Old Age and Orphan Home

MN Trust Old Age and Orphan Home, Denalai

MN Trust Old age and Orphan home, known as Anbalayam, is a laudable venture started by Ramamurthy and his wife Rajeshwari from Denalai Village under Ketti Panjayat, closer to Coonoor (via Hubbathalai ) in memory of his mother late Mitchiammal and father late Nanja Ayya, a retired Headmaster, in 2005. Mrs.Rajeshwari is the Managing Trustee.

It is an approved Senior Citizen Home by the government. It started with one Badaga old lady but now has 46 inmates, half of whom are Badagas.

Ramamurthy
Rajeshwari

This old age home and orphanage is run by the savings, from salary, of Ramamurthy and on donations. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the donations have dwindled a lot. It requires about Rs.5000 per day for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with three times tea and biscuits.

While we greatly appreciate the social work being done by this couple Rajeshwari and Ramamurthy, we request you all to donate liberally to sustain this great endeavor.

Donations may be sent to.

  1. Account Number : 1235101015677
  2. Account Name : MN Trust
  3. Bank : Canara Bank
  4. Branch : Yellanalli
  5. IFSC Code : CNRB0001235

Since this Trust has been given 80 G, Income tax exemption is available.

Service to humanity is service to God

Competition for Young Badagas

Competition for Young Badagas ( Javvoni Kunave)

Kallakorai Sanjeev has been posting many inspirational and motivational videos in YouTube and I have written about him and his friends Deepak and Nishant recently.

Concerned with the spreading of Corona Covid -19 pandemic among our hattis, he has started an initiative to spread awareness in the form of a video competition for Young Badagas.

Let us stay safe and save our community!

The link for registration for this competition is

https://forms.gle/5MHnLsLrwzn1xMWW9

This website is proud to be associated with this great initiative.

Let Us Save Ourselves – Nangava Nanga Kaappo

Let Us Save Ourselves – Nangava Nanga Kaappo

We are aware that Corona Virus – Covid 19, is a deadly disease that can kill people if proper precautions are not taken. Like wearing face mask or keeping social distancing and, put ourselves in self quarantine when warranted.

But unfortunately, in our Badaga Hattis, with the houses being in rows or in close proximity to each other, we seem to be very casual about taking care of ourselves and the community as the spike in Corana positive cases in the hattis indicate.

The main reason is, we still mingle with others freely and follow the traditional customs of inviting many people for weddings or more importantly, follow the rites in our funerals, in which we express our sorrow and grief with close contact with each other (Mandai Koottodhu) or sitting around the cot where the body of the deceased is kept, as if these are normal days. No masks, no social distancing. we forget that this disease can spread fast and can kill us.

We have to modify these customs/traditions/rites to suit the present difficult days to save our LIVES. As well as save our near and dear ones.

If we do not take care about our own lives, nobody else can.

I find the following video ( Bandara, aaley bara) of Kallakorai Sanjeev, very timely and useful. A must watch video

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(PS; Watched the ‘live’ interview of the Nilgiris Collector with Ramakrishna on Nakkubetta TV yesterday (14Jul2020) in which she clearly cautions the people in hattis that punitive measures like imprisonment will be taken if precautions are not followed, and the hatti Gowdas or committee members would be held responsible. Let us wake up atleast now)

Talented Badagas – Kallakorai Sanjeev Ramesh

About twenty years back, there was hardly any information about Badagas on the internet. The only website one could access was probably badaga.com . Then, I started my weblogs and websites like http://www.badaga-general.blogspot.com , http://www.badaga.co , http://www.badaga.in etc.What I started as a hobby became an obsession and now http://www.badaga.co has more than 711,000 hits.

And, there is much information on Badagas available on the net with many websites and (youtube ) videos. Social media like FB, Whatsapp etc have plenty of Badaga related information.

There is an exclusive Badaga TV channel – Nakkubetta TV

But, What has impressed me is the effort of a few talented Badaga youngsters in high lighting the positive sides of Badaga community by posting about ‘Role Model’ videos of great Badagas, which are inspirational and motivating,

One such talented person is KALLAKORAI SANJEEV RAMESH

He writes about himself :  Born on-11/05/1995, I hail from kallakorai village near Melur Palada. Parents are Ramesh and Sagunthala. My younger sister is Jayshree ( working in MNC company)

I did my schooling and college from Ooty and Coimbatore . Two years back I started my professional career from Byjus.

