Hethe Habba

 

Hethe Habba

 

This year, the Hethe Habba will be celebrated on 24 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 !

 

From Prof.Paul Hockings

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 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?

paul2.jpg

Prof.Paul Hockings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christiane Pilot-Raichoor (1951-2018)

Christiane Pilot-Raichoor

Raichoor 1

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

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

She passed away on 16 July 2018.

Badagas have lost a great friend and guide.

May her soul RIP.

Badaga – census

படகர் மக்கள் தொகை

        டாக்டர் இரா. கு. ஹால்தோரை

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Rare Photos

 

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

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

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

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Badagas

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

Oh Mother

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Seventh Death Anniversary (13-7-2018)

Idyammal Bellie Gowder

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

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

How time flies!

Elle idhale’yu engava harachu

[Bless us all from where ever you are]

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


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

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

Dear Hands

[Grace Noll Crowell]

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

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

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

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

 

Humble Thanks

Ari Gowder

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Homage to H.B.Ari Gowder

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

Ari Gowder

The greatest leader of Badagas of the Blue Mountains !

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

Origin of Badagas

Badaga Origin

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

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

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

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

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A Badaga Singer with golden voice

 Kerban Bella Gowder

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

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

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

 

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

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

Beradha Bellie Songs

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BADAGA SCRIPT – BADAGA BARAE

BADAGA SCRIPT – BADAGA BARAE [படக பரே – எழுத்து ]

[படக மொழியை எப்படி எழுதலாம்?]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SARI THAANE ? OK??

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

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

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

This topic is most appropriate and needed focussed attention.

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

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

Some of the issues I touched upon are

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.Way forward
What we should do?

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

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

Nanga – WE

Nanga

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

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

Maniganda

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noble, laudable and lofty.

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

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

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

IMG_20171226_140211

IMG_20171226_140249

Badagas are Indigenous People of Nilgiris

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

by D.Venugopal (Nilgiris Documentation Center)DV

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

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

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

Preamble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tribute to a great Badaga Leader

Today is HB Ari Gowder’s 125th birth Anniversary

Ari Gowder2

Ari Gowder

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

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

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

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

HBAG1

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

[See the page on Ari Gowder here]

HBAG

H._B._Ari_Gowder

Wikipedia link

 

Badagas Can Do It…

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

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

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

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

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

This is done every day of the week.

Bravo Badagas, God helps those who help themselves.

 

 

Badaga Photo Journalist – Raghu Joghee

Raghu Joghee

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

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

RJ

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

Photo by Raghu Joghee

Proud of you Raghu

The Great Revival of these abandoned schools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image

Disaster Can Strike…D.Venugopal

Wake up call for Ooty Botanical Gardens
Dharmalingam Venugopal

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

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

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

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

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

The GBG badly needs another professional McIvor to reinvent itself.

‘Consider Badagas as the indigenous people of Nilgiris’

‘Consider Badagas as the indigenous people of Nilgiris’

From The Times of India| Aug 11, 2017 

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

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

Gone but not forgotten

 

H.B.Ari Gowda

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

Ari Gowder

04 Dec 1883 – 28 Jun 1971

46th Death Anniversary !

Ottukudi – Bamboo Shoots

Badagas go gaga over tender bamboo shoots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image result for annie besant

Centenary of Ooty’s link to Freedom Movement

Dharmalingam Venugopal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marriages between hattis from the same SEEMAY

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

 

Clarification

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

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

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

What is Moray (relationship)?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now to specifics

As far as MORAY for marriages are concerned,

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

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

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

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

My own example

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exceptions

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

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

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

More on Moray

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

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

Causes for confusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sathish Krishnan commented on Marrying a person with no MORAY

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

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

Ooty’s Coovam of despair

World Environment Day

 Ooty’s Coovam of despair

 Dharmalingam Venugopal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samita-Balakrishnan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More than 500,000 hits !

Image result for badaga.co

http://www.badaga.co

More than 500,000 hits !

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart – JP

The Day Nilgiris became a Hill Station

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

Food that Can Replace Pills

Fourteen Foods that Can Replace Pills

Whenever we start feeling ill, the first thing we do is reach for the medicine cabinet. The problem with taking pills is that even though they’ll probably help with your predicament, they’re also bound to have unwanted side effects. The best solution is to use these 14 natural remedies, which are just as efficient as drugs.

1. Bananas – Stress and anxiety

Next time you feel stressed, grab a banana! With an average of 105 calories and 14 grams of sugar, a banana will boost your blood-sugar levels and help combat hunger. Additionally, a banana contains 30% of your daily requirement of Vitamin B6, which helps your brain in the production of serotonin – a chemical that helps reduce stress.

