu]as well as the headgear [cap/kovili or turban / mandare] would be removed before blessings are sought / offered.

The elderly person  blesses as ‘ Ondhu Nooru, Saavira Agili [let one become a hundred and then a thousand];  Somi, harachavu,sogavu kodili [may God give good health and happiness]; Hoppa eday, bappa eday ella ollithay barali [let only good things happen while going out or coming back]‘ This tradition not only ensures respect to elders but also shows the close bond. Incidentally, open palms -where the nerves end, is supposed to transmit positive vibrations. Thus, the open palms placed on the head, is the ultimate way of blessing.

If you are new to this custom, it may make us a bit uneasy [ashamed is a very strong word] but when you get used to it, this is pure bliss. Let us start seeking the blessings from the most neglected elders – our parents.

1. OLLithagi, ondhu saaviraagi, ko endu korasi, bo endu bokki, nooru thumbi, naadu jaradu, dheera p(b)oorana aagi, baddukki ba

 [Let everything become good, let one become a thousand(wealth), let ‘ko’ be the call, let it boil as ‘bo’, let 100 (years) be completed, visit all [over] nation(s), be a great and enlightened person & come back with all these.

2. OLLitha Ethi, Hollava ThaLLi, Olagodho Ellava Geddu Ba

[Leave all that is bad, take all that is good , come back winning all/everything in this world]

3. Enna maathi / hennu, , sangatta salippu elladhe oLLenge iru, paddipperi mundhuga hesarethi baa, Hoppa Dhari, Bappa Dhari yo, edinjillu elladhe oLLange agili, Nee olagava gedhdhu ba !

[ Oh my son/daughter, let you live well without any disease or discomfort, let you become famous and may education take you forward, wherever you go, let there be no interruptions or hindrances and  may you come back safely. May you rule [lead] the nation (with your wisdom)]!

Full text :

ondhu, ompaththu aagali,
ondhu, saavira aagali,

harachchava kodali, sogava kodali,
baNda hechchali, badhukku hechchali,
bE hechchali, haalu hechchali, haNNu hechchali,

mane katti, maaru kattili,
ondhu mane, saavira mane aagali,

beNNE bettu aagali, thuppa theppa aagali,
hulla muttile hoo aagali, kalla muttile kaai aagali,
honna muttilE sinna aagali,

bettadhudhu bandhalEyu, beraluga adangali,
attudhadhu bandhalEyu, aangai adangali,

Kattidhadhu kareyali, biththidhadhu baeyali,

aanaiya balava kodali, ariyaa siriyaa    kodali,
budhdhi bevarava kodali,

uri hOgi, siri barali, siri sippaaththi agali,

HOppa ede, bappa ede ellaa, oLLiththe barali,

nooru thumbi, naadu jaradhu, dheera pooraNa aagi,
OLLiththa Eththi, Hollava ThaLLi, olagodho ellaava Gedhdhu,
sangatta salippu illaadhe,
hoppa dhaari, Bappa Dhaari yo, edinjilu iLLaadhe,
padipPeri mundhuga hesareththi,

kumbE kudi haradha engE, angaalu muLLu muriyaadhE,
kO endhu korachchi, bO endhu bokki,
ManE thumba makka hutti, gOttu thumba sosE kondu,

paava pariya nOdi, olagadha hesaru eththi
badhukki baa

ஒந்து, ஒம்பத்து ஆகலி,
ஒந்து, சாவிர ஆகலி,ஹரச்சவ கொடலி, சொகவ கொடலி,
பண்ட ஹெச்சலி, பதுக்கு ஹெச்சலி,
பே ஹெச்சலி, ஹாலு ஹெச்சலி, ஹண்ணு ஹெச்சலி,

மனே கட்டி, மாரு கட்டிலி,
ஒந்து மனே, சாவிர மனே ஆகலி,

பெண்ணே பெட்டு ஆகலி, துப்ப தெப்ப ஆகலி,
ஹுல்ல முட்டிலே ஹூ ஆகலி, கல்ல முட்டிலே காய் ஆகலி,
ஹொன்ன முட்டிலே சின்ன ஆகலி,

பெட்டதுது பந்தலேயு, பெரலுக அடங்கலி,
அட்டுதது பந்தலேயு, ஆங்கை அடங்கலி,

கட்டிதது கரேயலி, பித்திதது பேயலி,

ஆனைய பலவ கொடலி, அரியா சிரியா கொடலி,
புத்தி பெவரவ கொடலி,

உரி ஹோகி, சிரி பரலி, சிரி சிப்பாத்தி அகலி,

ஹோப்ப எடே, பப்ப எடே எல்லா, ஒள்ளித்தே பரலி,

நூரு தும்பி, நாடு ஜரது, தீர பூரண ஆகி,
ஓள்ளித்த ஏத்தி, ஹொல்லவ தள்ளி, ஒலகொதொ எல்லாவ கெத்து,
சங்கட்ட சலிப்பு இல்லாதெ,
ஹொப்ப தாரி, பப்ப தாரி யொ, எடிஞ்சிலு இல்லாதெ,
படிப்பேரி முந்துக ஹெசரெத்தி,

கும்பே குடி ஹரத எங்கே, அங்காலு முள்ளு முரியாதே,
கோ எந்து கொரச்சி, போ எந்து பொக்கி,
மனே தும்ப மக்க ஹுட்டி, கோட்டு தும்ப சொசே கொண்டு,

பாவ பரிய நோடி, ஒலகத ஹெசரு எத்தி
பதுக்கி பா

English Translation

Let  prosperity/good deeds increase nine folds,
[ondhu – one, ombaththu – nine, aagali – happen]
Let a prosperity increase a thousand times,
[saavira – thousand]

Let good helath and happiness be bestowed
[haracha – health, soga – happiness, kodali – given]
Let the cattle wealth / livestock (number of buffalows and cows) increase
[banda – cattle]
Let wealth  increase
[badhukku – wealth]
Let the (sown) crops increase
[bay – crops)
Let the milk (yield) inncrease
[haalu – milk]
Let the fruits increase
[hannu – fruits]

May you build (your own) a house
[manay – house, katti – build]
May you get married
[maaru katti – marriage]
Let one house become a thousand
[may your family increase]

Let the butter [yield] grow like mountain,
[bennay – butter, bettu – mountain]
Let ghei  (made from clarified butter) become large well
[thuppa – ghei, theppa – well]
Let grass turn to flowers and stones to fruits when touched
[Hullu – grass, muttilay – to  touch, hoo – flower, kallu – stone , kaai – unripe fruit]
Let iron turn to gold
[Honna – iron, sinna – gold]
Even if trouble comes in huge amount like a mountain, let it be contained in a finger
[betta – mountain, bandalay – coming, beralu – finger, adangali – contained]
Even if trouble comes like a deep valley, let it be contained in the palm (fist)

Let the cow give milk,
[kattidhadhu – tied cow, karayali – to milk]
Let whatever is sown, grow well
[biththidhadhu – sown, bayyali – grow well]

Let the strengh of Elephant be bestowed (on you)
[Aanay – elephant, bala – strengh]
Let a lot of happiness be given,
[siri – happiness]
May you become intelligent and wise
[budhdi – intelligence, bevara – wisdom]

Let jealousy vanish and happiness prevail
[uri – jealousy /envy]
Let happiness increase manyfold
[sippathi – manyfold]

Let only good things happen wherever you go and come
[Hoppa – going, bappa – coming, eday – place, olliththu – goodness]

Let you live to be a full  hundred  with lots of wisdom so as to make others wonder(envious)
[nooru – hundred, thumbi – full/filled, naadu – nation/others, jaradu – envious, Deera – wisdom, poorana – complete /lots, aagi – become]
Take only the good and leave behind the bad
[olliththu – good,eththi – take, holla’va – bad, thalli – leave behind]
May you win all in this world
[olaga – world, ellava – all, geddhu – win]
without any worries and problems,
[sangatta – worries, salippu – problems/hesitation]
Let there be no hinderance on your ways
[dhaari – path /way, edinjallu – hinderance]
Let you come up in life with wisdom given by education
[paddippu – education, mundhuga – coming forward]

Like a pumpkin plant that grows and spreads
[kumba kudi – pumpkin plant, haradu – spread]
Let not thorns stop your steps
[Aangaal – foot, mullu – thorn, muriyadhay – embed (in the sole)

Let your name and fame spread wide and far and called by all and overflow
[korachi – calling, bokki – overflow]
Let your home be filled with children
[makka – children, hutti – born]
and let there be many daughters in law
[gottu – corner, thumba – full,sosay – daughter in law]

May you look after your dear and near ones
[pava paria – near and dear ones]
Earn a great name in this world
[hesaru – name, eththi – earn]

And  live with PROSPERITY

(sources :My mother  B.Idyammal , Appukodu Lakshmi Ammal, Balasubramaiam’s ‘Paame’, Sivaji Raman’s ‘Badaga Samudhaayam’ and  my own interaction with Badaga  elders)

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Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A (FMS, Delhi Univ)
Contact : bjaypee@gmail.com
belliejayaprakash©2006-2019

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Learn Badaga

How the relations are called in Badaga ( query from Ram Siva)

1.Mother – Awway (others but not commonly used – Awwa, Amma, Thayee)

2.Father – Appa (Thandhey)

3.Elder sister – Akka

4.Elder brother – ANNa

5.Younger sister – Ammey (Thangei)

6.Younger brother – Thamma

7.Son – Maathi

8.Daughter – HeNNu

9.Grand Mother – Heththey

10.Grand Father – Iyya

11.Father’s elder brother – Dhoddappa

12.Father’s younger brother – Kunnappa

13.Mother’s elder sister – Dhoddawway

14.Mother’s younger sister – Kunnawway

15.Mother’s brother – Mmma

16.Father’s sister – Mammi

17.Elder brother’s wife – Aththigay

18.Husband’s sister – Aththigay

19.Children – Kunavay

20.Child – Koosu

21.Elders – Dhoddavakka

22.Youngsters – Kunnavakka

23.Young – Javvoni

24.Friend – Nattukara ( male), Nattukaththi (female)

25.Lover – Priyakaara, Priyakaathi (??)

26.Natta – an outsider from another Hatti (village)

  1. Husband – Ganda

  2. Wife – Hendaru (Hemmathi)

  3. Son in law – Aliya

  4. Daughter in law – Sosay

  5. Co brother – Juddukka

  6. Brother in law – Bawa (Mamma)

  7. Mudukka – Old man

  8. Mudukki – Old woman

  9. Mothers brothers – Guru Mane Mammanavakka

Learn Badaga

The following have been taken from my earlier posts.

A couple of days back, I received the following email from a young mother [name withheld] who wrote to say :

Dear Sir,   It gave immense pleasure for me to visit your website. I was always amazed to know about the community and the culture.

I am a Non Badaga and married last Dec to a Badaga from ………..

And Recently on the ….. of this month I gave birth to a baby. My husband and my in laws want me to learn Badaga  as I have to talk to the baby in Badaga for her to pick up the language.

Please help me learn the language by sending me some day to day conversations .

Thanks in Advance. Best Regards.

My reply :-
Thanks a lot for your email. I am delighted to learn that you find my website[s] interesting and informative.
I have given a few ‘lessons’ about LEARN BADAGA in my websites/blogs. ….
When you meet any elder, especially your in-laws and hubby’s grand parents, bow your head and say, ‘Kumbidichivi – meaning bless me. They are expected to touch your head and say, “Badhukku” – long live. You will find that any elder Badaga will be thrilled with this gesture as many do not follow this wonderful custom and your day will be made.
As a new mother, for about 40 days after delivering a baby, you are a ‘baththya hemmathi’ with some diet and other restrictions.
 “Hosa koosuga, ondhu muthu kodu’ – give the new born baby a kiss.

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The following sentences are meant to address elders with respect.

[Like in Tamil – instead of Nee it is Neengal when we talk to an elder]1.How are You – Ollenge [ஒள்ளெங்கெ] idhara?2.How is your health? – Ninga Sogava idhara / odambu ollenge hadadhaiya?

3.How is the weather? – Seemey ethey hadadhey?

4.what did you eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner. – Orakkadhu [morning] / Hagalu [afternoon] / santhu [evening], aena hittu thindhi?

5.Would you like to have some tea? – Josee Tea kudithaariya ?

6. (Girl/Boy) Baby is doing good. –  [kandu/hennu] Koosu ollenge idharey

7.(Girl/Boy) Baby is naughty. – [Kandu/Hennu] Koosu appara kurumbu

8.We are coming tomorrow. – Enga naayiga banna’ne’yo

The following have been taken from my earlier posts.

Let us learn Badaga

” Ollenge iddiya ? – How are you ?”

‘Suddi saddha ella olliththa ? – (Roughly) ‘ How is everything ? ‘

1. Are you a Badaga ? – Nee ondu Badagana?

2. Yes, I am a Badaga – Ha, Na ondu Badaga

3. What is your name ? – Ninna hesaru aena ?

4. My name is Bhoja – Enna hesaru Bhoja

5. Which is your village ? – Ninna Hatti edu ?

[5a. Amme / Thamma, nee ai hatti ? – Girl/ Boy, which is your village?]

6. My village is Bearhatti – Enna Hatti bandu Bearhatti

7. Whose son/daughter are you ? – Nee dara maathi / hennu ?

8. I am Mela thara (top street) Joghi Gowder’s son / daughter – Na Mela thara Joghi gowdaru maathi / hennu

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Numbers in Badugu /Badaga

1. Ondu (One) 11. Hannondu (Eleven)

2. Eradu (Two) 12. Hanneradu (Twelve)

3. Mooru (Three) 13. Hadimooru (Thirteen)

4. Naakku (Four) 14. Hadanaakku (Fourteen)

5. Iidu (Five) 15. Hadanaidu (Fifteen)

6. Aaru (Six) 16. Hadanaaru (Sixteen)

7. eizhu (Seven) 17. Hadarizhu (Seventeen)

8. Eattu (Eight) 18. Hadarettu (Eighteen)

9. Ombathu ( Nine) 19. Hathombathu (Nineteen)

10. Hathu (Ten) 20. Eipathu (Twenty)

30. Moovathu (Thirty) 40. Nalavathu (Forty)

50. Iivathu (Fifty) 60. Aravathu (Sixty)

70. Elavathu (Seventy) 80. Embathu ( Eighty)

90. Thombathu (Ninrty) 100. Nooru (Hundred)

Days In Badugu/Badaga

1. Aadivaara (Sunday)

2. Sovaara (Monday)

3. Mangavaara ( Tuesday)

4. Bodavaara (Wednesday)

5. Chikkavaara (Thursday)

6. Bellie (Friday)

7. Sani (Saturday)

Months In Badugu/Badaga

It is said that Badaga month usually, starts on every 10th of the English month. Like for example the first Badaga month Koodalu  starts on 10th January.

1. Koodalu (Jan)

2. Aalaani (Feb)

3. Nallaani (Mar)

4. Aani ( Apr)

5. Aadire (May)

6.Aadi (Peraadi) (Jun)

7.Aavaani (Jul)

8.Perattadi (Aug)

9. Dodda Deevige (Sep)

10. Kiru Deevige (Oct)

11. Thai (Nov)

12. Hemmaatti (Dec)

Pleasantly surprised to hear all the Badaga Months being mentioned in this song called ‘Kappu Huttileyu’ . See the widget on the right and click to listen to this great dance number

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Hindu-Arabic numeral Badaga and pronunciation
1 ஒந்து   (Ondu)
2 எரடு (Eradu)
3 மூறு (Mooru)
4 நாக்கு  (Naaakkuu)
5 ஐது (aidhu)
6 ஆறு (aaru))
7 எழ்ழு (ézhu)
8 எட்டு (ettu)
9 ஒம்பத்து  (Ompathu)

Certain peculiarities of Badaga .

Haalu [haa – as in hospital and lu – as in Zulu] means milk

Hallu [ ha- as hurt and llu – as in loo] means tooth [teeth]. note – there is no plural term.
Haasu – spread [the bedding], Haasike – bedding
Hasu – hunger

Maana – Pride, Mana – heart

Kaanu – see, Kannu – eye[s] (example – Doctor-a Kaanu, kanna pathi hegina – See the Doctor, he will tell about the eyes]

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Peculiar Words

There are some words in Badaga that are truly peculiar. for example :

1. GIJI GIJI ( as in Give & Jinx) – Confusion , mess up / disorderly

GIJI GIJI maada beda – Don’t create confusion

Room aekka ethe GIJI GIJI (ya) hadadhe ? – Why is this room in such a mess?

2. MURUKKU(LU) (Mu ru ku) – Foul mood / mild anger

Amme Ekka maathaduvadu elle ? – Why is sister not talking ?

Ava murukkindu endhave – She is in a foul mood

3. BADAYI (Ba daa ee ) – Show Off (proud)

Appara badayi maadiya – She shows off a lot

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Birds (Hakkilu)

  1. Haddu (Eagle)
  2. Kakke (Crow)
  3. Soray (Dove)
  4. Kili (Parrot)
  5. Emme Hakkilu
  6. Bikkola
  7. Karia(n)chitta (Black bird)
  8. Gubbachi (Sparrow)
  9. Mayilu (Peacock)
  10. Koi (Poultry hen/cock)
  11. Kaadu Koi (Wild hen)
  12. Baathu(koi) – Duck

Mari (chic) –{Koi Mari – chic(ken)}

Also for calf [ for eg) Nei mari – puppy dog]

Animals

  1. Aanay (Elephant)
  2. Kaade -Kaadu Emme – (Bison)
  3. Ottaga (Camel)
  4. Kudire (Horse)
  5. Kaththe (Donkey)
  6. Dana (Cow)
  7. Emme (Buffalo)
  8. Yethu (Bull)
  9. Karu (Calf)
  10. Huli (Tiger)
  11. Singa (Lion)
  12. Siruthe (Panther)
  13. Karadi (Bear)
  14. Maanu (Deer)
  15. Pulli Maanu (Spotted Dear)
  16. Kadamay (Sambar)
  17. Handi (Black Pig)
  18. Kaadandi – kaadu handi – (Wild Pig)
  19. Mullandi – Mullu Handi – (Porcupine)
  20. Seeme Handi (White Pig)
  21. Koda, Korangu (Monkey)
  22. Mola (Rabbit)
  23. Nari (Fox)
  24. Nei (Dog)
  25. Koththi (Cat)
  26. Eli (Rat)
  27. Aame (Turtle)
  28. Nalli (Crab)
  29. Halli (
  30. Haavu (Snake)
  31. Kappe (Frog)
  32. Meenu (Fish)

Insects

  1. Hoo (general for insect)
  2. Nona (Fly)
  3. Selandhi (Spider)
  4. Kunni (Bee)
  5. Eruppu (Ant)
  6. Kosu (Mosquito)
  7. Bendu (Moth/Butterfly)

Anatomy

  1. Mande (Head) – also refers to Hair though there is specific word – Orama
  2. Heddakku (Back of the skull) – usually Badagas have a long heddakku as they donot use cradles. The reason for not using cradles for babies is a story by itself. It is due to the fact that when they left Mysore to escape from the King (Thipu Sultan ?) in the night in a hurry, they had forgotten the baby which was sleeping in the cradle,each thinking that the other person wiould pick up the child.
  3. Moole (Brain)
  4. Nethi (Forehead)
  5. Kenni (Cheeks)
  6. Kannu [eye(s)]
  7. Kivi (Ear)
  8. Mookku (Nose)
  9. Bae (Mouth)
  10. Thudi (lip)
  11. Hallu (Teeth)
  12. Naalenge (Tongue)
  13. Dhaade ( Chin)
  14. Thonde (Throat)
  15. Gaththu (Neck)
  16. Maaru – Nenju – (chest)
  17. Mole (Breast)
  18. Hiththalu – Bennu – (Shoulder)
  19. Kai (Hands)
  20. Mutti (Elbow – also for knee)
  21. Beralu (Fingers)
  22. Hebbatte – Katte (beralu) – [Thumb]
  23. Ugilu (Nails)
  24. Hotte (Stomach)
  25. Mollu Kudi (Naval)
  26. Nadu (Hip)
  27. Pitti (Buttocks)
  28. Thode (Thigh)
  29. Monakkaalu (Knee)
  30. Kaalu (Leg)
  31. Midi (Heel)
  32. Angalu (Foot)

COLOURS (BANNA)

1.Kappu – Black
2.BeLLay – White
3. Keppu (Kechay) – Red
4. Pachchay – Green
 5. Neela – Blue
6. Arichina (Manja) – Yellow

Also see http://badaga-language.blogspot.in/

Let us make Badaga Hattis ‘CLEAN’

A clean India i.e an open defecation free India, is a must for being a developed country.