Growing up , our culture had always fascinated me . For instance the simplicity and mutual bond which we all share with each other , if emulated could bring in harmony and peace every where. Then there was always this thought that I donot know enough about my culture , this is the state in which most of the people of my age are currently at so, I decided to do something from my part .

I and my friend Deepak have  started making videos about our community in our own language . To make a short crisp informative video I have to do proper research which inturn helped me immensely to know about us in a better way . It’s been a very short journey which I have travelled , but the learning and exploration had been wonderful .


Lastly, I’m really grateful to your initiative ayya . Your website http://www.badaga.co has been a gem to know about our community. Thank you.

You can access Sanjeev’s videos in youtube ->
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7pW2FE4mjs6oV4BjTKywxw

Ari Gowder’s Death Anniversary Observed

நீலகிரி கூட்டுறவு விற்பனை சங்கம் NCMS -ன் நிறுவனரும், படுக சமுதாயத்தின் முதல் பட்டதாரி மற்றும் முதல்  சட்டமன்ற. உறுப்பினருமான அய்யா.தெய்வத்திரு.எச்.பி.ஆரிகவுடர் அவர்கள் 28-06-1971 -ல் தெய்யத்துள் தெய்வமாகி 49 வருடத்தின் நினைவஞ்சலி தினம் இன்று  என்.சி.எம்.எஸ் வளாகத்தில் உள்ள அய்யா.ஆரிகவுடர் சிலைக்கு மாலை அணிவித்து,  ஆரிகவுடர் நினைவு விழாக்குழு சார்பிலும், என்.சி.எம்.எஸ் நிர்வாகத்தின் சார்பிலும் இன்று 28-06-2020-ல் அனுஷ்டிக்கப்பட்டது.         நினைவுநாள் நிகழ்ச்சிக்கு நீலகிரி ஆதிவாசிகள் சக்தி அமைப்பின் தலைவர்,பேராசியர்.குள்ளாகவுடர் தலைமை வகித்தார்.           

நீலகிரி கூட்டுறவு விற்பனை சங்கத்தின் பெருந்தலைவர் திரு.பி.மணியட்டி.ராமன் அவர்கள் சிறப்பு விருந்தினராக கலந்துக்கொண்டு, மாலை அணிவித்து  நினைவுநாள் சொற்பழிவாற்றி சிறப்பித்தார்.                                     

முன்னதாக நினைவு நாள் நிகழ்ச்சிக்கு வந்தவர்களை ஆரிகவுடர் நினைவு விழாக்குழுத் தலைவரும், படுக தேச பார்ட்டி யின் நிறுவன தலைவருமான திரு.மஞ்சை.வி.மோகன் அவர்கள் வரவேற்றார். 

 முடிவில் என்.சி.எம்.எஸ் நிறுவன செயலாளர் திரு.ஐயப்பன் நன்றியுரையாற்றினார்.                                                                                       

இந் நிகழ்ச்சியில் காத்தாடி மட்டம் மேற்குநாடு மெட்ரிக்குலேஷன் பள்ளியின் தளாளர். திரு.பூபதி, என்.சி.எம்.எஸ். அலுவலர்கள் திரு.போஜன், திரு.ரவி.திரு.அலெக்ஸ் உட்பட பலர் நினைவஞ்சலி நிகழ்ச்சியில் கலந்துக்கொண்டனர்.

Homage paid at Ari Gowder’s bungalow by his granddaughter Tara her husband and Ari Gowder’s nephew Wg.Cdr.Bellie Jayaprakash

Mr.Ramakrishna of Nakkubetta TV broadcast a special programme on Air Gowder ‘Has Ari Gowder’s dreams been realised?‘ in the evening

https://www.facebook.com/NakkubettaTV/videos/3013681178686294

Homage to H.B.Ari Gowder

Homage to Rao Bahadur H.B.Ari Gowder

To-Day, 28 June 2020, is the 49th death anniversary of the greatest Badaga Leader H.B.Ari Gowder.