2. Yogurt – Constipation and gas

One and a half cups of yogurt are packed full of probiotics that assist in digestion and improves the stomach’s ability to digest dairy and legumes – a major cause of gastric gasses.

3. Raisins – High blood pressure

A large handful of resins (approx. 60) contains over 200mg of potassium, as well as 1 gram of fiber. These are strongly recommended as part of a diet to help reduce blood pressure. Recent studies show that the polyphenols in grapes, raisins and wine, help maintain the circulatory system and reduce blood pressure.

4. Apricots – Kidney stones

4 dried apricots contain 2 grams of fiber, 235mg of potassium and just 3mg of sodium. This combination is highly effective at preventing minerals from getting trapped in your kidneys, which is the cause of the most common kidney stones.

5. Tuna – Foul mood

A can of tuna contains about 800mg of Omega-3, a fatty acid that is considered vital in the treatment of depression. Omega 3 is even an approved treatment for depression by the American Psychiatric Association.

6. Ginger tea – Nausea

A time-old proven treatment for nausea, ginger has also been scientifically proven to be helpful in dealing with nausea caused by motion sickness as well as morning sickness. It is as effective as anti-nausea medicine, but without the side effects (such as ‘cottonmouth’ and lethargy)

7. Basil – Indigestion

Studies suggest that the eugenol in basil is highly effective as a gastric painkiller, nausea reduction, cramping and diarrhea by eliminating bacteria Salmonella and Listeria. Basil is also effective at preventing halitosis.

8. Pears – High cholesterol

The average pear contains 5 grams of the dietary fiber Pectin, which helps clear the body of ‘bad cholesterol’ (LDL).

9. Cabbage – Stomach ulcers

In a research published by the John Hopkins Medical School, it was found that the sulforaphane in cabbage helps battle the helicobacter pylori bacteria (a main cause for ulcers). It is believed that sulforaphane may also help prevent gastric tumors.

10. Figs – Hemorrhoids

Dried figs are rich in dietary fiber, which in turn, produce softer feces and aiding in reducing hemorrhoids and the liness of developing them.

11. Potatoes – Headaches

Amedium-sized potato contains 37 carbohydrates, which help reduce headaches by increasing serotonin production in the brain.

12. Garlic – Yeast infection

Garlic contains many essential oils that help prevent the development of yeast infections.

13. Chamomile tea – Heartburn

A great treatment for gastric inflammation, cramping, heartburn and gas, is mixing 2 teaspoons of chamomile tea in a cup of boiling water and brewing it for about 20 minutes and then drinking it.

14. Orange juice – Lethargy

The fructose in orange juice is a natural and fast-working stimulant, and research has proven the ability of Vitamin C to reduce damage caused by free radicals and provide the body with energy. Vitamin C is also a key factor in maintaining iron levels in our blood, which keeps it oxygenated.

C S Chandramouli

Badaga Origin – the big mystery ?!

The origin of Badagas is a big mystery.

What is the origin and how old is the history of Badagas?

How long have they been in the Nilgiris – the hills known to Badagas as Naakku Betta [though literally Naakku Betta means four mountains it actually refers to many surrounding mountains]? When researchers and anthropologists on a scholarship [or funded by universities] in the west can stoutly claim that tribes like Todas and Kothas [Thodhamaru and Kotharu to Badagas] are original inhabitants of the Nilgiris and termed as PTGs [ Primitive Tribal Groups], why are they hesitant to offer the same classification to Badagas whose language, customs, traditions, rites and rituals are unique, is a big mystery!?

badaga-5-tribes

[ the link to above – http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/apac/photocoll/t/019pho0000974s1u00001000.html ]

Because, apart from some explorers, especially Europeans and ‘trained’ anthropologists along with some local ‘well informed'[ should it not be ill informed?] Indians including Badagas have come to the conclusion that since the predominant meaning of Badaga is northerner and hence they have migrated from the north – Mysore plains. Yes, just based on the name Badaga and it its meaning.

Even if the theory of migration is to be accepted [with not a pinch but a handful of salt], the ‘so called researchers’ seem to overlook the fact that north of the Nilgiris does not end at Mysore plains but stretches much beyond. One researcher, to whom I have plenty of respect, goes to the extent that Badagas, themselves, had told about this migration in 1603 to  Finicio.