A clean Nilgiris, Nakku Betta, will make us one step closer to the achievement of a clean India.

For making India and the Nilgiris clean, open defecation free,  every Badaga Hatti (village) should have a toilet in every house. Where it is not possible for some odd houses to have toilets, there must be public toilets built by collective effort.

Badagas are right on top on many social factors. The most important one could be, Prime Minister Modi’s Beti Bachav, Beti Padav slogan and scheme.

We would have added another feather in our caps, if we have ensured that our hattis are really and truly open defecation free.

Let us strive to bring in that reform in our villages.

Let ‘Kaaduga Hoppadhu‘ (going to the forest for defecation) be a thing of the past.

Some ‘burning’ issues facing Badagas

[This article/page was published a few years back. But, most of the issues touched upon have a great relevance even today – Wg.Cdr JP]

Badagas as a Hill Tribe

BADAGAS as ST

Many Badagas are under the mistaken impression that if they are brought under the “Scheduled Tribe”, it is a degrading step. I do not think so. Badagas are one of the ‘ORIGINAL’ tribes of the Nilgiris along with Todas, Kothas and Kurumas.

The enormous improvements achieved by Badagas in all social factors, in spite of many impediments, should make us feel proud. This success is attributed to one SINGLE factor. Education. For that we must remember with gratitude the pioneer, visionary and philanthropist Rao Bahadur [Hubbathalai Jogi Gowder] Bellie Gowder who built the first School for Badagas – along with free hostel accommodation in Hubbathalai and his son Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder who fore saw that in educating a girl, indeed we are educating a family and hence insisted on education for girls and encouraged it fully.

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‘Scheduled Tribe’ status for Badagas ?!

March, 2008 : Why the latest Tamil Nadu website, http://www.nilgiris.tn.gov.in/
on the Nilgiris is getting on my ‘goat’ is the fact that till recently Badagas were shown as a tribe along with Todas, Kothas, Kurumbas and others. In fact, the following photograph displayed in my website www.badaga.in [ see the page https://badaga.wordpress.com/badaga-dance/ ] was taken from that portal.

Image

But the same has been removed from http://www.nilgiris.tn.gov.in/ now.

Mind you, calling Badagas as a separate tribe and included with others, does not automaticaly give the status of a schedule tribe. And hence, the champions among ourselves who are opposed to ST status, need not feel small

The above website of TN govt is accessed by many tourists mainly foreigners and they are agast not to find anything on or about Badagas.

Many readers may not know that Badagas were listed as a separate entity in the CENSUS till 1981 but after, that courtesy some ill informed ‘idiots’, Badaga are grouped under Kannada (speaking people). What this has done is the huge loss of information of knowing how many Badagas are there [along with all other details like literacy rate, gender wise population etc]. That, SIMPLY MEANS BADAGAS DO NOT EXIST.

What is highly hurting is the fact we have many Badagas including a minister, MLA, many ex-MPs & ex-MLAs who seem to do nothing. Can they not, ATLEAST, shoot out letters to all concerned ? Or, have they forgotten the fact that they are getting a fat pension because of us? I know of an EX-MP who writes to the local police station every now and then emphasising the EX-FACTOR when it comes to grabbing others land for her own kith, but does nothing about the community welfare.

What about the many self appointed leaders of Badaga community, including ex-MLAs, who claim that they are very close to the DMK party leadership ? Why can’t they initiate some action and show the same enthusiasm when they ‘fleece’ the public for money in the name of donation for the party [but lining their own pockets]?

What about many senior government officers, including the only IAS officer who can influence the party in power to take some action ? Firstly, the IAS officer should correct his mother tongue being Badaga and NOT as Tamil as is given in the government official info { a fact I have mentioned in FIRST BADAGA also}.

It is a well known fact that late Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder would seek an immediate appointment, to highlight the problems concerning Badagas, with the Collector as well as the State ministers of his time including the great Rajaji who was the CM. Do you know that Rajaji had to apologise to Ari Gowder when he (Rajaji) was delayed for an appointment and Ari Gowder, as MLA, threatened to walk out. I believe, many Collectors of the Nilgiris, would not only address Ari Gowder’s concern expressed over the phone but would consult him on any issue on Badagas.

Why are we keeping quiet ? Why are we behaving like ‘HEBBATHES’ – cockroaches- running away from light and hiding ourselves in darkness??

Badagas under Schedule Tribes ???

I have very strong views on this subject. Before I elaborate on them, I feel that we should first of all be identified as BADAGAS which is not the case as SANTHOSH has rightly mentioned in www://badaga.com “. . our community’s name is not in the list of communities under the BC category. In fact, it is not mentioned under any of the categories.”

I also agree with the views of ‘bhojvija’ who feels that ST tag for Badagas is humiliating…
“…Badagas living in cities and doing/completed education in cities and are upper middle class family and for them it’s not at all a matter if Badagas are non ST. But we have to talk about our entire badaga community. For example an SC/ST guy simply getting govt job if he passed just degree. And government providing more facilities like scholarship, free hostel, books, notebooks etc… In our community so many have stopped their education due to lack of economical support and their entire life style also has been changed as they have to work just as ordinary labourers…. “.

Most of us feel that getting ST status is demeaning and meant mainly for getting admissions to educational institutions and getting jobs easily. The truth could be entirely different.

Even in our own district of the Nilgirs, do you know that we are not taken as a separate community as BADAGAS but are clubbed with other non tribals??? That is one of the reasons why the exact number of Badags is not available? When census is taken Badags are clubbed under Kannadigas / others.

I am afraid, if this sad state of affair continues, after a few years, we will come under the “extinct” community.

Being from an above average Badaga family – economically [God’s grace], having done my professional studies of engineering and business administration etc and having served in the defence services and having mostly lived in big cities like Delhi, Bangalore & Madras for the past forty odd years or educating my children in the elitist schools, colleges and now abroad, I had no occasion to seek the tag of BC.

BUT.. yes this is a big ‘but’ [no pun intended]…

BUT, NOW THAT I VISIT AND INTERACT WITH OUR PEOPLE IN OUR HATTIS ON A REGULAR BASIS, I AM CONVINCED THAT FOR THE UPLIFTMENT OF OUR COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE (as opposed to city based creamy layers) THERE IS AN URGENT NEED THAT :

  1. First, we should be identified as a separate group as BADAGAS like Todas, Kothas,Kurumas etc when the people(tribes) of the Nilgiris are referred to.
  2. For the larger good of the community, Badagas should get the ST status for the benefits available are too many to go into detail.

Nearly eighty years back, Nakku Betta Leader, Rao Bahadur (Rao Sahib then) Bellie Gowder on whose invitation the Governor of then Madras Province visited Hubbathalai Village was presented a memorandum on the Hill Tribes of Nilgiris which included Badagas, Todas & Kothas. In a grand cultural show organised on that eve Badaga dance was presented [by school boys] in their ‘DODDA KUPPACHA”.

dodda-kuppacha.jpg

Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder, incidentally, was not only the leader of Badagas but represented as leader of all the tribes of Nilgiris (a relatively remote hilly & jungle area and unexplored at that time). The folder he presented to the British Governor, on the occassion of his vist to Hubbathalai [on the invitation of Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder] containg some rare photos of all the tribes of Nilgiris INCLUDING BADAGAS

Badagas as a Hill Tribe

What do you think?

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Let us be FAIR to the fair gender

As I sit down to ponder over the ‘burning issues’ that are bothering the Badaga Community, three issues pop up as very important. The FIRST one is the inequality with which we seem to be treating our women today. Though, this malaise is affecting all the communities in our country, I am concerned that the Badagas who treated their women folk with so much respect and love in the olden days, are slowly but surely pushing them into the second class citizens category.

In earlier days, the girls were married off at a much younger age [Kannu Hoottadha Henga] but with the firm understanding that they [the girls] could seek divorce at any time if there was matrimonial disharmony and that they would be accepted back into the society without any blame and reservation. Getting married again was no big issue. She, always, had the backing of her parents and her brothers as ‘guru mane’ gave unflinching support in all respects mainly financial. This was probably the main reason that the girl children were not given any share in the property.

Being brought up in an atmosphere where complaining and cribbing were not considered as routine, the Badaga women accepted life as it came and were always ready to sacrifice their own comforts. But then, the Badaga men, at least a majority of them, were, also, simple and hard working. Then came the curse of ‘drinking’. And with that, the problems and troubles of Badaga woman increased many fold and took a dramatic turn for the worse. The men folk took full advantage of the vulnerable nature of the women who had the additional burden of bringing up the children. Here, it must be mentioned that a Badaga girl was expected to be pregnant within a few months of marriage and invariably, there was a child to ‘celebrate’ the first wedding anniversary. Followed, of course, with many more children. “Mane thumba Makka” – House full of children – was part of the ‘blessing – Harakkay’.

This put the women in a very disadvantageous position. With many children, divorce was not a choice. Thus, they accepted suffering without complaints.

Education changed the fundamental thinking of girls. Though still faced with the compulsion of early marriage, many girls accepted ‘two children per family’ norm as the best option. But, there was and is still discrimination when it came to giving them share of property. The present law of the land is clear. Girls should get EQUAL share of the property.

The Badaga thinking, mainly mandated and manipulated by men, has found the clumsy excuse of not giving share of the property to the girl children by quoting outdated traditions. This is the problem.

I am convinced that one of the most important and burning issues facing us today is GIVING EQUAL SHARE TO THE GIRLS AS THE BOYS. I am firmly of the view that we have to resolve that we will give equal share to the girls if we have to save our community from falling into disgrace. Let us take that resolution, HERE and NOW.

Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A (FMS, Delhi Univ)
Contact : bjaypee@gmail.com
belliejayaprakash©2006-2019

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Badaga Script – Badaga Barae

(I had written this post in 2007  and the same is reproduced here as I feel it is relevant  even today)

It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language. So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga.

Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exists, if any. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating an unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.

To know more about the BADAGA SCRIPT or rather the need for one go here

Badaga Script

JP’s Badaga Script – ENGBAD or simply BADAGU (BADDU)

Though some friends may feel odd about my adopting an existing Language – English- and adapting it to write in Badaga, for the time beingI will stick to English to express in Badaga (Script). I have used ‘Azhagi’ translirate software which when installed, lets you to type in English to convert  the same into Tamil, to show my ‘Badaga Script – ENGBAD or Baddu

The conventions used are;

  1. Capital letter brings out emphasis – like o is just o – ஒ [ like in only] but O is OH – ஓ [like in old].  For example, oday – break -ஒடெ, NOdhu – see – நோடு
  2. OHdhidhama niddhana, OHdidhama erindina – ஒதிதம நித்தன ஓடிதம எரண்டின   – one who is educated stops [to analyse the situation] but one who is hasty – trips [to fall]. See the sutle difference of OHdhina – ஒதின and OHdina – ஓடின
  3. Extra ‘a’ is stretching the word – like kade[move] is கடெ but  Kaade [a female name] is காடெ
  4. Letters which are not in English alphabet but available in Badaga (and Tamil) can be accessed by using the shift key(Capital) – like l is ல but L is ள , n is ந but  N is ண் . zh is ழ
  5. Capital S is ஸ, small s is ச (ch will also brings out ச)

Now some sentences typed in English and what they bring out in Tamil

  • enna heNNU enna kaNNU maakke – என்ன ஹெண்ணு என்ன கண்ணு மாக்கெ- My daughter is like my eyes
  • ELaya nOdi Edasa bE da – ஏளய நோடி ஏடச பேட – Donot redicule the poor
  • Kalla maaththi kaLLa alla – கல்ல மாத்தி கள்ள அல்ல – Kalla’s son is not a thief.
  • Maadhi mammi madhi kettudhuve – மாதி மம்மி மதி கெட்டுதுவெ – Madhi aunty’s mind is gone
What do you think?

 

Badagas of the Blue Mountains

Welcome to this site which is all about the

Badagas of the Blue Mountains

Baarivi, Odhivi, Nodivi & Ohridivi

[‘Baarivi, Odhivi, Nodivi & Ohridivi’ in Badaga means ‘Come, Read, See & Listen’]

badaga

1.Badaga Origin [What we DO NOT know about Badagas is more than what we know about them. Such is the mystery of Badaga Origin. Read the complete article here]

2.Badaga Language [“It appears that there are none who know ‘PURE’ Badaga. This is not due to lack of words in Badaga. Lot of Badaga words have been forgotten [due to the influence of Tamil and English] and hence become extinct”.]

3.Badaga Names [What is in a name, a rose smells the same by any other name” so said a great poet. But is it so ? In the context of preserving the culture of a community, the names given to both persons and places can play a very crucial part.]

4.Badaga Songs [Music and Badagas are inseparable. Be it the ever green dance (aatta) numbers, the sad savu (funeral) songs or the beautiful ballads…sky is the limit. For some nice Badaga songs click here

5. Badaga Villages – Hattis [Badagas, generally, refer to their village or hamlet as ‘ HATTI ‘ spread around ‘Nakku Betta’ (the Nigiris). Nakku Betta literaly means four (Nakku) Mountains (betta) though there are many hills around which the villages are located]

6. Hethay Amma History [Hethay Amma is the deity of all Badagas. Hethai Habba is always on the first MONDAY (SOVARA), the most sacred day of Badagas, after the full moon (paurnami – HUNNAWAY ) that falls in (Tamil) Margazhi month, that is the 9th day after eight days of ‘Kolu’]

7.Badaga Jewellery [The main ornaments are the nose ring called ‘ MOOKUTHI ‘ and the ear ring known as ‘CHINNA’ . Chinna , literaly means gold but usually refers to ear rings. The type shown above is worn both by men and women. Of course, the ‘ BELLI UNGARA ‘ [silver finger ring] has a special place in Badaga tradition and considered to have medicinal / health benefits]

8.Badaga Wedding [Badaga customs and traditions are known for their simplicity, adaptibility and practicality. In this respect a Badaga wedding follows a set of simple rules that has been almost the same over the centuries. But for a minor change here and there, it has been almost the same in all the villages spread across the Nakku Betta or the Nilgiri Hills]

9.Badaga Funeral [Ever since I became aware of the verses of ‘Karu Harachodhu’, I felt how nice it would be if these beautiful words could be given in English [ both in script and as translation] so that the present day youngsters could understand one of the most important and significant part (prayer) of Badaga funeral rites]

10.All about Ari Gowder [Rao Bahadur H.B.Ari Gowder, the first Badaga graduate, first Badaga M.L.C & M.L.A for a long time who had brought many reforms in/to Badaga Community including ‘prohibition’ (no alcohol – kudi to Nilgiris in British days itself. Ari Gowder lead the Indian contigent (yes, “INDIAN CONTIGENT) to World Scouts Jumboree held in Europe in the 1930s]

11.First Badaga It will be very interesting [I hope as well as informative & motivating] to list all those BADAGAS who were / are the ’FIRST’in any field.Where I am not sure, I have put a question mark, so that someone may supply the correct or corrected info

12. Rare Photos [..The title says it all ..]

13. Badaga Day [May 15th is celebrated as Badaga day, every year. Many may not be aware that this has been done from 1993 onwards. The Porangadu Seeme (Mainly Kotagiri Area) has been celebrating this day as ‘Ari Gowder Day’ also, in honour of Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder…]

14.Badaga Poems [One of the enchanting aspects of Badaga Language is its disarming simplicity. But though the sentences are swathed in sweetness of simple words, it can contain deep expressions of emotions conveyed in the proper usage of rhymes [holla – alla] or pair words [huttu – nattu] apart from other attributes]

15.Badaga Elders [There are a few elderly Badagas spread among our Hattis and Cities who are so well informed about us. May be due to their age or the personal interest and individual atrributes, they know about our origin, customs, culture or anything connected and concerning Badagas. It is a shear blessing to meet them.]

16. Badaga Recipes [Badagas usually grow vegetables in their small patch(es) of land called ‘HOLA’ (see photo) for their regular use apart from other commercial crops like potato, cabbage, carrot and cauliflower etc. These would also include many varities of beans, peas, greens, corn etc]

17.Badaga Proverbs [One of the fascinating and interesting aspect of Badaga [both people & language] is the free use of delightful but deep meaning proverbs called “ DODDARU SHLOKA”. When you engage an elderly Badaga into any conversation, you are sure to hear a lot of these proverbs thrown in to make / emphasis a point]

18.Badaga Calendar [Badaga month should start on the 10th of an English month as far as possible and also to ensure that the number of days in a month is either 30 or 31 days. Since Badagas consider ‘Sovara’ (Monday) as the most auspicious and ‘holy’ day, they have attached a lot of importance to that day]

19.Badaga Script It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language. So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga. Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exist. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating an unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.

20. Badaga Poetry

21. General

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  • Bravo, Rajamma of Kethorai - Kethorai Rajamma, who made all  those known her , especially the Badagas, very proud by winning an award from the President of India, recently has written to say, Dear Mr.JP…, My earnest greetings..Your efforts for the beautiful bagadas of the … Continue reading
  • Time to change with changing times? - Narmu  writes : “I am new to this site. I am very proud to be a Badaga girl. Our people are very loving, caring and are with humanity to a great extent except when it comes to inter caste marriage. … Continue reading
  • Marrying a person with no MORAY - dharshani raj  (dharshani.ds@gmail.com) asks ‘I want to know if it is wrong in marrying a person with no moray’  This question, though appears to be simple, is an important one since many of us, including the self – appointed GOWDAS … Continue reading
  • Dr.Sundaradevan, the First Badaga IAS officer writes…. - Dr. Sundaradevan Nanjiah  IAS I am a regular visitor to your website for more than a year now.  Please accept my congratulations for a splendid job.  I can appreciate the enormous efforts put in by you single-handedly in gathering so … Continue reading
  • Kinnakorai – the beautiful village ! - Anand.N.R [from Kinnakorai] writes : I have recently visited your website and interested in knowing about us Badagas and our origin. Your website gives us many useful   information about Badagas . I have been to many hattis in Ooty and collected … Continue reading

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Badaga Dictionary

A lot of young friends who visit this website ( truly humbled and thrilled that there are more than 627,000 hits – JP) ask me whether there are any books to 1) learn Badaga language and on 2) Badaga Dictionary.

There are some books on Badaga Language and you can find the list on the page ‘Books on Badaga .

Prof.Paul Hockings
Christiane Raichoor

 Prof.Paul Hockings has brought out ‘A Badaga English Dictionary‘ way back in 1992 along with (late) Christiane Pilot-Raichoor.

Some pages from this book are given below.

See A Badaga _ English DictionaryC 

 

Prof.Paul Hockings informs me that the book A Badaga – English Dictionary was published in 1992, and is 865 pages long. Moreover the fully revised expansion of it is now ready for publication, and will be about 1000 pages long. A shorter and cheaper Student Edition is also planned (13 Feb 2019)

Another very useful and in my opinion a great source of interesting information on Badagaru Dhoddaru Shloka (proverbs) along with dictionary is
Counsel from the Ancients: A Study of Badaga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses

I understand that Nelikolu Trust is bringing out a Badaga – Tamil – English (authored by Dr.Haldorai) soon. It must be very interesting since Tamil, understood by many Badagas, is included.