We pay our humble homage 

Ari Gowder2

Ari Gauda
From the book ” A BADAGA – ENGLISH DICTIONARY ” by Prof.Paul Hockings and Christiane Pilot-Raichoor

English: A view of the Legislative Assembly of...

The story of Ariya Gowda

by Sriram V [The Hindu]

Ari Gowder was President of the Backward Classes League and leaned towards the Justice Party

The chances of anyone travelling down Ariya Gowda Road in West Mambalam, and stopping to wonder about the identity of the man who gave the thoroughfare its name, are slim. For when you are on Ariya Gowda Road, you are focused on getting out of the road alive, given its traffic.

He was not Ariya Gowda. He was HB Ari Gowder, a great visionary and leader of the Badaga community of the Nilgiris. And his life, as gleaned from various sources, including a 1935 Who’s Who and the internet, makes for interesting reading.

Rao Bahadur Hubbathalai J Bellie Gowder, made his fortune in laying the tracks of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, which was completed in 1908. His wealth made him a leading member of his community, and his clansmen came to him for advice on several issues. Bellie Gowder founded a free school in his native village, Hubbathalai, an institution that still functions. He passed away in 1935.

Bellie Gowder’s son, Ari, was born in 1893. His father ensured that he was educated in the modern sense and he graduated from Madras Christian College. Though he was to consider himself a contractor and a planter, it was in politics and social uplift that Ari Gowder was to make a mark. In 1923, he became the first Badaga to be elected to the Madras Legislative Council of which he was a member until 1934. In the 1940s, he was elected to the Madras Legislative Assembly. When the Rajaji government introduced Prohibition in 1937, he led the challenge of enforcing it in the Nilgiris, of which area he was also the first non-official to become District Board President. Ari Gowder was also active in the Scouts Movement. Another contribution of his was the establishment of the Nilgiris Cooperative Marketing Society, which eliminated the stranglehold middlemen had over the simple mountain people. He was also a Director of the Badaga Land Mortgage Bank.

While the sympathies of most of his community lay with the Congress, Ari Gowder, given that he was President of the Backward Classes League, leaned more towards the Justice Party, which was active till the 1930s. That probably explains the road in Mambalam being named after him. Neighbouring Theyagaroya Nagar or T Nagar, developed in the 1920s when the Justice Party was in power and most of the roads, parks and streets there are named after its leaders. Legend also has it that a large chunk of land adjoining the Mambalam Railway Station was his, which he donated for developmental work. Like his father, Ari Gowder too received the title of Rao Bahadur from the British Government, in 1943.

In 1946, Ari Gowder was defeated in the Assembly elections. But in 1952 he contested successfully as an independent. He was to remain an independent for the rest of his career. He passed away in 1971.

How did Ari Gowder Road morph into Ariya Gowda Road? And should it not be just Ari Road?

The Hindu : Cities / Chennai : The story of Ariya Gowda.

  To read more about Ari Gowda go here

Talented Badagas

There are many Badagas spread around the globe, who are highly talented. Radhakrishna Mathan from Kil Kundha is one such gentleman.

Radhakrishnan (fondly called as MRK), had his schooling at Kil-Kundah  and Coonoor. Graduated from PSG College of Arts & Science, Coimbatore and moved on to Chennai for his post-graduation in Social Work at Madras School of Social Work, a prestigious institution for social work education in South India. He specialized in Personnel Management

Ever since, he has been having a successful career in Human Resource Management field for the past 38 Years.

He owes much to his parents for his upbringing, education and success in his career. He is blessed with a loving wife and two sons and based at Chennai since 2002. 

He was the founding President of Badaga Association, Hosur. Has been an active member in Badagar Welfare Association of Chennai (BWACH) and was the Secretary of the body for 4 years till 2020. He was at the helm of affairs to successfully conduct the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the association in 2019, a landmark event for the pioneering association of our community.

He is very passionate about music of late, started singing on stage. He prefers to sing mostly the numbers by the legendary singer of yester years P.B.Srinivos as his preferred voice. He had also had the opportunity to perform on stage in the presence of the legends, Shri.M.S.Viswanathan and Shri.P.B.Srinivos,  way back in 2007.  His hobbies include drawing and painting.

His long time passion is to recreate some of the popular melodies from Hindi and Tamil film music with lyrics in Baddaga Language purely as an experiment. With this effort he has recently written and sung the song “Ninagagi Naanu, Enagagi Neenu” with  the background of a very popular old Hindi melody which has caught of the attention of music lovers across our community.