How clever, can one get? Badagas are divided into many groups. One such group, Lingyats who still have matrimonial connections with other Lingyats in the Mysore plains, may have migrated. Only of late, they have started marrying into other groups like Gowdas . That does not mean that all Badagas are migrants. In 1603, people in any remote village surrounded by thick forests and jungles and generally cut off from rest of the world, couldnot be expected to give correct answers about their ancestry to wandering missionaries

In early 1603, Giacomo Finicio, a Jesuit priest in the service of the Roman Catholic church in Malabar, was assigned to undertake a journey to Todamala (as the Nilgiris was known then) with a mission to bring the long-lapsed Christians (mistakenly believed to be Todas) back to the Christian fold

http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/mag/2004/02/22/stories/2004022200130200.htm

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

badaga-5tribesbadaga-5-tribes2

 

 

 

 

 

 

[The Badagas are the only ones with turbans – called mandarey]

The information given above by British Library – does it not convey a big ‘fact’

[More to follow..]

Mother Tongue – Avvaiya Maathu – அவ்வெய மாத்து

Avvaiya Maathu – Mother Tongue

Dr.R.Haldorai

Hethey Eeramaasi aadi bhandha erakkadha maathu
Beraganni Ayya aadi bandha bettadha maathu
Kaadey hethe aadi bandha gavadha maathu
Hethappa aadi bandha haaluna maathu
Muthappa aadi bandha muthuna maathu
Ayyanavakka aadi bappa kullana maathu
Hetheyavakka aadi bappa hesayadha maathu
Appanavakka aadi bappa Aaseyadha maathu
Avvaiyavakka aadi bappa alleya gavadha maathu
Aaduvamaga aasaga ollithadha aata kadhey maathu
Oruduvamaga ojey koottuva ollangadha maathu
Maney maney ella nudiba makkadha maathu
Mandha ella nudiba naayadha maathu
Seemay ella  aadi bappa jenuna maathu
Bettadha makka ella aadi bappa belladha maathu
Hatti haney ella aadi bappa harachadha maathu

Kannuga kaanadhey hora emba
Kiviga booyadhey hora emba
Adhu alimaana dhaariya hogindu hadadhey emba!

Kootta kudumba ella Badugu maathu  Aadiley
Makka mari ella Badugu maathu aadiley,
Maney mandhu ella Badugu maatha kullu maadiley
Avvaiya Maathu alimaana aagadhey hattara!!

[அவ்வெய மாத்து (Mother Tongue) டாக்டர் இரா.கு.ஆல்துரை]
ஹெத்தெ ஈரமாசி ஆடி பந்த எரக்கத மாத்து
பேரகணி அய்ய ஆடி பந்த பெட்டத மாத்து
காடெ ஹெத்தெ ஆடி பந்த கவத மாத்து
ஹெத்தப்ப ஆடி பந்த ஹாலுந மாத்து

முத்தப்ப ஆடி பந்த முத்துந மாத்து
அய்யநவக்க ஆடி பப்ப குல்லாத மாத்து
ஹெத்தெயவக்க ஆடி பப்ப எசெயாத மாத்து
அப்பநவக்க ஆடி பப்ப ஆசெயாந மாத்து
அவ்வெயவக்க ஆடி பப்ப அள்ளெய கவத மாத்து

ஆடுவமக ஆசக ஒள்ளித்தாத ஆட்ட கதெ மாத்து
ஓருடுவமக ஓஜெ கூட்டுவ ஓலங்கத மாத்து
மநெ மநெ எல்லா நுடிப மக்கந மாத்து
மந்த எல்லா நுடிப நாயத மாத்து

சீமெ எல்லா ஆடி பப்ப ஜேநுந மாத்து
பெட்டத மக்க எல்லா ஆடி பப்ப பெல்லத மாத்து
ஹட்டி அணெ எல்லா ஆடி பப்ப ஹரசத மாத்து
மாமூலெ எந்த மூதந்திர கோட தொட்டி பந்த மாத்து

கண்ணுக காணாதெ ஓர எம்ப
கிவிக பூயாதெ ஓர எம்ப
அது அளிமாந தோரியோ ஓகீண்டு அடதெ எம்ப

கூட்ட குடும்ப எல்லா படகு மாத்த ஆடிலெ
மக்கமரி எல்லா படகு மாத்த ஆடிலெ
மநெ மந்தி ஆ எல்லா படகு மாத்த குல்லு மாடிலெ
அவ்வெய மாத்து அளிமாந ஆகாதெ அட்டர

Aside
Badaga Language is very rich and beautiful when woven into classical poems. Here are some samples. [We thank Dr.R.K.Haldorai for sending these beautiful Badaga poems]– Wg. Cdr.JP