 

From Prof.Paul Hockings

(Reproduced)
Dear J.P.
    I found a comment on your website to the effect that “It is ironic that despite research by Western scholars the Badagas are little known overseas”. I think you are altogether too pessimistic about this matter. The Badagas are in fact widely known, and are the subject of articles in four encyclopaedias that can be found today in several hundred libraries worldwide, viz:
Castes and Tribes of Southern India, I: 63-124
Encyclopaedia of the Nilgiri Hills,1: 2-8, 36-39, 91-113, 252-256, 296-301, 327-332, 347-351, 417-421; 2: 524-525, 541-546, 569-571, 577-580, 607-611, 727-730, 758-779, 815-816, 827-829, 980-981, etc.
Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology, 2: 572-578
Encyclopedia of World Cultures, 3: 14-18
This means that many thousands of students and professional scholars have read about Badagas in these reference books over the past century. The hundreds of articles that have been published on Badagas in popular magazines as well as academic journals reflect (and often quote) the widespread use of these particular resources. A detailed bibliography (Hockings, 1996) has revealed that the Nilgiris region is the most thoroughly studied and documented of any rural part of South Asia, without exception.
    With regards,
         Paul
Dear J.P.,
    I often look at your website, and of course often see a list of “Books about Badagas”, some of which are in Tamil and not easily obtained. The impression you give with that title is that these are the only books available on the subject. But the books which scholars most commonly cite when writing about Badagas are usually missing from your list! You could correct that list most easily by changing the heading to read “selected recent books about Badagas,” unless it would be more accurate to say “Books by Badagas”. 
    For the record, these are the books that are most commonly cited in publications, such as academic articles, about the Badagas (in alphabetical order):
Heidemann, Frank M.
    2006    Akka Bakka: Religion, Politik und duale Souveränität der Badaga in den Nilgiri Süd-Indiens. Berlin: LIT-        Verlag.
Hockings, Paul

    1980    Ancient Hindu Refugees: Badaga Social History 1550-1975.The Hague: Mouton Publishers; New     Delhi: Vikas Publishing House.

    1980     Sex and Disease in a Mountain Community.New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House; Columbia, Mo.: South Asia Books.

    1988     Counsel from the Ancients: A Study of Badaga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    1992    A Badaga-English Dictionary (by Paul Hockings and Christiane Pilot-Raichoor).Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 

    1996     Bibliographie générale sur les Monts Nilgiri de l’Inde du sud 1603-1996 / A Comprehensive Bibliography for the Nilgiri Hills of Southern India, 1603-1996 / Eine umfassende Bibliographie der Nilgiri-Berge Südindiens, 1603-1996Bordeaux: Université Michel de Montaigne.

    1999    Kindreds of the Earth: Badaga Household Structure and Demography. New Delhi, London and Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications; Walnut Creek, Cal.: AltaMira Press.

    2001     Mortuary Ritual of the Badagas of Southern India. Fieldiana, Anthro­pology, (new series) 32. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History.
    2012    Encyclopaedia of the Nilgiri Hills. (Paul Hockings, ed.) New Delhi: Manohar Books

    2013    So Long a Saga: Four Centuries of Badaga Social History. New Delhi: Manohar Publishers & Distributors.

Ranga, Nayakulu Gogineni

    1934    The Tribes of the Nilgiris (Their Social and Economic Conditions). Bezwada: Vani Press.

(Whoever wrote the “Badaga” article in Wikipedia seems unaware of this literature.) I have not included here several dissertations, as they are not really publications, and are often difficult to get hold of.
   With best wishes,
    Paul
It is always a pleasure to receive communications from Prof. Paul Hockings, an authority on Badagas, the people and Badaga, the language.
It will be very true to say that he has made Badagas, originally a small tribe living only in the Nilgiris [now, of course, spread around the world] known all over the globe with his well researched books and articles. Many of them can be easily accessed online.
Thank you Paul,
Wg.Cdr. JP
Rejoinder from Prof.Paul Hockings:
Thank you for your quick response, J.P.
You touch on a very important matter, that the Badagas are becoming, shall we say, internatonalised. There are dozens of Badaga families where I live in Silicon Valley, and their children and grandchildren are growing up as Americans, or elsewhere as Australians or Britons.
We social scientists find that the third generation of immigrants in some “new” country get very curious abut their ancestors and the culture too, and want to know more about it. So in a sense you and I are planning to pass on the most accurate description we can to people who need to know the details, but in many cases are not born yet!
There’s no point in lamenting that the old ways are no more, but at least we can try to preserve something in print and photography for those who will need it later on.
As always,
Paul

Badaga Language, the beauty of ‘HA’ sound

Badaga or as some like to call Badagu, is a ‘classic‘ and independent language spoken by Badagas of the Blue Mountains or the Nilgiri hills, in north -west Tamil Nadu, bordering Karnataka and Kerala.

Though it is unique by itself, it can be said to be akin to Halaiya (old) Kannada more than any Dravidian language. But due to the geo – political reasons, it is more and more identified with Tamil.

Unfortunately, some over enthusiastic scholars and elders have been trying to eliminate the sound ‘ha -ஹ ‘ which is an integral part of the Badaga language and replace it with ‘ah- அ ‘ with some unacceptable justification that these letters (as well as letter like Ja ஜ, Sa ஸ, Sha ஷ ) do not form part of pure/classical Tamil though they are very much in day to day usage. .

Let me elaborate and justify why ha and other letters, like ஜ, ஸ, ஷ etc should remain as a core letters/sounds in Badaga.

A Badaga village is known as Hatti (ஹட்டி) and not as அட்டி.

Our deity Goddess is Hethe – ஹெத்தே and not Athe எத்தே

Some day to day words starting with ha

Haalu – ஹாலு – milk

Habba – ஹப்பா – festival

Hannu – ஹண்ணு – fruit

Haavu – ஹாவு – snake

I intend opening an exclusive blog to high light the importance and necessity of retaining these sounds/letters like Ha ஹ, Ja ஜ, Sa ஸ, Sha ஷ
Jana ஜன – people
Janni ஜன்னி – cold
Jakkadha –  ஜக்கத –  the famous hatti (village)

Hasu ஹஸு – hunger

Hethe nangava Harichali – ஹெத்தே நங்கவ ஹரிச்சலி

Let Hethe bless us !

Badaga Blessings

One of the wonderful and deeply meaningful customs of Badagas, is the seeking blessings of elders. That is, whenever any person meets/visits an elder, he or she seeks the blessings of the elderly person [elderly does not mean aged/old but only elder by age] by bowing the head and requesting “Harachu (bless me)”.
 If any headgear like cap/turban is worn, the same is removed. The elder, placing his/her right hand [or both hands] on top of the head of the youngster would bless [broadly] with the following words – footwear [kevaru / mettu]as well as the headgear [cap/kovili or turban / mandare] would be removed before blessings are sought / offered. The elderly person  blesses as ‘ Ondhu Nooru, Saavira Agili [let one become a hundred and then a thousand];  Somi, harachavu,sogavu kodili [may God give good health and happiness]; Hoppa eday, bappa eday ella ollithay barali [let only good things happen while going out or coming back]‘

Badaga Blessings

 This tradition not only ensures respect to elders but also shows the close bond. Incidentally, open palms -where the nerves end, is supposed to transmit positive vibrations. Thus, the open palms placed on the head, is the ultimate way of blessing.
If you are new to this custom, it may make us a bit uneasy and shy but when you get used to it, this is pure bliss.

Let us start seeking the blessings from the most neglected elders – our parents.

1. Ollithagi, ondhu saaviraagi, ko endu korasi, bo endu bokki, nooru thumbi, naadu jaradu, dheera p(b)oorana aagi, baddukki ba

[Let everything become good, let one become a thousand(wealth), let ‘ko’ be the call, let it boil as ‘bo’, let 100 (years) be completed, visit all [over] nation(s), be a great and enlightened person & come back with all these.

2. Ollitha Ethi, Hollava Thalli, Olagodho Ellava Geddu Ba

[Leave all that is bad, take all that is good , come back winning all/everything in this world]

3. Enna maathi / hennu, , sangatta salippu elladhe ollenge iru, paddipperi mundhuga hesarethi baa, hoppa dhari, Bappa Dhari yo, edinjillu elladhe ollange agili, Nee olagava hedithu ba !

[ Oh my son/daughter, let you live well without any disease or discomfort, let you become famous and may education take you forward, wherever you go, let there be no interruptions or hindrances and  may you come back safely. May you rule [lead] the nation (with your wisdom)]!

Full text :

ondhu, ompaththu aagali,

ondhu, saavira aagali,

harachchava kodali, sogava kodali,

baNda hechchali, badhukku hechchali,

bE hechchali, haalu hechchali, haNNu hechchali,

manE katti, maaru kattili,

ondhu manE, saavira manE aagali,

beNNE bettu aagali, thuppa theppa aagali,

hulla muttilE hoo aagali, kalla muttilE kaai aagali,

honna muttilE sinna aagali,

bettadhudhu bandhalEyu, beraluga adangali,

attudhadhu bandhalEyu, aangai adangali,

Kattidhadhu karEyali, biththidhadhu bEyali,

aanaiya balava kodali, ariyaa siriyaa  kodali,

budhdhi bevarava kodali,

uri hOgi, siri barali, siri sippaaththi agali,

HOppa edE, bappa edE ellaa, oLLiththE barali,

nooru thumbi, naadu jaradhu, dheera pooraNa aagi,

OLLiththa Eththi, Hollava ThaLLi, olagodho ellaava Gedhdhu,

sangatta salippu illaadhe,

hoppa dhaari, Bappa Dhaari yo, edinjilu iLLaadhe,

padippEri mundhuga hesareththi,

kumbE kudi haradha engE, angaalu muLLu muriyaadhE,

kO endhu korachchi, bO endhu bokki,

ManE thumba makka hutti, gOttu thumba sosE kondu,

paava pariya nOdi, olagadha hesaru eththi

badhukki baa

ஒந்து, ஒம்பத்து ஆகலி,
ஒந்து, சாவிர ஆகலி,ஹரச்சவ கொடலி, சொகவ கொடலி,
பண்ட ஹெச்சலி, பதுக்கு ஹெச்சலி,
பே ஹெச்சலி, ஹாலு ஹெச்சலி, ஹண்ணு ஹெச்சலி,

மனே கட்டி, மாரு கட்டிலி,ஒந்து மனே, சாவிர மனே ஆகலி,

பெண்ணே பெட்டு ஆகலி, துப்ப தெப்ப ஆகலி,ஹுல்ல முட்டிலே ஹூ ஆகலி, கல்ல முட்டிலே காய் ஆகலி,ஹொன்ன முட்டிலே சின்ன ஆகலி,

பெட்டதுது பந்தலேயு, பெரலுக அடங்கலி,அட்டுதது பந்தலேயு, ஆங்கை அடங்கலி,

கட்டிதது கரேயலி, பித்திதது பேயலி,

ஆனைய பலவ கொடலி, அரியா சிரியா கொடலி,புத்தி பெவரவ கொடலி,

உரி ஹோகி, சிரி பரலி, சிரி சிப்பாத்தி அகலி,

ஹோப்ப எடே, பப்ப எடே எல்லா, ஒள்ளித்தே பரலி,

நூரு தும்பி, நாடு ஜரது, தீர பூரண ஆகி,

ஓள்ளித்த ஏத்தி, ஹொல்லவ தள்ளி,

ஒலகொதொ எல்லாவ கெத்து,சங்கட்ட சலிப்பு இல்லாதெ,

ஹொப்ப தாரி, பப்ப தாரி யொ, எடிஞ்சிலு இல்லாதே,

படிப்பேரி முந்துக ஹெசரெத்தி,

கும்பே குடி ஹரத எங்கே,

அங்காலு முள்ளு முரியாதே,

கோ எந்து கொரச்சி,

போ எந்து பொக்கி,மனே தும்ப மக்க ஹுட்டி, கோட்டு தும்ப சொசே கொண்டு,

பாவ பரிய நோடி, ஒலகத ஹெசரு எத்தி

பதுக்கி பா

English Translation

Let  prosperity/good deeds increase nine folds,[ondhu – one, ombaththu – nine, aagali – happen]

Let a prosperity increase a thousand times, [saavira – thousand]

Let good health and happiness be bestowed[haracha – health, soga – happiness, kodali – given]

Let the cattle wealth / livestock (number of buffalows and cows) increase[banda – cattle]

Let wealth  increase[badhukku – wealth]

Let the (sown) crops increase[bay – crops)Let the milk (yield) increase[haalu – milk]

Let the fruits increase[hannu – fruits]May you build (your own) a house[manay – house, katti – build]

May you get married[maaru katti – marriage]

Let one house become a thousand[may your family increase]

Let the butter [yield] grow to a mountain,[bennay – butter, bettu – mountain]

Let ghei (clarified butter) made become large like a well[thuppa – ghei, theppa – well]

Let grass turn to flowers and stones to fruits when touched[Hullu – grass,muttilay – touched, hoo – flower, kallu – stone , kaai – unripe fruit]

Let iron turn to gold[Honna – iron, sinna – gold]

Even if trouble comes in huge amount like a mountain, let it be contained in a finger[betta – mountain, bandalay – coming, beralu – finger, adangali – contained]

Even if trouble comes like a deep valley, let it be contained in the palm (fist)

Let the tied cow give milk,[kattidhadhu – tied, karayali -milking]

Let whatever is sown ,grow well[biththidhadhu – sown, bayyali – grow well]

Let the strengh of Elephant be bestowed (on you)[Aanay – elephant, bala – strengh]

Let a lot of happiness be given,[siri – happiness]

May you become intelligent and wise[budhdi – intelligence, bevara – wisdom]

Let jealousy vanish and happiness prevail[uri – jealousy /envy]

Let happiness increase many fold [sippathi – manyfold]

Let only good things happen wherever you go and come[Hoppa – going, bappa – coming, eday – place, olliththu – goodness]

Let you live to be a full  hundred  with lots of wisdom so as to make others wonder(envious)[nooru – hundred, thumbi – full/filled, naadu – nation/others, jaradu – envious, Deera – wisdom, poorana – complete /lots, aagi – become]

Take only the good and leave behind the bad[olliththu – good,eththi – take, holla – bad, thalli – leave behind]

May you win all in this world[olaga – world, ellava – all, geddhu – win]without any worries and problems,[sangatta – worries, salippu – problems/hesitation]

Let there be no hindrance on your ways[dhaari – path /way, edinjallu – hindrance]

Let you come up in life with wisdom given by education[paddippu – education, mundhuga – coming forward]Like a pumpkin plant that grows and spreads[kumba kudi – pumpkin plant, haradu – spread]

Let not thorns stop your steps[Aangaal – foot, mullu – thorn, muriyadhay – embed (in the sole)

Let your name and fame spread wide and far and called by all and overflow[korachi – calling, bokki – overflow]

Let your home be filled with children[makka – children, hutti – born]

and let there be many daughters in law[gottu – corner, thumba – full, sosay – daughter in law]

May you look after your dear and near ones[pava paria – near and dear ones]

Earn a great name in this world [hesaru – name, eththi – earn]And  live with PROSPERITY

(sources : My mother (late) Hubbathalai B.Idyammal , Appukodu Lakshmi Ammal, Balasubramaiam’s ‘Paame’, Sivaji Raman’s ‘Badaga Samudhaayam’ and own interaction with  badaga village elders)

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No articles, images and other material in this website can be reproduced without the written permission of 

Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A (FMS, Delhi Univ)

Contact : bjaypee@gmail.com

belliejayaprakash©2019

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125th birth Anniversary of H.B.Ari Gowder

December 4th, 2018 is the 125th birth anniversary of Rao Bahadur Hubbathai Bellie Gowder ARI GOWDER, a great Indian and a great Badaga.

H.B.Ari Gowder 
(4-12-1893 to 27-6-1971)

Rao Bahadur H.B.Ari Gowder, the first Badaga graduate, first Badaga M.L.C & M.L.A for a long time( in the 1920s, 30s and 40s) at the time of British Raj,  had brought many reforms in/to Badaga Community in particular and the other tribals of the Nilgiris in general.

He was the leader of the Badaga community and his words were taken as final. He would preside over the Nakku Betta Badaga gathering at Nattakal near Kotagiri, known in Badaga as “KOOTTU”.

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Ari Gowder was honoured by the British Empire on many occassions.

May 15th is Badaga Day and is celebrated as Ari Gowda day.

Ari Gowder’s father Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder was the engineering contactor responsible for laying the Nilgiri Mountain Railway from Mettupalayam to Ooty (the work was completed in 1908).After his death in 1935, Ari Gowder was the Railway contractor of this sector till his death in 1971.

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Ari Gowder lead the Indian contigent (yes, “INDIAN CONTIGENT) to World Scouts Jumboree held in Budapest in Hungary in 1932.

Being a great philanthropist, he had done a lot for the betterment of Badagas and other tribal communities of the Nilgiris. He was instrumental to establish Nilgiri Co-Op Marketting Society (NCMS) at Ooty, to save the small farmers-especially Badagas- from the exploits of middlemen & traders at  vegetable mandis in Mettupalayam. 

He was also the Nilgiris District Board Chairman and the (road) bridge built in 1936 connecting Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states at Kakkanalla, Masinagudi (Guladur) is named as Ari Gowder bridge.

He was the President of NCMS for more than 30 years, till his death and during his time, NCMS was considered as one of the best co-op societies in India. His statue has been erected in the NCMS at Ooty in appreciation of his great work for the society.

Image result for ari gowder


Since he donated the land, the road in front of Mambalam Railway Station in Chennai (Madras) is named after him (known as Ariya Gowder road). 

On this day we bow our heads in reverence and respect to this great Indian and Great Badaga !

Hethe Habba

Hethe Habba

This year, the Hethe Habba will be celebrated on 31 Dec 2018.

To know more about Hethe and Hethe Amma history, click on the pages given above.

You can read  Hethe Amma history here

and download (pdf) here

May Hethe Amma’s blessings be showered on you and your family !

Badaga Origin

Dr. Rajkumar Krishnan (Naihatti), Australia

My heartfelt appreciation for Prof. Hockings and Wg.Cdr.JP for starting this critical discussion on the origin of Badagas.

It is very sad that despite advancement in technology in the last 15-20 years (from world wide web to genetic testing and archaeological technology), we remain where we started nearly 60 years ago trying to find the answer to the question; are badagas indigenous or not to the Nilgiris?

It is time for some serious research from multiple sources like linguistic, gene testing, archeological, historical etc rather than rely on books or papers written without any evidence (from self proclaimed experts writing their own views). I am not sure where funding for this kind of research can be found even if we did manage to find individuals interested in this kind of research.

There are other interesting things that need looking into like; what are the histories for Todas, Kotas andKurumas (as Wg.Cdr. JP has asked)? are their documented histories proven by research or from some self proclaimed experts’ views? How valid is cross reference, collateral history and inference from these works when applied to Badaga origins? Why does Badaga language contain some Telugu words (like gudi – temple,  netturu – blood)? How and where is the Telugu connection and what is it’s significance if any? Are Badaga rites and rituals found elsewhere (in Karnataka or Andhra) or are they unique? If unique then how do you account for a community (only few thousands in number, few hundred years ago, if migration theory is to be accepted) which spoke a dialect without written language, manage to develop its rites and rituals with deep meaning and significance (like ‘Karu harasodu’). The absence of dowry system, acceptance of widow remarriage, mutually acceptable divorce and remarriage are all advanced hallmarks of an Indian community not found in Karnataka or elsewhere. How did a group of migrants (if migration happened) decide to have better ethics and way of life (usually immigrants carry their customs & traditions from their homeland)?

Dr.Rajkumar adds :Thanks for publishing my comments . With ref to Telugu/Kannada words. Interestingly, gudi and netturu are also halaya Kannada words and are rarely used in modern Kannada. Kothi in Telugu is monkey albeit pr as kothionounced

Badagas have their own ‘Hethai’ goddess and festivals and I believe were more nature worshippers (pagans), but in last 40-50 years many Hindu gods have made it into the hatti temples (including some Christianity )? They are now living worldwide and is it in the genes of the Badagas to constantly evolve and change reflecting an immigrant past?

Medically, there is huge incidence of sick sickle disease and other associated haemoglobinopathies amongst Badagas. The flip side to these medical disorders is that it genetically confers resistance against malaria. Now why do the Badagas living in the Nilgiris, where there is no threat of any malaria needs these protective genes? These disorders are primarily found in the Mediterranean and some Indian populations. Does this prove migration theory ? if so when was the migration? or is this part of the diverse Indian gene pool with all its idiosyncrasies and patterns?

Badagas are making significant strides economically as well as educationally in the last 30-40 years. I hope in near future we will all reflect, introspect and realise the need to find the truth about our origin.

I have high regards and respect for Prof. Hockings and his work on Badagas. He himself has stated that he has interviewed about 800 Badagas for his research. I am sure he will also accept that this form of interview and research is not critical scientific evidence. People during these interviews will simply repeat what their forefathers and others have told them. There is certainly no intent to falsify or gain anything but neither is this a confirmation of truth . I can understand that given the lack of any scientific facilities for research, this is the best he can do and I am sure that he has done it in good faith.