Click this link to listen to his song here Nine Gaagi

He can be reached by email at  radsmrk2012@gmail.com  and by mobile at +919840197788

An active Collector with an Activist

Dr. R. Rajammal, who is a President Awardee, Woman Achiever, Educationist & Social Ambassador, from Kethorai is well known to all of us.

She writes,

On 8th of June, I had the opportunity to meet Madam INNOCENT DIVYA, IAS, District Collector of our beautiful Nilgiris.In fact it was a long awaited moment. I just wanted to congratulate her for the wonderful services rendered to Nilgiris and Nilgirians. She was very receptive. Too simple and humble. I had an interaction for about 15 minutes. No doubt, she is a WONDER WOMAN…! On request she accepted to wear the shawl, like Badagas, a token of respect for our community. I loved it. I will very happy if you could post it in your web site. I think she deserves this appreciation.

I and my wife had met Ms. Innocent Divya during the death anniversary -ceremony of Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder, organised by the NCMS at Ooty and had a long interaction with her. Highly impressed with her and her plans for the Nilgiris. Her actions during this Covid -19 pandemic are highly appreciated. – Wg.Cdr.JP

Mrs.Rukmani Bhojraj.RIP

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Mrs.Rukmani Bhojraj
19-2-1934 —-29-5-2020

It is with the deepest regrets, we record the death of Mrs.Rukmani Bhojraj on 29th May, 2020 at her residence in Mount Pleasant, Coonoor. She was 86 years old.

She was living with her youngest daughter Mrs.Tara Jayaprakash, grand son Abhimanyu Ari and son in law Wg.Cdr.Bellie Jayaprakash. Her grand daughter Pakshalika Nanji lives in London with her husband Rishim Sachdeva and son Shaiel.

There are many women who have sacrificed everything so that they can devote all the time to look after the well being of family, friends and others. Their selfless sacrifies even under very trying times is an inspiration to many. Their struggle to maintain family dignity comes at a very high sense of responsibility. Mrs.Rukmani Bhojraj was one such Badaga woman.

Daughter of Badaga leader from Kundhey Ketchigatty B.K.Bella Gowder, daughter in law of the greatest Badaga Leader Rao Bahadur Hubbathalai Ari Gowder and was married to Bhojraj who was a South India Golf Champion in 1950s apart from other achievements. She had lived a life full of grit and determination, in-spite of severe physical impediments. She was a source of strength and inspiration to all those who have known her. Her hospitality was legendary.

May her soul Rest In Peace

NakkuBetta TV

See the source image

NakkuBetta TV channel is devoted to Badagas of the Blue Mountains. Naduhatti Ramakrisha,owner of this TV Channel, is doing a great job,

In this particular episode on May 15th, which is celebrated as Badaga Day, (in many places it is celebrated this as ARI GOWDA day also), the focus is on Edappalli Raghu Joghee, a very good photographer. His book HABBA will be published soon

I am grateful to Raghu Joghee for mentioning about me and the website http://www.badaga.co (more than 703,000 hits) in his interview. Click the pix above for full interview.

Nakkubetta TV is being embedded in our website as a separate page

Wg.Cdr.JP

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

 

__________________

(From the archieves)

Badaga Day 2009

Some snaps taken on Badaga Day by Ravi Bal Raj
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From ‘the Hindu’ issue dated 16 May 2009

Enthusiasm marks Badaga Day fete Special Correspondent

Long-pending demands of the community highlighted

Photo: D. Radhakrishnan

Paying respects: The founder-secretary, Young Badagas Association, T.B. Ramamurthy, garlanding the bust of Badaga leader H.B. Ari Gowder in Udhagamandalam on Friday. —

Udhagamandalam: Though exchanging greetings and enquiring about each other’s welfare repeatedly is a prominent cultural trait of the Badagas of the Nilgiris, it was done with accentuated enthusiasm on Friday.

The reason: May 15 has for the past 15 years been observed as Badaga Day.