Badaga Poems

Hannikoray R. Chandram  ஹண்ணிக்கொரெ ஆர். சந்திரன்

Bannadha Baaney

Bannadha Baanay… Hannuna Mannay Kichchey Neeray Hachchaya giduvay Hakkiya bakkiyey harabha jaathiyey Onnara maadi manasuna bhaala nodu Gadhdhu Kodhdhu soththu seththidha Kallana Gawda endhara Kamma elladhey geedhu hoththu Thimbhamana badava endhara Dhoddamana Kunnama Endhara Dhoddiththu maaththa hegiraara – Bannadha Pattu paradhu bhaddhukkiley soga bhandhdhadhu elli endhara Kettu muridhu Kulidhalay Kedu yena endhara Kolu kodi hegirara Kusala maaththa nudidhara – Banna

பண்ணத பாநே … ஹண்ணுந மண்ணே கிச்சே நீரே ஹச்செய கிடுவே ஹக்கியே பக்கியே ஹரப ஜாத்தியே ஒந்நார மாடி மநுசந பாள நோடி கத்து கொத்து சொத்து சேத்தித கள்ளந கவட எந்தார கம்ம இல்லாதெ கீது ஹொத்து திம்பமந படவ எந்தார தொட்டம குந்நம எந்தார தொட்டித்து மாத்த ஹேகியார – பண்ணத பட்டு பரது பதுக்கிலே சொக பந்தது எல்லி எந்தார கெட்டு முருது குளிதலே கேடு ஏந எந்தார கோளு கோடி ஏகியார குசல மாத்த நுடிதார – பண்ண ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thaayee … Bhuma Devi

Thaayee … Bhuma Devi Olagadha ebba sagala jaaththiya Karuththu maadi saakki saliviya – thaayee kallu morayna .. kaambhbhadhu ellava Gill’ena negadhu thaangiya thayee Hachchey hasila annaga thandhu Harabbha neera thaaguga thandhu Hechchatholliya sinna belliya Singara maadhendhu nangaga thappa – thaayee Olliththendhu konnadhey Holla endhu thlladhey Kalla bella ellava malluno beeththidhavay Saththodha endhu huttu nattu Eththi dhoovaga ettamaneyu Mannenbha thanna mayyo muchchi marray maadhuva mandhira kaahthi – thaayee Haradhoppa hoo endha Aaney paatti jaaththigella Metti thanna nadabhaneyu Bhattu haayee thaangidhavey Eththidha kai maaththadey – nanga keththu keththu agabhaneyu Hagey maadhadhey negeymoga nibhbha Porumay ulla dharuma kaaththi – thaayee

தாயி … பூமா தேவி .. ஒலகதோ இப்ப சகல ஜாத்தியா .. கருத்து மாடி சாக்கி சலிவியா – தாயி கல்லுமொரேந .. காம்பதெல்லாவ கில்லெந நெகது தாங்கிய தாயி ஹச்செ ஹசில அந்நக தந்து ஹரப நீர தாவுக தந்து ஹெச்சாதொள்ளிய சிந்ந பெள்ளிய சிங்கரமாடெந்து நங்கக தப்ப .. தாயி ஒள்ளித்தெந்து கொண்ணாதெ ஹொல்ல எந்து தள்ளாதெ கள்ள பெள்ள எல்லாவ மள்ளுநொ பீத்திதவெ சத்தோத எந்து ஹுட்டு நட்டு எத்தி தூவெக இட்டமநெயு மண்ணெம்ப தந்ந மய்யோ முச்சி மர்ரெ மாடுவ மந்திர காத்தி – தாயி ஹரதோப்ப ஹூ எந்த ஆநெ பாட்டி ஜாத்திகெல்லா மெட்டிதந்ந நடபநெயு பட்டு தாயி தாங்கிதவே எத்தித கய் மாத்தாதெ – நங்க கேத்து கேத்து அகபநெயு ஹகெ மாடாதெ நெகெமொகநிப்ப பொருமெ உள்ள தரும காத்தி – தாயி

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Hutti bhappaney obba

Hutti bhappaney obba Hooththuga hoppaney nee obba Huttu nattu nera aaravo – usirodha melay Ketta endhu bhappa dhaaravo Aasay ulla hendharu’vu bhappadhu hattaney getta Aththu bhappa henga makka meerilay dhoove getta Peridha huttu nattu hittu soppu thimbaney getta Saththu nera bhappadhu endhu paa’dhena avakkaga hatta – Hutti Bala ulla bhattukaara’naa bhudhdhi ulla getti kaara naa Sivilodha chitti jaamana sidi naaththa embha hena Heththu thaththi muththikkidha avvay appa aagiloyu Eththi mannuga haakkiyara – thindhu eindhey thekkiyara – Hutti