There is lot of speculation and assumptions from both indigenous Badaga and non indigenous writers and researchers on Badaga origins.We should not forget the fact that many documented articles and books from the past are mainly written from what these authors have been told and/or what they have inferred from interviews (again done in good faith). It is important that we keep asking more questions until the truth is found.

About Dr.Rajkumar :

 “The Daily Examiner” 14th Mar 2014

GP happy with move to the Clarence

dr.raj

 

A SENSE of adventure and a better quality of life brought Dr Krishnan Rajkumar to Australia but he had no idea just how easy life in the Valley could be.

“We wanted a change. I wanted to travel with my wife and kids,” he said.

“We thought we would try Australia. We always wanted to visit Down Under.”

Better known as Dr Raj, the newest addition to the Queen Street Clinic said the biggest surprise about moving to the Clarence Valley was that he could find everything he needed in the area.

“It’s all been very lovely. We are starting so see a few places – Maclean and Lawrence are very beautiful places,” he said.

“The children have all their extracurricular activities like dancing, the schools are good, shopping – we have not felt the need that we have to leave every weekend.

“Indian spice shopping-wise, it’s just down the road to Woolgoolga.”

Dr Raj said he was originally from Ooty in the hills of India but studied medicine in Chennai, with postgraduate studies in basic surgery and ear, nose and throat.

He worked in England from 1997 until moving to Australia at the beginning of the year with his wife and two daughters, who are in Years 5 and 9.

Dr Raj said he liked the variety of work involved in general practice.

“You don’t know who is going to walk in with what,” he said.

He said talking to people was the best thing about being a doctor. “That’s another thing with general practice,” he said. “It’s more like a holistic approach. You get to know the whole person.”

Dr Raj has taken on the patients of Dr Bruce Wakefield and said he looked forward to meeting and getting to know all of them.

SOME POPULAR BADAGA MISCONCEPTIONS

SOME POPULAR BADAGA MISCONCEPTIONS

Prof.Paul Hockings

Dear JP,
    I have been meaning for some time to send you something  that has been troubling me. While it is a great improvement in things that we now have Badagas publishing books about their culture, most of these books seem not to be based on well-established scholarship on South India, but rather personal impressions. Contrary to what Trump might say, in the long run you can’t have alternate histories of a people, some of which are based on critical research and others of which are not. The critical research is what will last while at the same time being modified by further research.
    Anyway, it would be nice if you can publish what I have written, in the hope that some rather more critical discussion will take place. I have interviewed some 700-800 Badagas (which I don’t think anyone else has done) and I have tried in my books to distill the essence of their thoughts while acknowledging that there are always differences of opinion depending on what part of a society you are located in.  – Paul

The ubiquity of the internet these days, and of Badagas who are perfectly capable of using it, has allowed for a lot more discussion about Badaga matters than used to be the case. And the proliferation of books about the Badagas over the past half-century, when there had been virtually none before that, has given plenty of people food for thought. This is all to the good, of course, and contrasts greatly with the earlier situation. But I would like to point out that some serious yet pervasive misconceptions have arisen in recent years that should be addressed.
The first one to mention, because it is perhaps the oldest, is that it was “western scholars” who decided that the Badagas of the Nilgiris came there from southern Mysore several centuries ago, and that those same scholars decided this because the name of the people means “northerner”. Since I am one of those scholars let me make several point in response.

First of all, from the 1820s onwards, the only writers who showed the slightest interest in Badagas were Westerners. Badagas themselves were certainly unconcerned, no doubt thinking that without literacy they could not have had history. I can mention only two exceptions to this statement. Pandit S.M. Natesa Sastri was a noted Brahmin folklorist (1859-1906) who was reputed to speak 18 languages, Badaga being one of them. Of course, one could not make a decent living being a folklorist in the 19th century, and so Natesa Sastri was employed as a warden in the Ootacamund jail. This gave him ample opportunity to question its Badaga inmates, of whom there apparently were several dozen. As a result of these investigations he published several articles in the Madras Christian College Magazine that are full of valuable and highly accurate information, including verbatim prayers and other samples of the Badaga language. It is of course a great regret that he never made his findings more accessible. The other exception to my statement about Western scholars was a Badaga, M.K. Belli Gowder of Accanakal (Achchanekallu), who early in the 20th century collected a great deal of factual information about the folklore; but he kept it all in notebooks and published almost nothing except for several letters in the South of India Observer. These two writers aside, Indians have shown no interest in Badaga culture until quite recently.

The second point I need to emphasize is that Western scholars never made up their identification of the Badaga homeland in southern Mysore: THIS WAS WHAT TRUSTED BADAGA ELDERS TOLD THEM. In my own research I was told by numerous elders, from 1962 onwards (in other words, by people born around 1900 or just before), that the names of some of the ancestral villages were still known; and they dictated to me Accalli, Agasvadi, Belladi, Gundulupete, Hasanuru, Honnahalli, Jakkalli, Kakkadur-Karahalli, Kavaspadi, Kongahalli, Sulur, and Urigaddige. All of these places (except Hasanuru) lie within a very restricted area not far from Nanjurugudi, a pilgrimage centre which Badaga informants regularly visited because, even in the 19th century, they claimed it was their ancestral home. None of the above sentences were made up by me: I am simply reporting what reliable elderly informants told me half a century ago. Why would I falsify this matter, and why would they lie about it? Ever since the 1820s Europeans have occasionally been asking Badagas where their ancestors had come from, and always got answers along these lines. Even Father Fenicio, visiting Kunda in 1603, met Badagas who told him they lived in three villages and had come from the plains to the north.

Another point of contention arises over the very name “Badaga”. We are all agreed it is a Kannada word originally, and means “northerner” or “from/in the north”. But this apparently has led one modern Badaga writer into real confusion. I have not read his book because my Tamil is pretty hopeless these days, but Sivaji Raman’s book Badaga Samudayam, as reported in this website, seems to make wild and totally unsubstantiated claims about how “Badaga language finds extensive mention in old – purana – Tamil literature like Tholkappiam”. This is nonsense because, first, the language of the Nilgiri Badagas did not have any separate existence from Kannada until several centuries ago; and secondly, the “Badaga” referred to here were people who, from a Karnataka perspective, were indeed “northerners” but were people who we know spoke Telugu! In short, they had nothing at all to do with the Nilgiri peoples, as they were living in what we now know as Andhra. The Tolkappiyam dated to around the 3rd century AD, a time before anything is known about any Nilgiri peoples, and some 1400 years before Badaga became established as a Nilgiri language. That great Tamil work was in fact referring to the early Telugu language. For scholars of Dravidian literature this fact about “Badagas” has been common knowledge since at least the 19th century, so it is sad to find people who are not really familiar with Indian philology still making this baseless claim about mention in the Puranas in the 21st century.

There have been a few Badagas who in recent years have claimed a great antiquity for the Badaga occupance of the Nilgiris. One person recently wrote on a website that the Badagas had been on these hills for “8000 years”. Not only is this totally preposterous, as we know nothing about the names or locations of ethnic groups anywhere in India prior to the adoption of writing, least of all on the Nilgiris; but such ludicrous claims just serve to make Badaga history laughable to any serious scholars of South India. There were Mesolithic cultures in parts of India 8000 years ago, but even if archaeologists eventually demonstrate presence of humans here on the Nilgiris even 1000 or 2000 years ago, there would still be no evidence that the people involved were Badagas in any sense. In fact, the earliest Nilgiri occupants were probably Kurumbas, because (a) there are some Badaga hattis with Kurumba placenames, as the Kurumbas had already left, and (b) Kurumba magic seems to be identical with Buddhist magic, which otherwise disappeared from South India around 1000 years ago, along with Buddhism and Jainism generally.

I don’t doubt that IF evidence were to show a greater antiquity for the Badaga occupance of these hills it might bolster some current political arguments. But the fact remains that there is a great deal of evidence for the Badagas having arrived 4-5 centuries ago and virtually none for any earlier arrival. The relevant evidence has been examined closely by a number of anthropologists and historians over the years, so it is not just a matter of one man’s “opinion”. Indeed, old Toda and Kota folktales don’t even mention the presence of Badagas. I need hardly add that creating imagined or false histories of the Badagas that are not based on a scrutiny of all available facts will be an irreparable disservice to future generations, who are likely to ask more searching questions about their ancestry.

Though I may not agree with some of the views, specially on the origin of Badagas, of Prof. Paul Hockings, there is no denying the fact that he has spent considerable amount of time and efforts in his research on and of Badagas and brought them out in his books. Also, there is no denying the fact that some Badagas had migrated from the plains of Mysore about four/five ceneturies ago.

Can it be that Badagas existed  in a very few hattis in the Nilgiris for a long, long time much before this migration, a view I strongly believe in?

Rao Bahadur Hubbathalai Bellie Gowder, (he could speak eleven languages),  a contractor (he was called Bellie Maistry) who was instrumental in laying the mountain railways from Mettypalayam to Ooty, presented a memorandum, listing Badagas as one of the original tribes of the blue mountains (The Nilgiris) along with Thodas, Kothas, Kurumas and Irulas, to the Governor of Madras in 1923 who visited Hubbathai hatti on his personal invitation. I have some of the photos taken on that occassion.

Is it correct that Thodas and Kothas have not mentioned Badagas in their folktales ? What exactly is the origin of these two tribes?

Do Thoreyas and Odeyas really consider themselves as Badagas? Are their traditions, rituals , customs and culture, specially marriage and funeral rites same as other Badaga groups (which have mingled so much that you cannot distinguish a Gowda from a Haruva, Adhikari or Kannakka)? In one of the funerals at Sakkalatti, I noticed some changes that are different from other ‘main stream’ hattis. Incidentally, I was told that, in the Kattery group of hattis (Lingyats/Lingakuttis) have decided to accept Basavanna as superior to Shiva. Marriages with Mysore brahmins(non Badagas) is still common in these hattis.

Unless we, Badagas, undertake extensive research to an alternative Prof.Paul Hockings’s views with scientific proof, our contention will remain as personal impressions, as he says.

Critical discussions are most welcome.

Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash

 

Badaga Population

What is the Size of the Badaga Population?

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Prof.Paul Hockings

A quick Internet search suggests there is no authoritative figure for the total of Badaga speakers — and language is the best indicator in earlier censuses as to who was a Badaga and who was not, since virtually no one spoke that language unless they were Badagas in culture too. What one does find in the Internet today is some people claiming there are 135,000 and some claiming 400,000 Badagas. Claims for an unusually large Badaga population might be useful in making certain political arguments, but they appear not to be based on any facts. I would like to speak about the issues that lie behind this discrepancy, however, without entering into political topics.

Very early counts of Badagas were probably not so far from the truth. Thus B.S. Ward’s count of 3,778 Badagas in 1821 might have been a slight undercount, but even if they were under-enumerated by 10% (a pure guess on my part) the real figure would still be little more than 4,000. Slowly improving diet and public health over the 19th century in the Nilgiris District could therefore reasonably lead to the figure of 19,476 in the “official” census of 1871, half a century after Ward’s count (which was done for the administration of Coimbatore District).

Moving on a whole century to the censuses of independent India, we find in 1971 a count of 104,392 Badaga speakers. But after this things seem to go awry, because we get no official figure in the 1981 census. So far as I know this was a result of a political decision at some high level: to treat the Badaga language as a dialect of Kannada, and so to lump all the Badagas in with all the Kannada speakers who lived in this District. This gave quite a large figure, but no indication as to how much of it was to be accounted for by Badaga speakers.

After two books were published by Christiane Pilot-Raichoor (who sadly passed away earlier this month), working in collaboration with me — namely “Counsel from the Ancients” (1988) and “A Badaga-English Dictionary” (1992) — I think it came to be accepted that Badaga is a separate language rather than a dialect of Kannada.

A dictionary documenting the language of the Badaga community of the Nilgiri Hills in Southern India, based on linguistic data recorded throughout the period from 1963 to 1990, and designed with the requirements of the non-native English speaker in mind. For such users, first, the method of transcription of Badaga words is phonetic, and bears no reference to either English or Tamil ways of transcribing the language. Secondly, several English words are commonly listed together as translations of one Badaga lexeme

By 1991 we get a census total of 134,187 Badaga speakers. This is obviously not out of line with the 1971 figure (above). Accepting these census figures as accurate, the population had increased by 55% over the period 1951-1971, and by 28.5% over the next 20 years, 1971-1991.

What we see here is a not-unexpected drop-off in the rate of population growth. I say it was not unexpected (at least to me) for these reasons:
As spelled out in my book “Kindreds of the Earth” (Hockings, 1999), Badaga women in their fertile years began to adopt family planning from 1975 onwards, whereas before that date there was strong opposition within the Badaga commuity to that practice even though many people already knew about it. So from 1981 onwards one would expect the reduction in the rate of population increase that the censuses document, and a reduction in average family size.
In 1971 very few Badagas were living outside the Nilgiris District; for the most part, just a few hundred students at South Indian colleges. So the enumeration up to that census was an accurate reflection of the District’s Badaga population.

Front CoverThis book focuses on the household of the Badagas, a community that lives in the Nilgiri Hills in southern India. Paul Hockings reports his unique longitudinal study of this community, covering 27 years of measurement and sociocultural change in four sample villages, where he conducted censuses every nine years. Combining his knowledge of anthropology, demography, and linguistics, the author focuses primarily on demographic transition and social change over time. He also studies kinship, marriage, household structure, and various aspects of Badaga contemporary life, including the influence of the mass media

But in the half-century since then we have seen more and more Badaga families settling in large Indian cities elsewhere, as well as in North America, Europe and Australia, largely as a result of the scintillating opportunities to be found within the information technology industry. The fact that today a visit to almost any Badaga village shows a large number of homes either locked up or rented out to non-Badagas is a reflection of the new situation. The continuing low price for tea, together with high levels of education, jointly brought about this situation.

Badaga Christians may number today about 4,500, but it is difficult to be precise about their number. While nearly all Badaga Hindus still choose another Badaga for their marriage partner, according to custom, and speak Badaga, there is not such a strong tendency among the Christians, who quite often marry someone who is a Christian from elsewhere in South India. This means that such families may not have been enumerated in recent censuses as Badaga speakers if they were mainly speaking Tamil or some other language.

One must conclude therefore that if the census enumerated 134,514 in 2001 — an increase of only 0.0025% over the 1991 figure — any claim of a total of 400,000 is altogether baseless. It would require an increase in the rate of population growth that has not been seen in modern times even in the most explosive parts of Africa: an increase of something like 300% during the present century!
My very detailed study of four central Nilgiri villages over a 27-year period, spelled out in the 1999 book “Kindreds of the Earth” referred to above, found an overall “increase”, in families where the woman had completed her fertile years, of only 1.6 children per couple — hardly enough to maintain the population at its current level towards the end of the last century. This meticulous calculation, based on sixteen village-level censuses, was in fact borne out precisely by the 0.0025% rate of increase mentioned above.

Reduction of family size to where a couple has only one or two children is characteristic of modernization, as it allows the parents to concentrate their resources better on the care and education of the children do have. When I completed the 1999 study the rate in Japan was also 1.6 children per older couple, exactly the same as I found in the central Nilgiris.

Christiane Pilot-Raichoor (1951-2018)

Christiane Pilot-Raichoor

Raichoor 1

All photos from https://lacito.hypotheses.org/2131

Along with Prof.Paul Hockings, Christiane Raichoor had done extensive research on Badaga, both the people and language. As a Badaga myself, I consider her view that Badaga is an independent language, has added enormous weight to that view. The Bdaaga Dictionary that she co-authored with Paul Hockings is truly a treasure trove.

She passed away on 16 July 2018.

Badagas have lost a great friend and guide.

May her soul RIP.

Badaga – census

படகர் மக்கள் தொகை

        டாக்டர் இரா. கு. ஹால்தோரை

இந்திய நாட்டில் பத்து ஆண்டுக்கு ஒருமுறை மக்கள்தொகை கணக்கெடுப்பு நடைபெறுகிறது. அவ்வகையில் கடந்த 2011ஆம் ஆண்டு எடுத்த மக்கள்தொகை கணக்கை அண்மையில் இந்திய அரசு வெளியிட்டுள்ளது. இதன்படி படகர் மக்கள் தொகை 1,33,550 ஆகும். இதில் கவனிக்க வேண்டியது என்னவென்றால் 2001ஆம் ஆண்டில் படகர் மக்கள்தொகை 1,34,514 என்று இருந்துள்ளது. அதாவது 2001ஆம் ஆண்டில் இருந்த படகர் மக்கள் தொகையைக் காட்டிலும் 2011ஆம் ஆண்டில் படகர் மக்கள் தொகை 964 குறைந்துள்ளது. இந்தக் கணக்கு சரியானதுதானா? உண்மையில் படகர் மக்கள் தொகை குறைந்துள்ளதா? இல்லை என்றால் இப்படிக் குறைவாகக் காட்டுவதற்குக் காரணம் என்ன?

2001ஆம் ஆண்டில் 6,07,93,814 ஆக இருந்த தமிழர் மக்கள்தொகை 2011ஆம் ஆண்டில் 6,90,26,881 ஆக உயர்ந்துள்ளது. அதைப்போல் 2001ஆம் ஆண்டில் 3,79,24,001 ஆக இருந்த கன்னடர் மக்கள்தொகை 2011ஆம் ஆண்டில் 4,37,06,512 ஆக உயர்ந்துள்ளது. இந்திய அளவில் 2001ஆம் ஆண்டில் 1,028,737,436 ஆக இருந்த மக்கள் தொகை 2011ஆம் ஆண்டில் 1,210,726,932 ஆக உயர்ந்துள்ளது.

இப்படிப் பிறமொழியினர் மக்கள் தொகை எல்லாம் கூடி இருக்கின்ற சமயத்தில் படகர் மக்கள் தொகை குறைந்திருக்கிறது என்பது நம்பத் தகுந்ததாக இல்லை என்பதனை மேலோட்டமாக இதனைப் பார்ப்போரும் உணர்ந்துவிடலாம்.

2011ஆம் ஆண்டில் மக்கள்தொகை கணக்கு எடுக்க வந்தோர்க்குப் படகர்களில் ஒரு பகுதியினர் அளித்த தவறான தகவலே படகர் மக்கள்தொகை குறைந்ததாகக் காட்டுவதற்குக் காரணம்.

கணக்கெடுக்க வந்தோர் தாய்மொழியைப் பற்றிக் கேட்டுள்ளனர். அதற்கு மக்கள் அளித்த தகவலையே அவர்கள் பதிவு செய்துள்ளனர். கணக்கு எடுக்க வந்தோர்க்குத் தாங்களாக ஒருவரது தய்மொழியைப்பற்றி எதையும் குறிக்க கூடாது என்றும் தகவல் தருவோர் தருவதை மட்டும் குறிக்க வேண்டும் என்னும் அறிவுரை கொடுக்கப்பட்டிருந்தது என்பது கவனிக்கத் தக்கது.

படகு மொழிக்கு இதுவரை எழுத்து உருவாக வில்லை. ஆகையால் இதற்குத் தாய்மொழி என்னும் தகுதிப்பாடு இல்லை என்று படகர்களில் சிலர் தாங்களாகவே நினைத்துக் கொண்டிருக்கின்றனர். அதனால் உங்கள் தாய்மொழி என்ன? என்று கேட்கும்போது சிலர் தமிழ் என்று குறிப்பிட்டுள்ளனர். வேறு சிலர் கன்னடம் என்று குறிப்பிட்டுள்ளனர். இதுவே படகர் மக்கள்தொகையைக் குறைவாகக் காட்டுவதற்குக் காரணம் ஆகும்.  

எழுத்துள்ள மொழிதான் தாய்மொழி என்னும் தகுதிப்பாடு கொண்டுள்ளதா? எழுத்தமையாத மொழிக்குத் தாய்மொழித் தகுதி இல்லாயா? என்றால் அவ்வாறான வரையறை எங்கும் இல்லை. படகுவைப் போன்று எழுத்தில்லா மொழிகள் இந்திய அளவில் பட்டியல் மொழிகள் 22-ல் இடம் பெற்றுள்ளன என்பதைக் கவனிக்க வேண்டும். போடோ, டோக்கிரி போன்ற தமக்கென்று தனியாக எழுத்தமையாத மொழிகளும் பட்டியல் மொழிகள் 22–ல் இடம்பெற்றுள்ளன. அண்மைக் காலத்தில் படகுமொழி தமிழ், ஆங்கிலம் ஆகிய மொழி எழுத்துகளைக் கொண்டு எழுதப்பட்டு வருகின்றன. ஆகையால் படகுமொழியை எழுத்தமையாத மொழி என்று குறிப்பிடுவதனையும் இனி தவிர்த்து விடுதல் நல்லது.