Clad in their spotless white traditional dress, hundreds of Badagas from various parts of the Nilgiris district and places like Chennai, Coimbatore, Tirupur, Tiruchi, Hosur, Mettupalayam and Mumbai congregated at the Young Badaga Association (YBA) hall here and reflected on the state of affairs in the community even as they enjoyed the cultural programmes organised for their pleasure. The celebrations were set in motion after obeisance was paid to late H.B. Ari Gowder of Hubbathalai village, the widely acknowledged leader of the community who a few decades ago had done a lot to lift the Badagas socially and economically.

A bust of Mr. Gowder within the premises of the Nilgiris Cooperative Marketing Society was garlanded by the founder-secretary of the YBA, T.B. Ramamurthy, of Dhavani village. His contributions were read out.

Flag hoisted

Earlier the Badaga flag was hoisted at the YBA by a senior member of the community T.M. Kullan.

Interacting with ‘The Hindu’, the participants said that the occasion would be utilised to reiterate the community’s long-standing demand for inclusion in the list of Scheduled Tribes.

If fulfilled, it would ensure social security for the community, which is identified only with the Nilgiris.

Adverting to the rich and hoary culture of the community, they said that in whichever part of the world Badagas may have settled they should not lose sight of their moorings or compromise on the cultural front.

While highest priority should be accorded to unity, family values should be given importance and ego clashes should be eschewed.

Acts of selfishness which may do irreversible damage to families and the community should be avoided.

BADAGA DAY

Badaga Flag

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 of Hubbathalai [See the link Great Badagas] who had done a lot for the Badaga Community, at Nattakal ‘Naakku Betta Koottu Hane’ (Naakku Betta Meeting Ground) which had seen many historic Badaga gatherings for over 80 years. Nattakal is near Kerben Village [near Kotagiri], on the main road from Coonoor.

Badaga Day – 15 May 2007

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Ari Gowder’s photo being opened, Porangadu Seeme Gowda Bheema Gowder addressing the gathering, Part of the crowd, Ari gowder’s daughter in law Mrs.Rukmani Bhojraj being honoured with a ‘ponnadai’ Shawl

While I was proud and honoured to attend the function this year, what saddened me is the fact that there seems no unity among the Badagas what with trivial and minor disputes resulting in boycott of this function by certain hattis at the behest of their ‘Gowdas’. I beleive, in the earlier years, this function attracted a lot of crowd. To add more dismay, there was a parallel Badagar Day celebrations at Ooty, organised by some self appointed Badaga leaders along with corrupt self serving and discredited politicians.

At Nattakal function, I was pleasantly surprised to see BADAGA FLAG being hoisted. Badaga Flag is completety white and I felt, it is appropriate that white colour has been chosen, as the same is totally identified with badagas [due to our dress] as well as HETHE AMMA etc.

In the function, many prominent Gowdas spoke and high lighted the contribution of Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder to our community.

It was also announced by the family of Ari Gowder (by his grand daughter Tara Jayaprakash & myself) that from next academic year onwards, three girls and three boys [from the Badagas] who get the first three positions in plus two exams will be given a cash incentive of Rs.3000,Rs.2000 & Rs.1000 each. This amount will be distributed during the next badaga day (in 2008) at Nattakal. Also, we announced that for the benefit of all those badagas who have to go to Mettupalayam and stay there due to sickness, can stay, along with their family members, in two houses located at ‘Ari Gowder Thottam’, Edayarpalayam road [near housing unit colony]. A nominal fee (to meet electrical & water charges etc) may be charged. The duration of stay could be from a couple of days to a few weeks. (For details please contact ; Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash at 9244923145 or 9486631864).

Towards the end of the function, a sad incident of an eye being removed from Maasi Hethai from Aravenu Village was revealed. It was mentioned that the doctors at an eye hospital at Coimbatore, due to their total neglect and callous attitude, removed her GOOD eye instead of the person lying in the next bed in the hospital. She produced photocopies of her stay and medical history. Her case was highlighted by Mrs.Indu K Mallah, Badaga activist who was also a member of the Nilgiri District Cosumer Court for five years. She strongly recommended that this case be taken up for suitable compensation by the concerned hospital.

 

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Maasi Hethe’s case being highlighted by Mrs.Indu K Mallah

The function concluded with lunch (briyani with pachadi) being served to all those who attended the meeting.