ஹுட்டி பப்பநெ ஒப்ப ஹுத்துக ஹோப்பநெ நீ ஒப்ப ஹுட்டு நட்டு நெர ஆரவோ – உசிரோத மேலெ கெட்ட எந்து பப்ப தாரவோ ஆசெ உள்ள ஹெண்டரவ பப்பது ஹட்டணெ கெட்ட அத்து பப்ப ஹெங்க மக்க மீரிலெ தூவெ கெட்ட பிரியத ஹுட்டு நட்டு ஹிட்டு சொப்பு திம்பநெ கெட்ட சத்து நெர பப்பது எந்து பாடேந அவக்ககட்டா – ஹுட்டி பல உள்ள பட்டுகார நா புத்தியுள்ள கட்டிகார நா சிவிலோத சிட்டி ஜாமக சிடி நாத்த எப்ப ஹெண ஹெத்து தத்தி முத்திக்கித அவ்வெ அப்ப ஆகோலெயு எத்தி மண்ணுகாக்கியார – திந்து இந்தெ தேக்கியார – ஹுட்டி

Bless us, oh mother !

This site is dedicated to my mother, Idyammal Bellie Gowder

Born into the richest family of the Badagas in 1912, forced to marry at the age of fifteen, to a poor but educated man who was eighteen years elder, just to honour and the keep the words of your father Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowda, from a sick bed,  you suffered in silence and bravely accepted all the short comings of life.

Though you were the youngest among five brothers, you were not given any share of your father’s property of nearly 950 acres of land and many houses spread around the Nilgiris, Nakku Betta, because you were a girl child.

But, your eldest brother, the great Ari Gowda, the undisputed leader of Badagas for many years – till his death in 1971, was a constant help and support inspite of opposition from the next generation of male members.

Idyammal in 1927

Ida – Kaday (Idyammal) in 1927

Though you were the unifying force of Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder family of Hubbathalai, you ignored the ridicule and became a role model of determination showing exceptional leadership qualities.

The suffering and hardship did not deter you to educate each and every child, both boys and girls numbering eight, sending all to colleges [including one to a medical and another to engineering].

Your 99 years and ten months of life, was full of wisdom and a source of inspiration to children,  grand children and great grand children living all around the world.

Idyammal

Ide Hethe (Idyammal) in 2010

Oh mother, I touch your feet and seek your blessings wherever you are!

ENGELLAVA OLLENGAY BADUKKU ENDHU HARACHCHU, THAAYEY !!

More than 462,000 hits!

This website http://www.badaga.co has crossed another milestone of 450,000 hits a few months back and now stands at 462,000+. A big thank you to all.

If this site has helped in knowing about the Badagas of the Blue Mountains, an indigenous tribe of the Nilgiris, a little better, we would have achieved some of our objectives.

But there are a lots more to learn and do for the betterment of the community, thus making it an example of a model & modern society of our great nation.

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

 

Badagas – an indigenous Community of the Nilgiris

I have absolutely no doubt that Badagas are one of the original indigenous communities of  NAKKU BETTA, The Nilgiris – the Blue Mountains in Southern India.  See the page on ‘Badaga Origin’  for Info – Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash

The Nilgiris

A Pleasant Indigenous Puzzle

Dharmalingam Venugopal

E 140

 
repfal-pla32badagas.jpgphoto -The five indigenous communities of Nilgiris in 1875 from the book by J.W. Breeks, the first Commissioner of Nilgiris

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People is observed every year on August 9 to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.

Indigenous peoples, or Natives, are ethnic groups who are native to a land or region, sharing a cultural identity that has been shaped by their geographical region.

Indigenous peoples globally are concerned that their  cultures are being lost from discrimination and pressure to assimilate into their surrounding societies.

It has been well documented that the Todas, Kotas, Badagas, Kurumbas and Irulas are the established indigenous communities of the Nilgiri uplands and their unique ways of life and interdependence have been one of the most documented subjects in Asia.

photo – Wg Cdr JP

Of late, however, there is a tendency to doubt the status of the Badagas as an indigenous community. According to a view Badagas were immigrants fleeing from Muslim persecution in Mysore in the past. There is absolutely not a shred of evidence, either documentary or oral, substantiating it. In fact, there has never been any persecution of any Nilgiri communities by Muslims on record.