ஒருவரது குழந்தைப் பருவத்தில் அவரது தாய் பேசுவதே அவரின் தாய்மொழி என்று 2011ஆம் ஆண்டு மக்கள்தொகைக் கணக்கெடுப்புக் கையேடு தெளிவாகக் குறிப்பிடுகிறது. ஒருவர்க்கு அவரது தாய்மொழியைப் பற்றிக் குறிப்பிடும் சூழல் மிக அருகியே ஏற்படுகின்றது. ஆகையால் தாய்மொழியைப் பற்றிப் பலர் தெளிவில்லாமல் இருக்கின்றனர். ஐயம் சிறிதும் வேண்டாம். படகரது தாய்மொழி படகுதான். இதனை படுகு, படகு, படக என்று எப்படி வேண்டுமானும் குறிப்பிடலாம்.   

மக்கள்தொகைக் கணக்கெடுப்பில் படகுமொழியைக் கன்னடத்துக் கிளைமொழி போலக்கொண்டு கன்னடத்துடன் சேர்ந்தே கணக்கிட்டுள்ளனர். படகு கன்னடத்துக் கிளைமொழி அன்று. அது தமிழ், கன்னடம், மலையாளம் போன்று தனியான ஒரு மொழி என்பது மொழியியல் அடிப்படையில் ஆணித்தரமாக நிறுவப்பட்டுள்ளது.

ஒரு மொழி அதைப் பேசும் மக்களின் இன்றியமையாத இயல்பண்பினைக் காட்டுவதாக இருக்கிறது. இந்தியாவைப்போன்ற பல மொழிகளும், பல இனங்களும் பல மதத்தினரும் இருக்கின்ற நாட்டில் மொழி தனக்கே உரிய தனித்தன்மையைப் பெறுகிறது. அதுவும் மொழிகள் அடிப்படையில் மாநிலங்கள் அமைக்கப்பட்டிருப்பதால் இயல்பாகவே மொழிகள் சிறப்பிடம் பெறுகின்றன. மொழிதொடர்பான தகவல்களைத் தருவதில் இந்திய மக்கள்தொகைக் கணக்கு முதன்மை இடத்தில் இருக்கிறது. பட்டியல் இனத்தவரைத் தவிர்த்து பிறரிடம் இனம் தொடர்பான செய்திகள் எதுவும் கணக்கெடுப்பில் கேட்பதில்லை. ஆகையால் மொழிக் கணக்கே ஒருவகையாக இனக்கணக்கையும் கொள்வதற்கு எடுத்துக்கொள்ள வேண்டிய சூழல் ஏற்படுகிறது. ஆகையால் இனிவரும் காலங்களில் தாய்மொழித் தொடர்பாகச் செய்தி தெரிவிக்க வேண்டிய இடங்களில் சரியான தகவலை அளிக்கவேண்டும். இச்செய்தியை மக்கள் அனைவரும் அறிந்திருக்க வேண்டியது கட்டாயம்.

இந்தியாவில் 121 மொழிகளும் 270 தாய்மொழிகளும் இருப்பதாக 2011 ஆம் ஆண்டில் எடுத்த கணக்கெடுப்பு தெரிவிக்கிறது. 121 மொழிகளில் 22 பட்டியலில் இடம்பெற்ற மொழிகள். மீதமுள்ள 99 மொழிகள் பட்டியலில் இடம்பெறாத மொழிகள். 270 தாய்மொழிப் பட்டியலில் படகு மொழி இடம்பெற்றுள்ளது.

 

Rare Photos

 

Some of the rare photos of the Nilgiris – Nakku Betta.

We thank Dr. Vivek Raju, [son of Dr.K.M.Raju from Kerada – Ketti Kerkandy] presently at Durban, South Africa for forwarding these photos.

Since the original source is not known, we thank those pioneer photographers, mostly and probably British

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Badagas

The Badaga Ladies have always been with a head scarf called Pattu. Since in the above pix the ladies are without pattu, wonder whether they were actually Badagas.

Oh Mother

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Seventh Death Anniversary (13-7-2018)

Idyammal Bellie Gowder

You were everything for us in all those glorious 99 years and 10 months when you were ‘here’.

As we were preparing to celebrate the ‘century’, you chose to leave this earth just a couple of months earlier…seven years ago.

How time flies!

Elle idhale’yu engava harachu

[Bless us all from where ever you are]

MOM 5.jpg
Idyammal Bellie Gowder
Born September 02, 1912
Hubbathalai, The Nilgiris
Died July 13, 2011 (aged 99 years 10 months)
Parents Rao Bahadue HJ Bellie Gowder and Nanji Hethe
Sister of Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder
Spouse B.K.Bellie Gowder [Bearhatti]


[Autographed pencil sketch of Mom by JP in 1968 while she was reading an issue of Femina ]

“I know my mother looks much older than what she is but those wrinkles have the charm of their own. They indicate the signs of her great endurance; and the hard life she has to lead through to bring her children to lead a life that is respected and regarded by others” – JP 24-1-68

Dear Hands

[Grace Noll Crowell]

My mother’s hands were beautiful,
They are not always smooth and white
They were so busy making dull
And lusterless things clean and bright.

They reached so often to caress
A hurt child crying in the night
They moved as quick as fluttering birds
Among the cups and spoons at tea

They did a thousand lovely things
And did them all so graciously
There is no way to sum them up
The countless things she did for us.

[photo of Idy Hethe’s hand by her grandson Abhi Ari -2010]

 

Humble Thanks

Ari Gowder

On the solemn occasion of the 47th death anniversary of Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder, the Government of Tamil Nadu accepted and acknowledged the selfless service to the society by the great Badaga leader and to honour him appropriately in future.

The Collector of the Nilgiris Ms.Divya Innocent garlanded the statue of Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder at the NCMS complex, Ooty.

Badaga leaders like Prof.Kulla Gowder paid homage to Rao Bahadur Ari gowder.

The Nilgiri Cooperative Marketing Society was established by him in 1937 to help out the small farmers of the district from the clutches of middlemen and was considered the best in INDIA.  The 5.81 acres of land and buildings in Ooty donated to the society by Ari Gowder has to be a Rs.500 plus crores worth asset now.

On the occasion the family of Ari Gowder, his grand daughter Tara Jayaprakash and nephew Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash were honoured with shawls by the officials and staff of NCMS.

Manjai Mohan had taken great initiative and interest to make the solemn function a grand success.

 

As Ari Gowder family wishes to put on record, our deep gratitude and appreciation and thank all concerned.

Homage to H.B.Ari Gowder

We pay our humble and respectful homage to
Rao Bahadur H.B.Ari Gowder

Ari Gowder

The greatest leader of Badagas of the Blue Mountains !

See for more info -> https://badaga.co/all-about-ari-gowder/

Origin of Badagas

Badaga Origin

What we DO NOT know about Badagas is more than what we know about them. Such is the mystery of Badaga Origin.

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Many mistakenly claim that Badaga Origin is nothing but Badaga migration from Mysore [now in Karnataka state] during Tipu’s time only because of the name Badaga (meaning northerner). It is very debatable. Unfortunately many Badagas have believed it in the absence of any convincing and conclusive evidence to the contrary. But the latest revelations and links about the language, especially from the epics and writings during the Tamil Sangam period tell a totally different story (see below).

I am firmly of the view that our history is much older- may be a thousand years or more older – and my initial ‘research’ confirms that. There is a lot written about the migration from Mysore theory by many anthropologists, researchers and others. For obvious reasons, most of them are/were ‘outsiders’ – like the early European missionaries and British. The one person who has done a lot to highlight about Badagas, in 1960s, Prof.Paul Hockings has chosen to go along with his predecessors in concluding that since Badaga means north[ner], they have migrated from southern Mysore during Tipu Sultan’s rule over Mysore to avoid being forcibly converted to Islam. Also sited in support of migration is the resemblance/similarity of Badaga (language) to Haleya [old] Kannada.

But, B.Balasubramaniam, a highly educated Badaga, who has done extensive research, before writing his book“ Paamé ” – The history and culture of the Badagas of the Nilgiris feels that Badagas migrated from Southern Karnataka [then Mysore State] about 700 years back, much before Tipu’s time, around 1311 AD during the plundering raid of Malik Kafir.

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A Badaga Singer with golden voice

 Kerban Bella Gowder

Over a period of time, I have listened to a lot of Badaga singers [some were as good as professionals] but the best in my opinion is KERBEN BELLA GOWDER who had a golden voice. I met him for the first time all most three decades ago. He could play harmonium, ‘bull bull tara’ and ‘thambutte’ [drum] with equal ease and elan, His greatest ability was to compose and render songs on the spot, some times suitably changing the verses to suit the occasion.

He was a much sought after singer in any function, be it a wedding, savu or anniversary. Just with a couple of his colleagues accompanying on the thambutte [mathalam] and jalra [cymbals], he would sing while playing the harmonium. Sadly, no songs were recorded in any studio. His savu [sad] songs would bring tears streaming down even in the hardest of hearts.Another, great contribution of Bella Gowder is his rendering of many Badaga Ballads – the best being ” BERADA BELLIE “ I had the great fortune of recording [on a tape recorder] some of his songs when he had visited my home at Hubbathalai on a few occasions. Luckily I could trace them recently.

It is with a great sense of honour and as a tribute to this gifted singer I have uploaded some of his BERADA BELLIE as well as KAARA CHENNE and other songs on the net so that all of us can listen to his golden voice. The voice quality of some of these streaming songs may not be very good due to the original recording having been done on a tape recorder.

 

kerban-bella-gowder.jpg
I bow my head in dedication to Kerben Bella Gowder who passed away a few years back.

Listen to the streaming music of “BERADHA BELLIE” and “KAARA CHENNE” ballads in the golden voice of Bella Gowder

Beradha Bellie Songs

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BADAGA SCRIPT – BADAGA BARAE

BADAGA SCRIPT – BADAGA BARAE [படக பரே – எழுத்து ]

[படக மொழியை எப்படி எழுதலாம்?]

It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language.

So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga. Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exists, if any. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating a unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.

Three scripts come to mind straight away – Tamil, English and Kannada.Tamil – because a majority of us know how to speak and write due to the simple fact that we belong to Tamil Nadu, English – since most of us choose to learn as well as put our children in English medium schools and Kannada – due to the fact that Badaga is more akin to Kannada than any other language [though I firmly believe that Badaga is a separate language on its own merit and not a dialect of Kannada].

But when trying to choose a script for Badaga, Kannada script is ruled out for the basic reason that most of us do not know the language or familiar with the script and no scope to learn it in our schools in the Nilgiris. Hence the choice between Tamil and English. Badaga ,like many other Indian languages, has very definitive and distinctive sounds/words [I do not know the exact English equivalent] that distinguishes one word from another. Even a small change in pronunciation could result in an entirely different meaning in Badaga. For example, a subtle change in context of the word ‘BAE [bay]‘ could mean mouth, bangle, lentil, crop etc. Bella – பெல்ல [jaggery] or BeLLa – பெள்ள [ a male name] are two entirely different things. So are ‘kallu கல்லு – stone’ and ‘KaLLu கள்ளூ – a drink’. So, what could or should be the choice?

In Tamil script we cannot differentiate ‘K’ from ‘G’ or ‘T’ from ‘D’. This makes a  huge impact when Badaga words are written in Tamil script. ‘Gaasu – potato’ is totally different from ‘Kaasu – coin, remove’. Or ‘Ettu – eight’ and ‘Eddu – getup’. Another drawback could be the absence of ‘Ha’ in classical Tamil. On the other hand, in English, we cannot clearly bring out the difference of ‘na’ from ‘Na’ [anna – அன்ன food, aNNa – அண்ண elder brother] or ‘halli – ஹல்லி  lizard’ from ‘haLLi – ஹள்ளி name, village’. ‘Kalla கல்ல – a male name’ sounds the same as ‘ kaLLa கள்ள – a thief.

Yes, it is indeed a little tricky to choose between Tamil and English. But, taking into consideration the younger generation who are going to be the future hope and the irrefutable fact that they are all more familiar with English than Tamil, the choice is English. Keeping in mind the successful adaptation of English script for Malay language (Malaysia) I would plump in for English. With a few minor modifications to overcome the grey areas mentioned above, English script can be easily used in Badaga.

Remember Devanagiri (Hindi) is the script for Nepali. The ‘minor’ modifications that can be undertaken to overcome the drawbacks I referred above could be by using an extra ‘a’ – thus milk can be written as ‘haalu ஹாலு’; ‘dhadi தடி – stick’ can be different from ‘dhaadi தாடி – beard’. So on and so forth.

We may use ‘capital’ letters to differentiate between ‘bella and beLLa ’ as I have done above. What if a complete sentence is in capital letters ? – We may use ‘bold’ letters or underline the words to give the emphasis. Innovative use of – ‘ – [apostrophe] can bring out the difference between “soppu  ஸொப்பு – green ” and “so’ppu ஸோப்பு – soap” or “kodi கொடி – flag” and “ko’di கோடி – crore”. [I have used https://vengayam.net/translate/tamil.html for Tamil transliteration. Google Input Tools online https://www.google.com/intl/ta/inputtools/try/ is another great util for Tamil to English and vice versa]

It is said that Indians [read Badagas] will reject 50% of anything without even hearing it, another 50% without understanding it; and if ‘anything’ is left behind they reject it just for the sake of rejecting it. Like what is happening in many hattis with ‘young gowdas’ ruling the roost.

BUT, ALL YOU TRUE BADAGAS – LET US START SOMEWHERE TO HAVE A SCRIPT FOR OUR LANGAUGE. IMPROVEMENTS AND INNOVATIONS CAN FALLOW. IF MICROSOFT CAN ACCEPT BADAGA AS AN UNIQUE LANGUAGE , THERE MUST BE SOMETHING .

SARI THAANE ? OK??

(first appeared in my blog http://badaga-script.blogspot.in/ )
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Badagas at the Cross Roads

Badagas at the cross roads, need to change with changing times

Recently (on the 10th and 11th Feb 2018),  a seminar was organised by The Nelikolu Charitable Trust at Coimbatore. The seminar was called “Nangava Nanga Arivo – Let us know about ourselves”. This is to make a select group of scholars/youngsters to present their views on issues concerned/connected with Badaga, both the people and language.

This topic is most appropriate and needed focussed attention.

We Badagas stand at the cross roads, at a crucial time in history. Some of the urgent issues that we face today, if not corrected now, will result in reducing us to history.

I chose to speak on “Badagas at the cross roads, need to change with changing times

Some of the issues I touched upon are

1.Who are Badagas?
The similarity, differences or otherwise of the Badaga, Odaiya and Thoraiya groups,

2. What is Badaga origin?
The myth, mystery and mistakes of migration from Mysore theory.

3. Badaga language.
The decline of the purity of Badaga language due to inadequate knowledge of the present generation. The systematic omission of HA sound from the language and its impact. The influence of Tamil and English on Badaga in the day to day conversations.

4. Moray system
Is the Moray system playing a major role in the large number of marriages breaking up? Is it time to change the fundamentals?

5. Need to involve the women as equal partners
No elaboration is required about this issue when we consider ourselves as HETHE MAKKA

6. Music, Dance, Chant and keeping the traditions
The originality of our music and dance is lost in the present day blind copying of cinema ‘koothattam’ dances. Are we cutting short the important traditions/rituals like funerals due to paucity of time?

7.Way forward
What we should do?

8. Conclusion
What we know about Badagas is much less than what we do not know

I will elaborate on each of these issues soon – Wg.Cdr.JP

Nanga – WE

Nanga

It is a simple message. Nanga – that means in Badaga – WE . 

A noble and laudable movement started by Maniganda (from Kodumudi) and a bunch of volunteers with the object of bringing the Badaga community together.

Maniganda

And by making vegetable and provisions available to the community at an affordable prices and delivery at door steps,

And by luring away the youth and elders from the deadly drinks,

And eliminate the villagers from the scourge of Kandu Vatti (borrowing money from ruthless money lenders at exorbitant interest rates),

And to see the Bagada Dance in all its glory like in the golden olden days instead of the street dance it has degenerated into,

And to encourage Badaga songs rendered like Kerban bella Gowder and Thangadu L Krishna Gowder,

And, to see a community that is prosperous without poverty.

Noble, laudable and lofty.

Doable, insists Maniganda who had come to invite me for the function NANGA _ HABBA (Our Festival) at Nattakkal on 26 Dec 2017.

(Will post a detailed discussion I had with him soon)

After 46 years of the Great Badaga leader  Hubbathalai Ari Gowder, have we found a selfless leader in Manigandan, who can bring the community together?

IMG_20171226_140211

IMG_20171226_140249

Badagas are Indigenous People of Nilgiris

Who is Keystone to say Badagas are not Indigenous People of Nilgiris ?

by D.Venugopal (Nilgiris Documentation Center)DV

This question should have been asked a long time ago. But no one did. But if this question is not raised now, the consequences for the Nilgiri society could be disastrous.

This is exactly the point I made last week in the UN Global Mountains Meeting at Rome. I said foreign funded projects in mountain areas in developing countries like India often, not always, cause more harm than good. The examples I gave:

  • Indo-German Project came in the 1970s to kill potato pests but it killed potatoes in the Nilgiris
  • One foreign fund funds planting of Eucalyptus under Social Forestry. Another foreign fund funds destruction of Eucalyptus because they are invasive!!

Preamble

Hindu, Christian and Mohammedan charities have been doing yeomen service in the Nilgiris for hundreds of years in the field of education, old age care, handicapped care etc.

However, since the 1980s when Nilgiris began to face environmental, economic and demographic problems, outsiders from the district have set up so called Non –Governmental Organizations in the name of helping the poor and tribal populations.

Their credentials, competence and sincerity is unknown. Often they co-opt vulnerable local personalities just to build their local credibility. Some of them may be doing good work. But most of these NGOs have their own agendas which have proved to be detrimental to the welfare of the district.

These NGOs are answerable only to their donors who are mostly foreign funds . We cannot understand how they, with a few young girls from outside Nilgiris and India mostly for their staff, decided what is good for Nilgiris and its people. There have been widespread allegations that some of these NGOs corrupt district officials including the head of the district to push through their projects.

The most serious issue is the question of Indigenous People of Nilgiris. The Keystone NGO with its offices on a steep hill in Kotagiri has decided on its own that the Indigenous People Nilgiris are Kurumba, Irula, Kasava, Vettikadu Irula, Urali , Kota and Toda communities. The Badagas are excluded.

In the name of these ‘Indigenous Peoples’ they have been receiving lakhs and crores of funds from foreign sources with the pretentions of developing them.

We have no issues with NGOs like Keystone. We only ask them to show us what evidence they have that shows all other communities are indigenous and Badagas are not indigenous.

The Nilgiri Documentation Centre has been documenting the history, culture and economy of Nilgiris for over 30 years. We have found no evidence that suggests that Badagas are not an indigenous people.

According to Government of India’s current stand , the government has accepted the concept of Indigenous People as declared by the United Nations but the process of identifying the indigenous peoples are yet to begin. So who are Keystone to decide who is indigenous and who is not indigenous in the Nilgiris?

What is shocking about their audacity is that they have their offices in Kotagiri, which is the heartland of Badaga activism and have the temerity to indulge in such misleading propaganda just to earn quick and questionable money from misguided forging funders.

I have only touched the tip of the iceberg. I would like all the Nilgiri people to react to this and suggest what actions can be taken to stop such dangerous activities which are a threat to the Nilgiri society.

Anthropologists have recorded that the coexistence of the native people of Nilgiris is an exemption to the entire humanity. Others who have come up to the Nilgiris in the last two hundred years after British rule have also become part of that exceptional society.

Who are these petty NGOs like Keystone to break up this proverbial peace and harmony for the filthy lucre?