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This function was covered by CTN Cable TV network . Incidentally, CTN has a lot of Badaga content in their programmes with songs, dances, serials etc. Hats off to them and do not miss their Badaga programmes if you are in their coverage area (Coonoor & Kotagiri surroundings).

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As announced, our offer of free accomodation  at Mettupalayam for looking after sick persons was utilised by [retired head constable] Bhoja Gowder from Horasolai Village for the benefit of his wife Lakshmi Ammal. After staying in Mettupalayam for a few months, he has taken her back to hatti on 12-02-08.

Incidentally, Bhoju [as I call him] is a famous football player and in his hay days represented Tamil Nadu Police.

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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©2010

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Wing commander Bellie Jayaprakash’s other website from the heart for some ‘light’ reading

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How to take care of ourselves, in these Corona Virus days!

Let us buildup our immune system

This pandemic Covid -19 (Corona Virus), a gift to mankind by the Chinese, is once in  a life time disease that affects all of us. In this respect while a cure, (vaccine)  will be found sooner than later, what interests me is a few preventive or precautionary steps that may not only help us to to be prepared to face not only this deadly virus but also to build up immune system in our body, as advised by the men of medicine.

  1. Intake of Garlic, Ginger and Turmeric.
    (pix – Grover – from the net)

    Take a piece of raw Ginger and couple of pods of Garlic along with your breakfast. Take half to one tea spoon of turmeric powder along with a glass of water or tea/coffee everyday.

  2. Vitamin D – Just spend  fifteen to thirty minutes in the morning sun to get this vitamin every day. Available in abundance and free.
  3. Vitamin C – Citrus fruits like Lime Juice, Oranges
    (pix courtesy – restaurantgirl.com)

    And of course, Exercise – Walk, Jog , gym – anything.

Some ‘burning’ issues facing Badagas

[This article/page was published earlier. 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.

~~~~

‘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

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p style=”text-align:center;”>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©2006-2020

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A Big Thank YOU

700,000 + and counting….

that is the number of hits for this Badaga website

But for you, it would not have been possible

A Big Thank You

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

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Numbers in Badugu /Badaga

1. Ondu (One) 

2. Eradu (Two) 

3. Mooru (Three) 

4. Naakku (Four) 

5. Iidu (Five) 

6. Aaru (Six) 

7. eizhu (Seven) 

8. Eattu (Eight) 

9. Ombathu ( Nine) 

10. Hathu (Ten)

11. Hannondu (Eleven)

12. Hanneradu (Twelve)

13. Hadimooru (Thirteen)

14. Hadanaakku (Fourteen)

15. Hadanaidu (Fifteen)

16. Hadanaaru (Sixteen)

17. Hadarizhu (Seventeen)

18. Hadarettu (Eighteen)

19. Hathombathu (Nineteen)

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’ . Listen to this great dance number and other Badaga songs here

 

 

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  Hindu-Arabic numeral Badaga and pronunciation
     
  1 ஒந்து   (Ondu)
  2 எரடு (Eradu)
  3 மூறு (Mooru)
  4 நாக்கு  (Naakku)
  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 – 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]

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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 said to be due to the fact that when they left Mysore many hundred years ago, to escape from forced conversion to Islam by the King (Mallik Kafir /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 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
  • An active Collector with an Activist - Dr. R. Rajammal, who is a President Awardee, Woman Achiever, Educationist & Social Ambassador, from Kethorai is well known to all of us. She writes, On 8th of June, I had the opportunity to meet Madam INNOCENT DIVYA, IAS, District Collector … 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

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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 &amp; 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.

hjbgat-bridge33.jpg

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.

 

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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?

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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.

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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]

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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

Remembering Mrs.Idyammal Bellie Gowder

Remembering Mrs.Idyammal Bellie Gowder on her ninth death anniversary

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]

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Idyammal Bellie Gowder
BornSeptember 02, 1912
Hubbathalai, The Nilgiris
DiedJuly 13, 2011 (aged 99 years 10 months)
ParentsRao Bahadur HJ Bellie Gowder and Nanji Hethe
Sister ofRao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder
SpouseB.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 (24Jan68)

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]

Remembering mother –

Mrs.Radha Gowdu , Mrs.Vimala Bellie

and

Wg Cdr & Mrs. Bellie Jayaprakash,

grand children and great grand children