Some even believe the Badaga migration took place during the reign of Tippu Sultan.   The first written documentation of the Nilgiris dates to 1602 while Tippu was defeated in 1799. Though Nilgiris was under Tippu for many years, he had nothing to do with the place or the people except for putting up two look out posts on the hills. There is no evidence of his ever visited the hills.

cropped-koottu-edited-for-header-12.jpgphoto – Wg.Cdr. JP

The five indigenous communities of Nilgiris in 1875 from the book by J.W. Breeks, the first Commissioner of NilgirisThe 1602 document left behind by the scholarly Father Finicio who came with a large entourage from Calicut speaks of the upland communities including the Badagas in clear terms. Badagas numbered about 500 then while other communities were much less.

Some research scholars speculate that the Badagas could have moved to the hills gradually in batches starting from around the middle of 1500. Such conclusions are drawn based on the evidence of paid local informants to the European writers after Nilgiris was opened up by the British.

Such research are at best for academic purpose and have no relevance for Nilgiris or its people. When around the middle of 1500 America, Europe, UK and most other nations and our own country and states had not been born, the need to locate where the Badagas or other tribes of  Nilgiris came from or when is absurd.

The elaborate documentation of Nilgiris over the past two centuries shows only how the five communities had lived in harmony, without any violence marked by a unique system of barter and interdependence while maintaining their respective identities and cultures.

As an anthropologist described it, “To the assertion that war is an inalienable feature of all human life, the Nilgiris case presents one refutation. There was no knowledge of the Scriptures to bolster it; no Brahmins to legitimize it; no Kashtriyas to rule over it: yet the social order functioned well for centuries”.

The Nilgiris and its indigenous communities continue to remain a Pleasant Puzzle. It is best to leave them like that. [also see – The Hindu ]

Hats off to D.Venugopal’s views. My conviction that what we do not know about Badagas, their traditions,customs and culture, is much more than what we know. One of the most absurd and unconvincing argument is that Badagas are not native to the Nilgiris but migrants from Mysore area. An untruth that was hammered down our throats by ill informed historians/researchers from the west. Unfortunately, there are quite a few ‘desi’ scholars who seem to believe that lie about Badaga Origin. – Wg Cdr JP

 

Is our Moray system outdated?

A young Badaga, calling herself  Shalini Sudhakar, has raised a serious question about our MORAY system. Unfortunately, her following comments in sms language with a fake email id –   Shalinisudhakar@gmail.com are not very clear. I was not able to contact her(?) for more info.
Thnk u for all ua info sir.. I just want to know one thing that why should we marry only with
morai.When they are going to cancel all this morai.? If possible just break it soon Please.. Just take some actions about morai as soon as possible. Please i humbly request you to break these useless rules nd help them… Not only me.. Many people in our community facing problems with morai So just break it nd make our yonger generation feel free.. By bein in same village nd with in those surrounding village oly many of thm falling in love because they oly roaming with in those villages.. Thn far knwin tht thy dont have morai thy endin up with breakup.. by family situation they ll marry anothr nd ll end up with divorce like me.. Many facin this prblms.. Dont make other girl/boy to lose their lyf fa love.. Please help them.. Just ban this morai system..
Nonetheless, I feel that our Moray system needs an urgent look in.
But, then, where do we start??
I will elaborate on this soon.

Beautiful letter written by a father to his daughter

Following is a letter to his daughter from a renowned Hong Kong TV Broadcaster and Child Psychologist.

The words are actually applicable to all of us, young or old, children or parents! This applies to all sons too. All parents can use this in their teachings to their children.

Dear daughter,
I am writing this to you because of 3 reasons…
1. Life, fortune and mishaps are unpredictable, nobody knows how long he lives.
2. I am your father, and if I don’t tell you these, no one else will.
3. Whatever written is my own personal bitter experiences that perhaps could save you a lot of unnecessary heartaches.

Remember the following as you go through life
1. Do not bear grudge towards those who are not good to you. No one has the responsibility of treating you well, except your mother and I.
To those who are good to you, you have to treasure it and be thankful, and ALSO you have to be cautious, because, everyone has a motive for every move. When a person is good to you, it does not mean he really will be good to you. You have to be careful, don’t hastily regard him as a real friend.
2. No one is indispensable, nothing is in the world that you must possess.
Once you understand this idea, it would be easier for you to go through life when people around you don’t want you anymore, or when you lose what you wanted the most.
3. Life is short. When you waste your life today, tomorrow you would find that life is leaving you. The earlier you treasure your life, the better you enjoy life.
4. Love is nothing but a transient feeling, and this feeling would fade with time and with one’s mood. If your so called loved one leaves you, be patient, time will wash away your aches and sadness.
Don’t over exaggerate the beauty and sweetness of love, and don’t over exaggerate the sadness of falling out of love.
5. A lot of successful people did not receive a good education, that does not mean that you can be successful by not studying hard! Whatever knowledge you gain is your weapon in life.
One can go from rags to riches, but one has to start from some rags!
6. I do not expect you to financially support me when I am old, neither would I financially support your whole life. My responsibility as a supporter ends when you are grown up. After that, you decide whether you want to travel in a public transport or in your limousine, whether rich or poor.
7. You honour your words, but don’t expect others to be so. You can be good to people, but don’t expect people to be good to you. If you don’t understand this, you would end up with unnecessary troubles.
8. I have bought lotteries for umpteen years , but could never strike any prize. That shows if you want to be rich, you have to work hard! There is no free lunch!
9. No matter how much time I have with you, let’s treasure the time we have together. We do not know if we would meet again in our next life.