Every Nilgirian should write to the District Administration to investigate this scandal and set matters right before it is too late!!

We agree with the views of Venugopal fully – Wg.Cdr.JP

………But my conclusion from all this is that, even with such a sketchy history, we can conclude that the Badagas are indigenous to the Nilgiri Hills in precisely the same way the English are indigenous to Britain; and the length of time in their abode has no particular bearing on that indigeneity. The Badagas today have no cultural roots outside the District, which is also true of the Kotas and Todas, and it is in this sense that all three communities are indeed indigenous. – Prof: Paul Hockings in reply to Venugopal’s views

 

Tribute to a great Badaga Leader

Today is HB Ari Gowder’s 125th birth Anniversary

Ari Gowder2

Ari Gowder

He was an undisputed leader of Badagas. It is accepted, with a tinge of sadness that there is no Badaga who has taken his mantle in leading the community even after 47 yrs after his demise in 1971.

Today is HB Ari Gowder’s 125th birth Anniversary. He was the eldest son of Rao Bahadur [Hubbathalai Joghigowder] Bellie Gowder and [Jakkadha] Nanji in 1893.

Apart from being the first Badaga graduate and leading the Indian contingent for the world scouts jamboree in 1932 at Hungary, he brought many far reaching reforms in the Badaga community. He fore saw the importance of equality of women and the education of girl child. He encouraged Badaga girl students to go abroad in 1960s both on student exchange programmes and study tours.

Another great reform he was keen on was, equal share of property to both sons and daughters. This he ensured by setting a personal example and leaving behind a registered Will. His property was equally divided to his daughter in law, two grand daughters and a grand son, accordingly.

HBAG1

Ari Godwer’s family puts on record its deep appreciation and gratitude to NCMS President Mr.L.Kannapiran and other committee members for celebrating the 125th birth anniversary

[See the page on Ari Gowder here]

HBAG

H._B._Ari_Gowder

Wikipedia link

 

Badagas Can Do It…

A couple of actions taken by a group of volunteers for the past few months have proved that Badagas can be truly enterprising.

Lead by a group leader from Kodumudi and implemented by a husband wife team from Pudugamandu and volunteers from many hattis – villages have launched a successful cooperative movement. To make vegetables available to the  villagers at very much affordable prices that are much cheaper than in the market at their door step.

These young volunteers, take their pickup vans and and buy fresh vegetables from Mysore in the north and and Karamadai in he south. They buy onions, tomatoes and potatoes along with curry leaves (benguvay, dhomba, gaasu and karambay soppu) in bulk and bring it to Nattakallu, near Kotagiri where the sorting out of the vegetables takes place. The people of Nattakallu, famous  for its Koottu Haada (meeting ground), have made their community hall available to the volunteers.

A number of volunteers both men and women, apart from sorting out, pack one kg each of these vegetables with curry leaves into an eco riendly cloth bag. Based on the request made, the men take these bags to villages and deliver them directly to the villages, some times through a volunteer who takes charge of distribution and collection of money.

Each bag (3 kgs plus Curry leaves) is given for a price of Rs.100 ( the same quantity costs around Rs.160 in the market these days).

This is done every day of the week.

Bravo Badagas, God helps those who help themselves.

 

 

Badaga Photo Journalist – Raghu Joghee

Raghu Joghee

It was a great pleasure to meet and get to know photo journalist Raghu Joghee (Yedapalli) who is with  the Tamil Daily Dinamalar.

His photos are treat to eyes. One of them has been selected and published by the National Geographic

RJ

The photo below of a 94 yrs old Singhi Hethe (grand old Badaga lady) from Ebbanadu Village is sheer pleasure to see. Fist time I am seeing a body tatoo. Also see the page about tatoo by Badaga women

Photo by Raghu Joghee

Proud of you Raghu

The Great Revival of these abandoned schools

In the Nilgiris, Nakkubetta to Badagas, many schools started many decades ago, even during the British period, are in the final stages of being closed down due to lack of students. They were/are Tamil medium schools.

Lack of students, in this age and time of substantial population explosion? Therein lies the sad story of how clueless politicians and through them the government insisted that Tamil and only Tamil would be given the status of medium and English was given the go by.

Apart from the lack of job opportunities, the inherent ego and prestige issues ensured that even comparatively poor families sent their children to English medium schools spread around the district ignoring the government run Tamil medium schools.

And hence, many of these Tamil medium schools located in the hattis have ten/twenty students and are in the verge of being closed.

One of the oldest schools, started by Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder in Hubbathalai has only around 30 students and may be closed soon.

But some Badagas who are old students of these schools did not want to see their alma mater going to seeds. People like Dr.Sundraradevan , the first and so far only IAS officer among Badagas, gave a serious thought to the problem and identified that the medium of teaching was the main source to this issue. They decided to take the issue hands on literally. Why not start teaching in English?

With consultation among the villages and taking personal interest, Dr.Sundaradevan succeeded in converting the school in Adhigaratty, started in 1832, to function again in full bloom with  highly qualified teachers being paid by the parents/ association.

Prakash (Heera Masi) of Godalatti informs me that they have also revived the school in his village being inspired by the Adhigaratty example.

We are very proud of these people whose interest is for the community, by the community!

Image

Disaster Can Strike…D.Venugopal

Wake up call for Ooty Botanical Gardens
Dharmalingam Venugopal

The piece de resistance of Nilgiri tourism, the Government Botanical Gardens at the east end of Ooty town could be sidelined by the fast emerging new garden by the Karnataka government at the west end of the town if the GBG authorities do not wake up in time, the Nilgiri Documentation Centre has warned.

The widely acclaimed botanical gardens was created 170 year ago in 1848 by the expert hands of W.G. McIvor who converted a primitive jungle into a beautiful public garden. He turned the swamps into streams of water and ornamental ponds and wild growths into grassy slopes and beds of flowers. Nurseries of vegetable, fruit and ornamental trees were created. He started the famous annual Flower Shows at the gardens to encourage the public grow good varieties of vegetable and flowers with a competitive spirit. The agricultural and horticultural products of the botanical garden and farms were displayed in the Dasara Festival of Mysore.

In the past three decades or so, the gardens have not only been steadily losing their botanical importance but were replaced by unbecoming artificial trappings such as cement statues, garden benches and so on. The exotic trees and plants which were uprooted naturally were never replaced. The popular glass houses have been allowed to deteriorate into disuse. The buildings and foot paths inside present a picture of neglect and indifference. Public conveniences and food stalls are shabby and insufficient. The once immaculate entrance has became bizarre, filthy and an unregulated bazzar. The gardens have almost lost their botanical significance and become an amusement park.

The authorities seem to have taken the visitors for granted and bothered only about the gate collection. Ironically, the gate fee was imposed after great resistance for better upkeep of the gardens.

The new gardens coming up in an idyllic ambience away from the din and bustle of the town with ample parking and amenities could easily divert the cream of the tourist crowd leaving only the sundry to GBG.

The GBG badly needs another professional McIvor to reinvent itself.

‘Consider Badagas as the indigenous people of Nilgiris’

‘Consider Badagas as the indigenous people of Nilgiris’

From The Times of India| Aug 11, 2017 

The Nilgiri Documentation Centre (NDC) has appealed to society for managing the Tribal Cultural and Research Centre (TCRC) in Ooty to considerBadagas as indigenous people of the Nilgiris. It said that separating the Badagas from other indigenous people would not only violate the well-documented Nilgiri history and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), but will also harm the proverbial communal harmony of the hills
The appeal came even as an estimated 370 million indigenous people of the world celebrated the 10th anniversary of the UN declaration on Wednesday, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. Stating that the UNDRIP was adopted by the General Assembly on September 13, 2007, by a majority of 144 states, including India, Dharmalingam Venugopal, honorary president and founder of NDC, says, “Given the complexities in India, the government is yet to declare the list of indigenous communities in the country.”
Over 370 million indigenous people are estimated to be spread across 70 countries. Practising unique traditions, they retain social, cultural, economic and political characteristics that are distinct from those of the dominant societies in which they live, said the NDC letter.

The appeal also quotes the first Commissioner of Nilgiris, J.W.Breeks, who wrote the monumental work, ‘An Account of the Primitive Tribes and Monuments of the Nilgiris’ in 1873 that classified the Todas, Badagas, Kotas, Kurumbas and Irulas who inhabited the upper Nilgiris as ‘Hill tribes’. But he described the other tribes except the Badagas as ‘primitive tribes’ or ‘jungle race’ depending on their level of development.
However, while Todas, Kotas, Kurumbas and Irulas were included in the list of scheduled tribes in 1950, the Badagas were listed as backward class. In recent decades the government of Tamil Nadu had recommended inclusion of Badagas in the list of scheduled tribes.
Whatever be the economic classification of the five tribes it has been well established they were interlinked culturally for hundreds of years in an exceptional and exemplary manner and that the same relationship and harmony continues even to this day. And the Badagas need an ethnic status as an indigenous Nilgiri group, says Venugopal.

Gone but not forgotten

 

H.B.Ari Gowda

Gratefully remembering all the selfless service done to the society, Badagas and the family !

Ari Gowder

04 Dec 1883 – 28 Jun 1971

46th Death Anniversary !

Ottukudi – Bamboo Shoots

Badagas go gaga over tender bamboo shoots

DECCAN CHRONICLE.Jun 19, 2017
RAVICHANDRAN
More so, the edible bamboo is a veggie wonder during late summer or in the early southwest monsoon season in the Nilgiris.

View of edible tender Bamboo shoots, popularly known as "Ottakudi" in Badaga language in Nilgiris. (Photo: DC)

View of edible tender Bamboo shoots, popularly known as “Ottakudi” in Badaga language in Nilgiris.

By all accounts it is very hard to resist buying tender bamboo shoots, popularly known as “Ottakudi” in the local Badaga language. For this green, crunchy delicacy from the semi-wild areas is always a jungle vegetable to relish.

More so, the edible bamboo is a veggie wonder during late summer or in the early southwest monsoon season in the Nilgiris. Though this ancient jungle vegetable still brings the taste of the wild, its availability is becoming scarce now.

 The gravy of Ottakudu, called as “Ottakudi Udhaka” in the hills, is a
tempting delicacy with a taste of different kind and flavor that make
the bamboo shoots, which is also called as “bamboo sprout,” a much sought after vegetable of semi-wild origin during its annual season in the summer and early monsoon periods.

Ms. Bannari, a vegetable vendor, said that this year ‘bamboo shoot’ fetches around Rs 140 per Kg.  There is good demand for “Ottakudi” in the Badaga villages as every Badaga home generally shows interest in buying it at least once during its season.

Quite a few of them buy and gift them to their kith and kin living in  other places and other districts.  “Bamboo shoot was abundant in the hills, especially along the water sources in the jungle fringes in the hills in the past.

Now, its availability had become scarce and mostly confined to Pykara area,” she said, adding, that one needs to remove the outer dark-red coloured peel to extract the young bamboo shoots that is the edible part of the plant.

Though this annual semi-wild vegetable is known for its taste, the
fleshy and crunchy tender bamboo shoot is said to be good for keeping a good digestive health due to its good fibre content, besides helpful in tackling cold-related ailments during the monsoon, say gourmets here.

Mark this day and be present with all your like minded friends of Ooty
Date : June 15, 2017 (Thursday)
Time: 11-30am
Place: Birla House, Pudumandu ( below Birla Mandir)
Direction: Take Marliamund Road, adjacent to St.Stephens Church near the Collector’s Office.  About 3 kms.
Occasion: Centenary of the House Arrest of Dr. Annie Besant  during the Home Rule struggle. (see below for details)

Image result for annie besant

Centenary of Ooty’s link to Freedom Movement

Dharmalingam Venugopal

The demand for Home Rule or Self Rule  in 1917 was an important  milestone and a turning point in the struggle for Indian independence. The Home Rule movement was launched by the Irish activist Dr. Annie Besant  and Bal Gangadar Tilak.

Unable to silence Dr.Besant , the British rulers decided to arrest her on June 15, 1917. She and her two supporters G.S.Arundale and B.P.Wadia were kept in house arrest at Ooty.

Dr. Besant choose to stay at Gulistan at Pudumand which was built in 1890 by  H.S. Olcott, the founder president of the Theosophical Society as  his summer home.

The property now renamed Stokebridge Birla House is the property of Gwalior Rayons. A plaque commemorating the historic connection of the building to the historic event is displayed in front of the house.

Dr. Besant designed and unfurled a Home Rule Flag at Gulistan. She also started a local branch of the Home Rule League at Ooty.

Protests broke out across India and abroad condemning the arrest. All top leaders including  Gandhi and Jinnah joined the protest. Gandhi suggested a 350 km mass padayatra  from Madras to Ooty protest the arrest but the idea was given up due to practical difficulties.

Fearing the spread to the protest, the British declared in August 1917  its policy for  “increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration and the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view to the progress of responsible government in India as an-integral part of the British Empire”.

Dr. Besant and her supporters were set free in September 1917 by which time Dr.Besant had moved to Coimbatore for health reasons.

The whole of India celebrated her freedom and success. Dr. Besant was made the President of the Indian Naitonal Congress session at Calcutta that year by Tagore.

Besant thundered from her Presidential Chair that, “India shall soon be seen, proud and self-reliant, strong and free, the radiant splendour of Asia, the light and blessing of the world”.

Her dream came true three decades later in 1947 although Dr. Besant  passed away in 1933.

It is a proud coincidence for Ooty that nearly a 100 years before Dr.Besant gave the call for Home Rule, a fellow Irishman, John Sullivan, the founder of Ootacamund, had given a similar call at the UK parliament 1832.

Marriages between hattis from the same SEEMAY

I’m from Horanally under Mekku Nadu. My doubt is according to the details, Pororai hatti also comes under Mekku Nadu. But people normally marry in between these two hatties . Please clear my doubt

 

Clarification

a) A girl/boy cannot marry a boy/girl from the same hatti  to which they both belong to .

b) A girl/boy cannot marry a boy/girl from the same Ooru (a group of hattis) to which they both belong to.

c) BUT A GIRL/BOY CAN  MARRY A BOY/GIRL FROM THE SAME SEEMAY TO WHICH THEY BOTH BELONG TO.

What is Moray (relationship)?

In simple terms, Badagas, [being a very small community], have evolved, over the centuries, a system in which marriages are not ‘fixed’ – call it arranged if you want, between certain hattis (villages) since the ‘blood’ relationship  among them is considered to be very ‘close – anna thamma moray’.

How this could have happened is, like, in olden days, one brother deciding to move away from the hatti he was born in to establish a ‘new’ hatti for various reasons. For example, a brother from Hubbathalay could have moved to Eethoray. Hence, the male children of the elder bro X in Hubbathalay would/could not marry the female children of younger brother Y in Eethorai as they are considered brother and sister (being the children of two brothers).

Hence, Hubbathalay hatti has no moray for marriages with Eethoray.

This brings us to the grouping of various hattis into Ooru [communes] and Seemay.

So,where do we start to check about ‘Moray’?

Since, time immemorial, every Badaga belonged to a village, irrespective of his place of residence. For example, Kada [now, Srivasa Ramachandra] and Kangi [Lokeswari Renuka] are the son and daughter of Bhoja  and Laxmi , living in Ooty [this can be, Bangalore, London or Boston in USA]. Since Bhoja is the son of Rama Gowder of ‘Hannu Mora Hatti’ [ or Jakkadha, Dhavani or Ketchigatti for that matter], Kada and Kangi belong to HM Hatti for practical or rather, moray purposes. By the way, in olden days, all Badagas belonging to Gowda [group] were known as Bellie Gowder, Ari Gowder etc.

So all the youngsters of HM Hatti are brothers and sisters. Marrying among themselves is, thus prohibited.

Now, our ancestors, being wise men of yonder, grouped certain hattis into communes called OORU. These hattis need not be very close to each other. The number of hattis forming a ooru need not be of a specific number. The next grouping done by our forefathers is forming a SEEMAY. Hence, a Seemay contains a few Oorus [which in turn has many villages]. And our Muthe Muhappa [the first of the ancestors] divided the Nilgiris into Nakku Betta [Four Mountains/massifs] to where all the Badagas belong to. See the division of Seemays and hattis in my websites here – Hattis, Ooru & Seemay or here

To put simply, a cluster of closely built houses formed a street -thara, [the thatched and later country tiled houses have common walls).

A few tharas formed a hatti with well defined and demarcated areas like ‘Dhodda Manay’ [big house- literally], ‘suthu kallu’ [mostly with a bikka mora (olive tree), gudi [temple],hanay [grass ground] etc.

A few hattis to Ooru. A few oorus to Seemay.

Four seemays namely 1)Thodha Naadu 2)Porangaadu 3)Mekku Naadu 4) Kunde [Naadu],  to NAAKKUBETTA. see Hattis, Ooru & Seemay.

And now to specifics

As far as MORAY for marriages are concerned,

a) A girl/boy cannot marry a boy/girl from the same hatti  to which they both belong to .

b) A girl/boy cannot marry a boy/girl from the same Ooru to which they both belong to.

c) BUT A GIRL/BOY CAN  MARRY A BOY/GIRL FROM THE SAME SEEMAY TO WHICH THEY BOTH BELONG TO.

There is a wrong impression that you cannot marry from the same seemay.

My own example

My father, Bellie gowder, one of the few educated Badagas was born in 1896 in Bearhatti ( the real surprise is that my grandfather Kada Gowder decided to educate my father in St.Michael’s in Coimbatore. In those days, I understand, he had to be taken upto Mettupalayam in a Kattay Bandi [bullock cart]. He got a job in Cordite Factory, Aravankadu near Hubbathalai. He married my mother Kaade (Idy ammal), daughter of Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder and sister of Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder.

Bearhatti is one of the six hattis belonging to AARUOORU [six villages], Jakkadha [Jagathala] being the ‘head’ village. Hubbathalay is one of the hattis coming under HATHOMBATHU OORU [nineteen villages]. Both these villages belong to PORANGAADU.

After marriage, firstly for convenience as cordite factory is closer to Hubbathalai than Bearhatti and secondly being the youngest daughter of Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder who was the Naakku Betta Gowda (chief) at that time and as she was only 15 at the time of marriage in 1927, my parents decided to settle down in Hubbathalai.

But my mother being a fiercely ‘PROUD” lady insisted that she would stay only in a new house built a little away from the main Hubbathay hatti. Thus, was born my ‘home’ called ‘DHODDI’ in 1948.

For all practical puposes, we are Nattaru (Guests- literally) of Hubbathalay.

Story does not end here. Though, I was born and brought up in Hubbathalay, I am married to Tara, grand daughter of Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder of Hubbathalay. That is, my mother and wife are from the same hatti.

Please note ; It is very common to see many marriages among boys and girls living in the same village. Living, I said and NOT BELONGING to the same village. But they are perfectly suited to each other and probably known to each other from childhood. May be their marriage is a LOVE marriage.

Exceptions

Incidentally, there are a few marriages solemnised  between the boys and girls belonging to the same Ooru. In one of the cases known to me, a boy from Eethoray is married to a girl from Hubbathalay – both belonging to Haththombathu Ooru. Though, it created some flutter in the beginning, it has been accepted now (due to the fact a rich and politically very influential person is involved??)

Do you know that Kodhumudi is one of the villages which is considered as two separate villages consisting of Mel Kodhumudi and Kiya Kodhumudi and marriages between them is normal?

When you refer to Kinnakorai, in fact it refers to six/seven hattis and marriages do take place among themselves as some hattis in them is consided to be completely made up of Nattarus??

More on Moray

So what happens when a boy belonging to Kavaratti of Thodha Naadu seemay wants to marry a girl from Yedapalli Village of Porangaadu Seemay ?

This appears to be a case of NO MORAY in the sense moray is neutral here and not prohibited. And, in my opinion, there should not be any problem.

Causes for confusion

Originally or rather in the earlier days, marriages took place only within the groups like Gowdas, Lingayats[Lingakattis],Haruvas, Odayas and Thorayas as they formed their own hattis. For example, Odhanatty near Jakkadha is a hatti of Thorayas and it does not come under Aaru Ooru [and hence Porangadu Seemay].