[recd as a fwd email]

How education came to the Badagas 160 years ago !

How education came to the Badagas 160 years ago !

Dharmalingam Venugopal
[Nilgiris Documentation Centre, Kotagiri]

160 years ago an enthusiastic Tahsildar took the initiative to educate the Badagas. He recommended four schools in different villages of  the Nilgiris as the Badaga children could not  travel to Ooty to join school. The then Government of the Madras Presidency made a special recommendation as such a proposal was outside the prevailing educational policy of the country. The Government of India made an exception to its general educational policy to sanction four schools. The decision which had to travel over a distance of more than 250 kms from Ooty to Madras to Delhi and back was made within 6 months !!!.

25th April, 1856 : Mr. M. Soondra Moodelly, Tahsildar of Neilgherry Talook writes to Mr.E.B.Thomas, Collector of Coimbatore rcommending starting of schools in Tuneri, Adhikarati and Kaligherry(?).

The monigars and respectable inhabitants of the various villages of Todanad, Parungnad and Maiknad report to me that their children are illiterate and ignorant from want of schools to teach them in their villages….It appears to me that the want of any schools in the Burgher villages in the chief cause of the ignorance of the Burgher monigars and of the children of the all the Burghers in general; and it is therefore highly desirable that such charitable institutions should be established on these hills and three efficient teachers appointed on a pay of about 7 to 10 rupees each. The Burghers are now ignorant of any written characters and are unable to speak anything but ‘Canarese’. They are desirous of learning Tamil, the vernacular language of the whole district and I hope that by imparting to them Tamil language they will improve themselves. I request that the application for the establishment of schools may be sanctioned. Continue reading

For Ex- Servicemen

logo

A very useful website for Air Veterans [retired Air Force Personnel] as well as for all Ex- fauji to sort out your pension problems

 

The Directorate of Air Veterans has recently re-launched its website, http://www.iafpensioners.gov.in to resolve pension related queries/ grievances  and timely finalisation of NE benefits.

All Air Veterans are requested to log in to this website and update their personal information like Mob No, residential address and e-mail address.

If you are not able to access the website then please send an e-mail to <dav@iaf.nic.in> cc <afaheadoffice@gmail.com>

Badagas of the Blue Mountains

Welcome to this site which is all about the

Badagas of the Blue Mountains

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

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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Badaga Names

[Reproduced and edited]

“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.

In our history of many thousand years, naming of places was generally and literally linked to NATURE. Be it on names given to villages like ‘Bikka Mora Hatti [Olive Tree Village]’ or ‘Hubbathale [Chinese Pagoda tree/grass]’ or ‘Osa Hatti [New Village]’.

Badagas had [ I am very sad to use ‘past tense’ here] a great tradition of naming their children after their ancestors, usually a deceased grand parent. By this they not only ensured that the dead are constantly remembered but also to differentiate Badaga as an unique entity as a tribe with their own traditions and customs.

Jayaprakash, Sabbarish, Yudhister, Abhishek, Parmesh, Ramesh, Satish, Vivek, Vinodh Bhuvanesh or Shalini, Shakila, Sudhalini, Nivideta, Kaushalya etc are, hold your breadth, some of the names of the so called modern(?) Badaga men and women. If you have to identify persons only from the names, then the above mentioned could be from any part of our country.

Contrast these with names like Bellie, Jogi, Kada, Hala, Sevana, Jevana, Moracha, Nandhi, Ari, Boja, Bella, Ajja, Madha or Kangi, Nanji, Madhi, Kade, Masi, Dhali. Straight away, these names not only point to Badagas but also remind us of our great ancestors.