Without going into the details of the unfortunate vertical divide of Badagas, in the early 1900s, where one section was against the compulsory invitation of Kothas [to ‘harakkolu idippudhuga’ – playing music on payment in kind or cash, which ended in huge expenses and debts for the family of the deceased with devastating results. The funeral was not an oneday affair but went on for week and all the ‘guests’ who had come from far and wide, had to be looked after with food and drinks.  The expenses of funerals were not NOT borne by [all houses in] the hatti as is the practice now] for funerals and another insisting on inviting Kothas.

The section of Badagas who were against inviting Kothas was lead by Hubbathalai [Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder, who introduced many reforms like 1) the funeral expenses would be borne by the whole village 2) education for all Badagas etc] and the other section by Thangaadu.

Another cause for this division was the claim of  Thangaadu [Haruva Katchi] led group that when they attend the funeral of Gowda, they would only touch the head [saavu muttodhu], irrespective of the age of the deceased saying that they were the priets. Generally, when a Badaga attends a funeral, as a mark of paying respect to the deceased, the feet or the head is touched depending on whether the dead is elder or younger.

I am skipping many more details since this would distract from the topic MORAY which is under discussion.

But these days, marriages among these groups [Gowdas, Haruvas, Lingakattis] have become common. Hubbathalai has marriage relation with Thangaadu or the Lingakatti Hatti of Sakkalatti [Sogathorai] with Eethorai or Bearhatti.
[to be continued]

Sathish Krishnan commented on Marrying a person with no MORAY

‘Thanks for the detailed explanation. I belong to Balacola and I’ve heard elders saying that there is no moray for any marriages within Maekunadu seemay, and Kundey seemay is the best suit for us. But your blog says there is only restriction for marriages within a village or within a ooru (group of villages), and no restriction for marriages within a seemay. It is contradicting and please clarify the same. I will be looking forward for further updates to this blog’

Hello Sathish, Thanks for the comments. First for the contradiction part. I am saying that “no marriages within a hatti and Ooru but yes within a Seemay as long as the Oorus are different. Like 6 Ooru can tie nupital knots with 19 ooru – both being from Porangaadu“. As far as your Hatti Bakkola (Balacoloa?), Mekkunaadu Seemay are concerned, I am NOT in a position to clarify but as far as Kundey Seemay – yes I agree. More in updates soon – Wg Cdr JP

Ooty’s Coovam of despair

World Environment Day

 Ooty’s Coovam of despair

 Dharmalingam Venugopal

 The Kodappamund channel, equivalent of the Coovam canal of Chennai, has been at the core of Ooty’s environmental problems defying any solution.
The Kodappamund channel runs for a length of 5.5km of which 3.06 km is within the Ooty town.  It is the only source of water to the 20 ha Ooty lake. The channel is also the only storm water drainage in the town.

However, in reality the channel has become one of the largest dumping yard of the country carrying the waste of millions of tourists and locals.

The much abused channel has the potential for an unprecedented environmental disaster in terms of pollution and landslides. The channel could become the death knell of the ‘sweet half-English Neilgherry air’ as  eulogized by Poet Tennyson.

39 years ago, the channel was the cause of 1978 Ooty floods which altered the world famous face of Ooty forever.

Since then the channel has become the carrier of open sewage in the town gradually choking the Ooty lake. A government report concedes, ‘Earlier, under National Lake Conservation Plan, remediation of the Ooty lake was successfully done by the Public Works Department. But, due to the continued letting in of sewage water, the quality of water has deteriorated and is not up to the standards now’.

During the monsoon, the channel’s woes turn worst. According to another government report,‘The local body has provided Pucca Storm Water Drains (only 16% of road length) in some portions of the town. Other areas are drained through natural slopes. Increase in development activities in the town, over the past years, has resulting in reduced carrying capacity of the drains due to siltation, encroachments and solid waste dumping. The drains carry the wastewater disposal and in many places, the functions of storm water drains are choked with garbage, which creates environmental problems and need regular maintenance by the urban local body’.

Over the years several plans have been tried to cleanse the channel including increasing the sewage connections in the town, desilting and construction of check dams. But the problem has hardly been addressed.

Only  a strong public movement can halt the abuse of the vital Kodappamund channel.

A taste of the hills – keeping traditional Badaga food alive!

[Article and photos from The Hindu, dt 1 Jun 2017]

A taste of the hills – keeping traditional Badaga food alive!

Samita-Balakrishnan

As traditional Badaga food slowly begins to vanish, a few people are making an effort to keep the memories alive

For someone who is a foodie and a fitness freak, stumbling upon dishes that are both healthy and delicious is like hitting the jackpot. When I frantically scrolled through my Pinterest feed, looking for “healthy desserts”, I quite forgot that there was a satisfyingly delicious dessert that was made right at home. My favourite hatchike, a Badaga dessert made out of millets.

I remember when my hethai (grandmother) served us hatchike every other day. Now, living away from my hatti (village), it is a forgotten dish along with many other old favourites. Happily, all is not lost as there are people from the community who are striving to revive and preserve the fading traditions of the Badagas of the Nilgiris.

Harsha Bellie, 48, a Badaga from Coonoor, often invites people to visit or stay with her. She enjoys serving them a healthy and tasty Badaga hittu (meal). “Not many know what hatchike is,” she says and recounts, how earlier, her relatives sent ready-to-eat millet cereal. It is becoming a rarity now, she says.

Hatchike is made using little millet or samai, which is suitable for all age groups, says Bellie. It has several health benefits for both men and women. Preparing hatchike is a cumbersome process, she admits. It involves boiling, roasting and pounding the millet to de-husk it and, finally, winnowing to blow off the husk.

I still remember when my hethai would sit by the ole (fireplace) and roast grains in a madake (earthen pot) with a hole on the side, using a huri-kolu (a wooden stick with a cloth tied at the end to make a ball). Sadly, this now remains only in my memory. Hatchike is usually served with milk and grated coconut.

Bellie is keeping these memories alive by inviting tourists to sample Badaga fare. A group called Veg Voyages stops at her place every year as a part of its vegan tour. She introduces the tourists to some of the customs of community life, to a typical Badaga house where the grains are stored in the atulu (loft/attic), to Badaga music and dance and to enne hittu (a sweet dish of maida) that is dipped into black coffee and eaten. This is rounded off with an authentic Badaga meal, served in a ganguva (copper/brass plate) filled with kadimittu, eragi hittu, batha hittu, avare udaka, soppu, sandege and bathal. Of course, hatchike is the dessert. For vegans, instead of milk, Bellie serves it with coconut milk.

Eragi hittu — or ragi mudde in Kannada — is made of finger millets and is a healthy alternative to rice and wheat. A depression is made in the mudde and ghee poured into it. It is then eaten with soppu (greens) and avare udaka (beans curry). During the hethai habba (our biggest festival), it is a beautiful sight to see all Badagas wearing white, sitting in rows and eating avare udaka and kuu (rice) in the green hills.

Apart from millets, the earlier Badaga cultivated barley and wheat. It was common to see these grains spread out in the courtyards to dry under the sun. They would then be fried, and used to make a variety of dishes. With such practices disappearing, dishes like ganjike, the base of which is ganje (barley), have also become a rarity. The increase in tea cultivation led to the decline in the cultivation of millets and other grains in the Nilgiris.

Our ancestors consumed what they grew, made sure they replenished the soil and prepared almost everything from scratch. If they wanted butter, they would churn milk using a pot and plunger, a rope and bare hands. This process called haalu sorakodu has now been replaced by mixers and machines. Even the hati maasu hudi (masala used in the gravies) was home made but is now available readymade in shops. ). Since everything was hand milled, there was no adulteration and the food was extremely healthy. People stayed active and there was plenty of social interaction when relatives or neighbours lent a helping hand in grinding and pounding.

Bellie firmly believes that if more people followed older traditions, both the people and the earth would be healthier. She says that she would dearly love to grow more grains and encourage others to do the same in their hola (fields) for at least a few tasty meals every month.

For Badaga food habits and some mouth watering recipes, visit the pages in http://www.badaga.co – Wg.cdr.JP

More than 500,000 hits !

Image result for badaga.co

http://www.badaga.co

More than 500,000 hits !

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart – JP

The Day Nilgiris became a Hill Station

The Day Nilgiris became a Hill Station
Dharmalingam Venugopal [Nilgiri Documentation Centre, Kotagiri]
Today is the day, 190 years ago,  Governor Sir Thomas Munro gave his stamp of approval to establish a Hill Station on the Nilgiris.
Though the Nilgiri mountains have been in the possession of the British since 1800, it was only  after Collector John Sullivan’s visit to the hills in 1819 that the idea of founding a station on the hills for revitalizing sick soldiers was formed.Sir_Thomas_Munro
A factor  that greatly helped this idea was the appointment of Sir Thomas Munro as Governor of Madras Presidency in 1820. Munro was a close friend of the Sullivans  and they were part of a progressive front to develop India.
From 1820 Sullivan made repeated requests to the Madras government to set up a hospital in the hills and did everything in his capacity to facilitate such a decision by building roads, houses and introducing English vegetables, trees and fruits.  Till that time sick soldiers and officials had to go to England or Mauritius or Capt Town for rest and recuperation.
However, the Board of Control in London was not convinced and turned down Sullivan’s proposal. They also rejected Sullivan’s plan to use Ooty lake waters to irrigate lands in Erode because the outlay of Rs.2000  estimated was too much !
The Board in London simply did not believe that so near to the Coimbatore plains was a cold and salubrious place which was the dream of every British languishing in the hot, disease ridden plains of India.
Munro finally visited the Nilgiris in 1826 and saw for himself what Sullivan had been eulogizing about for the past six years.
On May 28, 1827, Munro sent his recommendation to the Board stating that though the Nilgiris may not be suitable or viable for setting up a hospital, officers of the civil and military services should be encouraged to visit the hills on their own for recovery of their health. To facilitate that Munro proposed that the government could take on rent Sullivan’s  Stonehouse  which would  accommodate 8 to 10 officers.
To reinforce his proposal, Munro argued that a sum of Rs.170 lakhs had been spent in the previous three years on sending sick officers to England  and therefore “ If only a very small proportion of these Officers could be restored to health by a temporary residence on the Hills instead of a Voyage to Europe the charges incurred by Government would be amply repaid”.
Stating further that the healthfulness of the Nilgiris had not been correctly assessed by the young medical officers who had  spent only a short time on the hills, Munro recommended, “It would probably require a long continued course of medical and scientific observation conducted by a competent person with the assistance of an adequate establishment of servants and the proper meteorological apparatus to determine fully on the capabilities
of the climate of the Nielgherries”
“It seems therefore advisable that we should station permanently on the Hills a Medical Officer qualified to make the necessary observations on their climate. I propose that Mr. Haynes be selected for this purpose and be appointed to the medical charge of the Nielgherries with a salary of Rupees 350 and the usual Palenkeen allowance for servants and Medicine”, Munro added in his recommendation.
It was a tragic irony that Munro’s recommendations were accepted by the Board of Control at London on July 6, 1827, the day on which Sir Thomas Munro met his untimely death at  Pattikonda in Andhra Pradesh.
Very interesting and informative.  Thanks for sharing. – Raminder Chowdhary
I think that at some point Sullivan began to make daily weather observations to back up his case. – Paul Hockings

Dr. Rajamma of Kethorai

Image result for rajamma badaga

It has been some time earlier that I had written about Rajamma, a Badaga from Kethorai Village. Though, she has been highly recognised, on a personal level, she has not been treated fairly by Badagas, specially from her own village. Some over indulgent and misinformed gentlemen. She has been excommunicated and not allowed to enter her village.

Her ‘crime‘, marrying a non Badaga some 30 years ago, with whom she hardly lived for a year and got legal separation. Instead of feeling proud about a daughter who has been presented with so many awards as a teacher and social activist, her village people have not been kind to her. They may not be aware that what they have done, preventing her from coming to the village, has caused so much pain to this lady who brought up a son as a single mom.

She is a source of inspiration to women folk.

For her efforts and in recognition an USA university has conferred a doctorate to her. Read her inspiring story below. – Wg.Cdr.JP

 We are happy to learn that she was conferred with Honorary Doctorate by International  Tamil University, USA  on 24th Aug. 2019, for her exemplary service in the field of education and social work.

Dr.Rajamma ( Dean & Educational Consultant. SSAV, CBSE School, Thirumudivakkam ) writes to say :

It is a reward for my 40 years journey. I owe this to my Parents who had given me education, Kendriya Vidyalaya ,the great organization where I served for 28 years, the NGOs which gave me a platform to do my social work  and the thousands of my students whom  had traveled with me  in my journey of 40 years.

Tribute to Rajamma from her son Prithvi

There was a dreamy eyed girl who ran to school every morning with tattered clothes, but with big ambitions. When the world around her refused to see how bright she was, she shone even brighter, engulfing all the darkness around her. She climbed mountains nobody ever dreamt of and fought battles she never imagined. In the end, she had the last laugh. This is the story of my Amma who was denied the right ti education, but now has an honorary doctorate for her excellence in the field of education and social service.

Your journey fight for dignity in a society where women were undervalued, and still are, just for being women, has inspired generations of both women and men. Your humility and thirst for knowledge has earned you so many awards that there is no space to keep mine anymore

You lived your dreams of earning your PhD vicariously through me at first, but look at you now, shining like a pole star.

Thank you for being a purple hibiscus in a world of ordinary red hibiscus. Thank you for being the feminist icon we all need.

—————————————————-

Santhosh Kumar JB has sent the info and the link in ‘The Hindu’ and we have great pleasure in sharing the same with all Badagas.

It was not before the age of 15 that she was first taught the English alphabet. Now, 35 years later, she is a successful teacher in the same subject and is getting ready to leave for New Delhi to receive the Dr. Radhakrishnan Best Teacher Award from President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.
The fact that R.Rajammal is the first generation learner from her family may not be uncommon. But that she belongs to the Badagar community from remote Kethorai Village of Kethi Village Panchayat in Nilgiris District and has come thus far is an inspiring story. People travelling on the famous Nilgiri Mountain Railway might have noticed the Kethi railway station Coonoor and Udhagamandalam. Her native village Kethorai is a good five-kilometre trek from there.
Ms. Rajammal teaches English and Science to primary students at Kendriya Vidyalaya (II) at Madambakkam near Tambaram. Recognising her rise from modest backgrounds, her contribution to teaching and the Guides movement, the Ministry of Human Resource Development selected her for the prestigious award.
“I am the eldest among five children. I still remember the hardwork of my parents who toiled through the day in tea plantations and small farms raising vegetables,” Ms. Rajammal recalled her childhood days at Kethorai. Five decades back, education in remote hilly areas was scarce but Rajammal made the best of it, excelling in academics till high school.
Being a first generation learner did come in the way but having imbibed the quality of sheer hard work from her parents M.Ramachandran and R.Saraswathi, she never gave up. “We used to walk eight kilometers to high school and back home. It was not before class nine that we were first taught the English alphabet,” Ms. Rajammal said.
As those were the days of college education immediately after S.S.L.C., they had very little time to master English and when she joined Providence College, Coonoor, she found it even more difficult in the initial days. However, with the help of her teachers and classmates, she finished her B.Sc in Botany in high grades and came to Chennai, where she managed to get the job as a teacher at St. Michael’s Academy in Adyar.
Deputation to Moscow
Seven years later, she joined the Kendriya Vidyalaya. After a nation-wide test, she was selected to go on a three-year deputation to Moscow where she served the KV school there. A compere for programmes at INS Rajali in Arakkonam and also during passing out parades of Central Industrial Security Force establishments, Ms. Rajammal has earned popularity for her motivational speeches and also for her work among the underprivileged sections involving school students.
Her association with welfare homes for the senior citizens, destitute women and children had its origins in her childhood. “I visit my native village at least six times a year and spend a long time during the summer vacation. I insist on the importance of education and encourage young girls never to give up till they succeed in life,” Ms. Rajammal said.
Actively involved in the Girl Guides movement, Ms. Rajammal has received the NCERT Award in 2003 for Innovative Teaching Practices in Environmental Studies and the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan Incentive Award in 2008.
She wants to be a role model for rural women, especially among her Badagar community. Ever indebted to the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan for the exposure that she has received, she said that she would be only too glad to serve KVS even after her retirement.

K. Manikandan

Ailing Nilgiris Small Tea Growers

 Hubbathalai N SIVAN, Founder President of NSFT writes to Tea Board


We, the ailing Nilgiris Small Tea Growers, submit this letter for kind consideration and necessary actions immediately.


As you are aware, The Nilgiris District has been under severe Drought since November, 2018 due to heavy frost till February, 2019 and extended Summer till July, 2019 without normal monsoons and rainfall. The entire standing Tea Crops had completely dried up and affected by many diseases, particularly, the red mite attacks. Around 40000 acres of tea gardens of Nilgiris Small Tea Growers had crop loss around 35-40% during this period.
More over, the recent Ghost Rains of August, 2019  measuring approximately 3000mm+ (three years total rainfall of Nilgiris-rained I  one week) had completely taken fertile soils of small farmers’ tea gardens from their fields, thereby making  most of their tea gardens barren and non- productive. The Nilgiris Small Tea Growers are in severe distress and direction–less now. 
More over, many Small Tea Growers had already left /sold their tea gardens and migrated to other places in search of their livelihoods. It should not be followed by the remaining Nilgiris Small Tea Growers. Hence, we request Tea Board to intervene in this matter immediately and help The Nilgiris Small Tea Growers for their Sustainable Development and Inclusive Growth through their small holding Tea gardens. 
Hence, we kindly request you to look into this, and sanction appropriate crop compensations to the Nilgiris Small Tea Growers on war footing basis and save Nilgiris Tea Economy for its Sustainability. 

A Script for Badaga

(This post was originally written in 2008. Now the script developed by Kadasolai Yogesh is widely followed)

BADAGA SCRIPT – BADAGA BARAE

It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language.

So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga. Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exists, if any. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating an unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.

Three scripts come to mind straight away – Tamil, English and Kannada.Tamil – because a majority of us know how to speak and write due to the simple fact that we belong to Tamil Nadu, English – since most of us choose to learn as well as put our children in English medium schools and Kannada – due to the fact that Badaga is more akin to Kannada than any other language [though I firmly beleive that Badaga is a separate language on its own merit and not a dialect of Kannada].

But when trying to choose a script for Badaga, Kannada script is ruled out for the basic reason that most of us do not know the language or familiar with the script and no scope to learn it in our schools in the Nilgiris. Hence the choice between Tamil and English. Badaga ,like many other Indian languages, has very definitive and distinctive sounds/words [I do not know the exact English equivalent] that distinguishes one word from another. Even a small change in pronunciation could result in an entirely different meaning in Badaga. For example,a subtle change in context of the word ‘BAE [bay]’ could mean mouth, bangle, lentil, crop etc. Bella [jaggery] or BeLLa [ a male name] are two entirely different things. So are ‘kallu – stone’ and ‘KaLLu – a drink’. So, what could or should be the choice?

In Tamil script we cannot differentiate ‘K’ from ‘G’ or ‘T’ from ‘D’. This makes a huge impact when Badaga words are written in Tamil script. ‘Gaasu – potato’ is totally different from ‘Kaasu – coin, remove’. Or ‘Ettu – eight’ and ‘Eddu – getup’. Another drawback could be the absence of ‘Ha’ in classical Tamil. On the other hand, in English, we cannot clearly bring out the difference of ‘na’ from ‘Na’ [anna – food, aNNa- elder brother] or ‘halli – lizard’ from ‘haLLi – name, village’. ‘Kalla – a male name’ sounds the same as ‘ kaLLa – a thief.

Yes, it is indeed a little tricky to choose between Tamil and English. But, taking into consideration the younger generation who are going to be the future hope and the irrefutable fact that they are all more familiar with English than Tamil, the choice is English. Keeping in mind the successful adaptation of English script for Malay language (Malaysia) I would plump in for English. With a few minor modifications to overcome the grey areas mentioned above, English script can be easily used in Badaga.

Remember Devanagiri (Hindi) is the script for Nepali. The ‘minor’ modifications that can be undertaken to overcome the drawbacks I referred above could be by using an extra ‘a’ – thus milk can be written as ‘haalu’; ‘dhadi – stick’ can be different from ‘dhaadi – beard’. So on and so forth. We may use ‘capital’ letters to differentiate between ‘bella and beLLa’ as I have done above.What if a complete sentence is in capital letters ? – We may use ‘bold’ letters or underline the words to give the emphasis. Innovative use of – ‘ – [apostrophe] can bring out the difference between “soppu – green ” and “so’ppu – soap” or “kodi – flag” and “ko’di – crore”.

It is said that Indians [read Badagas] will reject 50% of anything without even hearing it, another 50% without understanding it; and if ‘anything is left behind they reject it just for the sake of rejecting it. Like what is happening in many hattis with ‘young gowdas’ ruling the roost.

BUT, ALL YOU TRUE BADAGAS – LET US START SOMEWHERE TO HAVE A SCRIPT FOR OUR LANGUAGE. IMPROVEMENTS AND INNOVATIONS CAN FALLOW. IF MICROSOFT CAN ACCEPT BADAGA AS AN UNIQUE LANGUAGE , THERE MUST BE SOMETHING . SARI THAANE?

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Badaga in English Script


numbers.jpg

How the numbers are mentioned in various South Indian Languages is given below. This is from the :WWW -> NET : What I am trying to highlight is the use of English script !?

numbers.jpg For numbers in more than 5000 languages go to zompist.com

Another Interesting Link -> Badaga language Totally Explained

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BELLE BENGUVE – GARLIC [in whatever language you say, is always good for health – though may not be for “LOVE”]

Notice : belle[white] is written as be!!e at the end
Sanskrit लशुन laśuna yields Hindi लहसन lahsan,
Urdu لہسن lahsan (but also سیر sīr from Persian), Nepali लसुन lasun, Marathi लसूण lasūṇ,
Bengali রসুন rasuna, Gujarati લસણ lasaṇa,
Oriya ରସୁଣ rasuṇa, Punjabi ਲਸਣ lasaṇ, Konkani लोसुण losuṇa.
Tamil has வெள்ளைப்பூண்டு veḷḷaippūṇṭu ‘white herb’, less commonly வெள்ளுள்ளி veḷuḷḷi,
like Malayalam വെളുത്തുള്ളി veḷuththuḷḷi and
Kannada ಬೆಳ್ಳುಳ್ಳಿ beḷḷuḷḷi ‘white onion’, and வெள்வெங்காயம veḷvengkāyam,
like Badaga beḷḷe benguve ‘white onion’.

Sanskrit लशुन laśuna yields Hindi लहसन lahsan, Urdu لہسن lahsan (but also سیر sīr from Persian), Nepali लसुन lasun, Marathi लसूण lasūṇ, Bengali রসুন rasuna, Gujarati લસણ lasaṇa, Oriya ରସୁଣ rasuṇa, Punjabi ਲਸਣ lasaṇ, Konkani लोसुण losuṇa. I wanted to include a choice quote from The Bower Manuscript (better description in this review of Hoernle‘s publication) on the Origin (and folk etymology) of Garlic (quoted in English in The Book of Garlic from an article by von Strubing in Ernährungsforschung), but even the inexpensive Indian edition is a bit steep. So if I manage to track it down, it can be part of the next garlic post. Tamil has வெள்ளைப்பூண்டு veḷḷaippūṇṭu ‘white herb’, less commonly வெள்ளுள்ளி veḷuḷḷi, like Malayalam വെളുത്തുള്ളി veḷuththuḷḷi and Kannada ಬೆಳ್ಳುಳ್ಳಿ beḷḷuḷḷi ‘white onion’, and வெள்வெங்காயம veḷvengkāyam, like Badaga beḷḷe benguve (வெள்ளெவெஙுவெ?) ‘white onion’.
The above interesting piece is taken from ->
http://polyglotveg.blogspot.com/2007/03/garlic.html#rest
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As far as the English script used to show Badaga, I am giving below two examples of 1) the UCLA Phonetics Laboratory [for over half a century, has collected recordings of hundreds of languages from around the world, providing source materials for phonetic and phonological research] and 2) Prof.P Hockings ,From the UCLA Phonetics Lab Archive

(The unicode entry tool was developed by the Linguist List. To obtain it for use in other web pages click here)

Entry Badaga English
(Note on transcriptions: rhoticity (e.g. i˞, e˞, etc. ) indicates half-retroflexion; underdot (e.g. ị, ẹ, etc. indicates full retroflexion)
1 noː disease
2 pọː scar
3 tọː buffalo pen / cattle pen
4 mo˞e˞ sprout, shoot of plant
5 ho˞e˞ water course
6 ko˞e˞ carrion
7 ka˞e˞ weed
8 a˞e˞ tiger’s den
9 kọːga a type of measure
10 ạːe to measure
11 kaːsu coin
12 ha˞ːsu to spread out
13 kạːʃu to remove
14 beː mouth
15 be˞ː bangle
16 bẹː banana plant
17 i˞ːụ seven
18 to drag
19 hu: flower
20 hụ worm
21 hụːy tamarind
22 ụy chisel
23 huy to strike
24 kae unripe fruit
25 paːi mat
26 beː mouth
27 be˞ː (pharyngealized) bangle
28 bẹː (retroflexion) banana
29 kaːsu coin
30 háːsu (pharyngealized) spread out
31 kạːʃu (pharyngealized) take off clothes
32 aːe to measure
33 a˞e˞ tiger’s den
34 no˞ː sickness
35 poː scar
36 tọː buffalo pen
37 ko˞e˞ dead body
38 huː flower
39 hu˞ː worm
40 huy to strike
41 hu˞y tamarind
42 ụy chisel

See for more details : http://archive.phonetics.ucla.edu/Language/BFQ/bfq_word-list_1992_03.html

Research on Badaga

I found this interesting article – research by Prof: Peter Ladefoged in the net. Is it not fascinating that so much research has been done on our language ?

Peter Ladefoged Languages index

Badaga is a Southern Dravidian Language (Tamil-Kannada branch) spoken by approximately 250,000 people in the Nilgiris hills in Southern India. There are several dialects, only the most conservative having the complete set of contrasts illustrated here.

>Badaga has five vowels /i e a o u/ , all of which can be contrastively half and fully retroflexed.

Half retroflexed vowels are indicated by the diacritic for rhotocity :[a~], fully retroflexed vowels with a subscript dot [a]


This is how Prof: P Hockings depicts the Badaga Words in English script

http://books.google.com/books?id=ykNYExBRIpgC&pg=PA10&ots=lxSXekODAu&dq=badaga+proverbs&sig=q2apINOE0mMtJdmEPzJPaBnyrs8#PPA54,M1

Some more thoughts on adopting English script for Badaga

Picking up from what Prof.Paul Hockings has mentioned – rather the unicode[?] used – in the example shown here from his book Counsel from the Ancients: Study of Badoga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses (page 54. Outline of Badaga Language – 2.1.2 Vowel Contrasts ) , I am suggesting a simple and straight forward work around.

Image

The words ‘to stand’ & ‘paddy’ are written as ‘nillu & nellu’ . No problems with that.

But ‘whistling’ & ‘to cook’ are written as ‘bi:su & be:su’ . My suggestion is use ‘beesu & baesu’ as they are pronounced.

(FootBall is FUTBAL and Photo is Foto in some languages that go by the pronounciation and thus making it easy).

‘To wander’ ‘suttu’ is used. But to me ‘suttu’ sounds more like ‘to burn’ . I would suggest ‘suthu’ for wandering. [ ‘SUTHUGAL or SUTHUKAL’ sounds familiar, is it not?]. Same thing for ‘property’ ‘sothu’ ‘ instead of ‘sottu’ which sounds more like ‘sottu’ ‘drop’ .

To blow ‘oodu’ – udu’ sounds and looks better than ‘u:du’ and ‘odhu’ instead of ‘o:du’ which to a novice like me is ‘run’ or ’tile’ ‘odu’ .

‘To shine’ – it could be ‘michu’ instead of ‘miccu and ‘muchu’ instead of ‘muccu’ for covering. ‘Muccu’ sounds or looks more like ‘mukku’ – to gobble or swallow .

‘hennu’ [ ‘girl’ ] could be written as ‘heNNu’ [girl] and ‘hannu’ as ‘haNNu’ to bring out the emphasis on ‘N’.

‘nadu’ for ‘middle’ or plant is OK but for ‘country’ it could be ‘ naadu ‘ than ‘na:du’ .

Similarly, my suggestion : – for ‘now’ – ‘ ‘eega’ , ‘bamboo’ ‘oede’ , ‘village’ ‘ooru’

The main and only creteria should be the ease of use and understanding and yes, without the use of , what I would like to term as, ‘dots’ and ‘quotes’.

(I would like to repeat that I am no expert on languages and no intention is implied to hurt the purists and followers of UNICODE etc]

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No articles, images and other material in this website can be reproduced without the written permission of
Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A (FMS, Delhi Univ)
Contact : bjaypee@gmail.com
belliejayaprakash©2019

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Proud of you, Sabitha Bojan

For the Badaga community to preserve its cultural heritage, a large share of credit should be given to its women folk. Though, like any other community in our country, enough importance has not been accorded to the hard working Badaga women, it will not be out of place to say that inspite of hurdles and hardships, some of the Badaga ladies have broken out of the shackles and achieved a lot in many fields.

Sabitha Bojan, (Head – P&D – TN, at SMART Training Resources), is one such highly talented lady. Her poems, mainly in Tamil, are a treat to read (in FB). Recently her book “Neelamalai Pookari...” was released at Coimbatore by the Tamil Nadu minister.

Sabitha, we are proud of you!

Oh, Mother!

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Eight Death Anniversary (13-7-2019)

Idyammal Bellie Gowder

You were everything for us in all those glorious 99 years and 10 months when you were ‘here’.

As we were preparing to celebrate the ‘century’, you chose to leave this earth just a couple of months earlier…seven years ago.

How time flies!

Elle idhale’yu engava harachu

[Bless us all from where ever you are]

MOM 5.jpg
Idyammal Bellie Gowder
Born September 02, 1912
Hubbathalai, The Nilgiris
Died July 13, 2011 (aged 99 years 10 months)
Parents Rao Bahadue HJ Bellie Gowder and Nanji Hethe
Sister of Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder
Spouse B.K.Bellie Gowder [Bearhatti]

 

 

[Autographed pencil sketch of Mom by JP in 1968 while she was reading an issue of Femina ]

“I know my mother looks much older than what she is but those wrinkles have the charm of their own. They indicate the signs of her great endurance; and the hard life she has to lead through to bring her children to lead a life that is respected and regarded by others” – JP 24-1-68

Dear Hands

[Grace Noll Crowell]

My mother’s hands were beautiful,
They are not always smooth and white
They were so busy making dull
And lusterless things clean and bright.

They reached so often to caress
A hurt child crying in the night
They moved as quick as fluttering birds
Among the cups and spoons at tea

They did a thousand lovely things
And did them all so graciously
There is no way to sum them up
The countless things she did for us.

[photo of Idy Hethe’s hand by her grandson Abhi Ari -2010]

 

Ari Gowda

Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder’s 48th death anniversary – 28 th June 2019

ag-bust

Ari Gowder

Rao Bahadur H.B.Ari Gowder
(4-12-1893 to 28-6-1971)

We are celebrating Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder’s 125th birth anniversary this year. Thus, it is with profound sense of gratitude and honour we recall the contribution of this visionary statesman to the society at large and the Badaga community in particular.

The Badagas, a hill tribe of the Nilgiris in Tamilnadu remember with reverence, even forty seven years after his death, Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder, as their greatest leader for his philanthropic service to the society. Particularly he brought the Badaga community out of isolation by his great articulation and arranging visits to all the villages with faithful and committed friends to spread his far reaching vision.

His path breaking social reforms like the importance of education (specially to girl children), elimination of the evil effects of drinks, by successfully pleading with the government to introduce total prohibition in the Nilgiri District during the British Raj in 1924; ensuring that Badaga students would get both free education and hostel facilities at the school established by his father Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder in Hubbathalai village in late 1920s: and founding the Co-operative Marketing society at Ooty to free the local farmers (growing vegetables, especially, potatoes) from the exploitive middlemen and traders. As the undisputed Nakku Betta leader, his words were respected and considered as final.

The life history of Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder should be understood in the context of the status of Badagas, a primitive tribal group living only in the Nilgiri hills in a few villages (called hattis) tucked among thick forests, a hundred/hundred and fifty years ago. The Badagas are an indigenous tribe living in the hilly region for hundreds of years along with other tribes likeTodhas, Kothas and Kurumas.

The only mode of reaching other Badaga villages called hattis, in those days, was by walk, which, sometimes, that took most of a day to reach from one hatti to another. They were largely unknown to outside world. Some of the early Europeans, mainly missionaries in search of tribes who could be converted to Christianity, missed the Badagas almost completely for a long time. In the mid 1800, when some German missionaries did visit the Badaga Hamlets, the inhabitants would run away and hide themselves in their houses and fields on seeing the strange white skinned Europeans.

But once the British established their foothold and started living in the Nilgiris, things started changing. It may not be out of place to mention that the rail link between Mettupalayam and Ooty and the establishment of Cordite Factory at Aravankadu (both necessities of impending First World War looming large in early 1900) changed the outlook of Badagas, atleast in the villages located around the Cordite Factory and the six railway stations namely Coonoor, Wellington, Aravankadu, Ketti, Lovedale, Fernhill and Ooty.

In Hubbathalai, Bellie Gowder, was the last sibbling and only son among many daughters of one Joghee Gowder and was the favorite child to their parents. Very close to his house, education to the boys was given by a Badaga elder in the front yard (thenai) of his house in the evenings. Bellie Gowder was one of the students. His mother, one evening, was witness to the teacher’s mild caneing of a mischievous student for some prank.

Bellie Gowder’s mother was concerned that her son too would get some corrective caneing, since her only son was very mischievous. She asked the teacher, ” Enna maathiyavu hoodharaiya (will you beat my son also)?”

“yes “, said the teacher, “dhaara kurumbu maadile yu hoolu chikkira (whosover creates mischief, will get a beating (as punishment)”.

Well, that was the last day, Bellie Gowda could go to the school. His mother, mortally scared that her son may get beatings, sent him to graze the buffalos (emmay banda mesodhu). Deeply disappointed at not being able to attend the classes like other boys (girls education was unheard of), Bellie Gowder would ask his friends to teach him what they learnt in the school, and practice them by writing on the earth with the stick that was used to tend the herd.

It is a matter of great ability and intelligence, that he went on to become proficient
in eleven languages, including all the South Indian Dravidian languages like Tamil, Kannada,Telugu & Malayalam, along with English, French, Spanish and of course Toda, Kotha and Kuruma dialects.

And the young Bellie Gowder, took a vow, that he would build a school for the hill tribe pupils and educate his children come what may when he grew up. Remember Hubbathalai, originally known as Ammanalli Hatti, was one of the few Badga hattis, forming the boundary of Porangadu Seemay, surrounded by green fields and thick forests. There was no Cordite factory or Railway Station (Aravankadu) when he was young in the late 1800s.

Ari Gowder was the eldest son of Bellie Gowda and Nanji Hethe born on 4th December, 1983. He had four younger brothers, Haldorai, Bhoja Gowder, Raju Gowder, Joghee Gowder and the youngest sister, Idyammal. The first Badaga woman graduate, Akkama Devi who became a Member of Parliament, was married to his brother Joghee Gowder.

The educational situation at that time in the Nilgiris District was beautifully described in the petition submitted to the Minister of Education,Government of Madras, Hon,Dewan Bahadur S.Kumaraswamy Reddyar, who visted Hubbathalai on 24th June 1932 to Rao Sahib Bellie Gowder Board High School on the occasion of his first visit.

“From time to time, representations were made to the educational authorities inviting their attention to the fact that one of the main causes of the backwardness of the indigenous tribes of the hills was the lack of educational facilities. There had been a few lower elementary schools inadequately serving the needs of a proportionately large population scattered all over the District.”

Petition to the Education Minister of Mardas Government in 1932 by the Hill Tribes of the Nilgiris There were two or three Higher Elementary schools, then, in the whole District. The
demand for a few more such schools became so insistent that a start had to be made somewhere with the result that the school at Hubbathalai was opened by Rao Sahib Bellie Gowder as a private school in 1923 with lower elementary classes to begin with. In 1926 it became higher Elementary school and became a High School in 1932.

The petition mentioned that there was not a single college in the district and hoped that the Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder school at Hubbathalai would be raised to the status of a College. That remained a dream.

The dream of a college in the hills, materialised much later after many decades, at Ooty (Ootacamund), due to consistent efforts of Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder when he was the President of Nilgiris District Board.

And thus started the story of Ari Gowder becoming the first Badaga graduate. After initial schooling in nearby places of Hubbathalai and Coonoor (upto eighth

standard), he completed the high school studies in Coimbatore and graduation in Madras Christian College at Chennai (then Madras).

Meanwhile, Bellie Gowder became the railway contractor was involved in the laying of Nilgiri Mountain Railways, initially upto Coonoor (completed in 1900) from Mettupalayam and later upto Ooty( completed in 1908). The road bridge (over the railway track) on the road connecting Ooty with Lawrence School and Kundah, near Lovedale railway station, is called Bellie Gowda bridge.
Bellie Gowder in suit and turban

Both Bellie Gowder and Ari Gowder remained as Railway contractors till their death in 1935 and 1971 respectively.

Bellie Gowder was involved in Scouts movement and philanthropic activities in a big way. He united the tribal communities like Todas, Kurumas, Kothas and Irulas of the Nilgiris to preserve their culture and traditions. He organised many functions at his village, Hubbathalai and had even succeeded in many high ranked British dignitaries to preside over the functions. His excellent English articulation and speeches were appreciated and applauded by all.

Sustainable Agricultural Developments in the Nilgiris

Hubbathalai Siva, as the Founder President of NSTF society has been relentlessly working for the betterment of the farmers of The Nilgiris, Nakku Betta for the Badagas, for many years now.

NSTF in association with Nelikolu Charitable Trust has been working with The Nilgiris Small Farmers for more than 15 years and brought out many achievements in the Small Tea Growers Sector including winning historic Madras High Court Verdict for fixing Remunerative Prices for the Green Tea Leaves and establishment of District Price Monitoring Committee(DPMC ) to fix the Monthly Green Tea Leaves in advance every month.

Recently, he presented his proposals for sustainable agricultural developments and the proposal for implementation of Nilgiris Organic District Movement to the Agricultural Production Commissioner & The Principal Secretary
department of Agriculture, government of Tamil Nadu Mr.Bedi IAS at Ooty.

Sikkim is the first and only state in India which is a total Organic State in the country, so far.

His petition includes :

……. we kindly request you to take necessary actions to re-establish ICAR-KVK at Ooty either by the Dept of Horticulture or Tamil Nadu Agricultural University for imparting technical training programmes without any further delays.

Import of Carrot Seeds by TAN HODA for supply to The Nilgiris Small Farmers.

You may be aware that Carrot plays an important role in the Nilgiris Horticulture and the market retail price for quality carrot seeds is quite high, which is not at all affordable to the small farmers.

Hence, we request the government to explore the possibilities to import Carrot Seeds and supply through the Horticulture Dept at affordable prices to the Nilgiris Small Farmers.

Establishment of Complete Supply Chain Centres in The Nilgiris Vegetable Clusters

We express our gratitude to the Government of Tamil Nadu for having established Cluster-based Complete Supply Chain Vegetable Procurement and Marketing Centres in Strategic Clusters in The Nilgiris District for the benefits of Nilgiris Small Farmers.

We kindly request the government to take necessary steps to run these centres successfully and sustainably for the long term growth of Horticulture and Agriculture Crops in The Nilgiris.

Hence, in a view to bring back our age old soil fertility, we propose to the Government to take immediate and necessary steps for implementation of procedures to declare our district as ‘The Nilgiris Organic District’

The once well-established ICAR-KVK in collaboration with UPASI in Coonoor has been suddenly closed due to the reasons better known to them, there by leaving Nilgiris Small Farmers in distress.

Finally, we firmly believe that the Government would look into the above proposals and implement the same in true letter and spirit for the sustainable Development and Inclusive growth of The Nilgiris Small Farmers.

Hope Siva’s efforts, that have long term benefits to the farmers, particularly Badagas, will bear fruits in the near future and curtail the cash crop carrot cultivation culture with Pesticides, Weedicides, Fungicides that have done grave damage to the soil and eco system!

Happy Badaga Day

Today (15th May) is Badaga  Day !

Also, celebrated as Ari Gowda day !!

 

Proud to be an Indian : : Proud to be a Badaga