I have always wondered, why being from a ‘STAUNCH BADAGA’fied family I was named Jayaprakash. My mom who is 96 years old now, tells me that when I was to be named in 1948, a much elder cousin who was both a bully and the first of his generation, insisted on this name because he was a follower of Jayaprakash Narain. Of course, the consolation is that in our generation (one earlier to the present one) everybody was compulsorily given a Badaga name also. For example, my Badaga name is JEVANA. Unfortunately, while registering the name for joining the school, the Badaga name was not included and hence Jayaprakash -and the short form of JP -got stuck. In one of those ironies of fate, when I had to give the [initials expanded] name to join the Indian Air Force as a commissioned officer, my father’s name Bellie became my first name and since we do not have a family name common to all brothers and sisters, Bellie is how I am known  these days and yes, I am quite happy about it.

If we continue to name our children as we do now by following the blind and bad advise of some ‘IYER’ who advises that the name has to start with X or Y, we can surely and sadly bury one of our best traditions of NAMING our children only with Badaga names and thus preserving and protecting our culture and KULA (clan).

The least we can do is, while naming the new born babies, ensure that a Badaga name is also given and that Badaga name is definitely included in the school records as well as for other important requirements like voter ID, passport etc .

[On a personal note, on our part we (my wife & I) have ensured that our children’s names include Badaga names ARI & NANJI [Rao Bahadur Ari Gowda was great grandfather to my son and Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowda’s wife Nanji was great great grandmother to my daughter] along with their other so called names.

As a first step, may I request the readers to list out all the old, original and exclusive Badaga names (both male and female) and give a serious thought to this serious problem. 

Some Badaga names that come to my mind :

Male names :

  • Ari, Ajja, B(h)oja, Bellie, Bela(Mada), Bella, B(h)eema, Bidia, Bulla, Dona, Gedda, Gujja, Hala, Hiriya, Jevana, Jogi, Kada, Kariabetta, Kakkamalla, Kalla, Kari, Kulla, Linga, Madha, Madiya, Moracha, Nandi, Nanja, Pada, Pokka, Raju, Ranga, Sevana, Sele, Thatha, Thippa.

Female names :

  • Beeki, Bulli, Chenne, Chinna, Doni, D(h)ali, Gange, Gangamma, Gauri, Giriji, Hali, Hallamma, Hui, Jevani, Kade, Kangi, Lingi, Madi, Malle, Masi, Nanji, Panne, Paru, Rukki, Sevani, Sing(a)ri.

JP adds (17  Dec 07) found this in the special issue of Kovai Badagar Sangam [1982]by M.Parvathi and B. Ramamurthy

Popular Badaga Names

Male :

  • Ajja, Andi, Appi, Ari, Bella, Bellie, Bemma, B(h)oja, B(h)ola,  Bijja, Bulla, Chevana, Dhona, Dhooma, Dhunda, Dolla, Gedda, Gejje, Gilla, Gowda, Gujja, Hala, Halli, Hiriya, Hucha, Huchi, Joghee, Jogha, Kada, Kakkamalla, Kala, Kali, Kalla, Kari, Komb, Konga, Krishna, Kunda, Linga, Macha, Madha, Madia, Malla, Malli, Matha, Morcha, Nanja, Nandi, Pamba, Peela, Rama, Ranga, Sakkarai, Sakkolai, Selai, Senna, Setti, Sevana, Singri, Sirangi, Thippa

Female :

  • Akkama, Beeki, Bijji, Chevani, Chinnamma, Devi, Dhundi, Gangi, Gavari, Haalamma, Haali, Honni, Jevani, Kade, Kali, Keppi, Lingi, Madhi, Mallai, Maanikka, Mallajji, Maasi, Michi, Nanji, Peeri, Rangi, Rani, Rukki, Sennai , Sirigi, Thippi

GODALATTY SINGHAN SATHU adds:

We have been known by the seemai to which we belong, to start a new relationship.For example I do not Know whether I call you (Bellie Jayaprakash) Mamma or Anna.If you belong to Merkunad to which I belong, I will call you Anna/Appa/Ayya.I you are from Thodhanad Seemai straight away I can address you as Mamma.This unique identity has to be preserved for posterity.

Hence my suggestion is to have names like

MEKKUNAD GODALATTY SINGHAN SATHU- MY NAME
MEKKUNAD GODALATTY JEYANTHI SATHU-MY WIFE
MEKKUNAD GODALATTY PRASHANTH SATHU-MY SON


The generation next wants an identity. My younger son calls himself Sevana Yashwant (Sevana is my great grandpa’s name)..


So let us start this movement.Great movements have started with small steps …….

Yes, I agree with Sathu about addressing other Badagas properly (Morapadi Koruchodhu). Since I belong to Poragangadu Seeme, it is in order that we address each other (depending on the age of course) as MAMMA [Uncle].

The disgusting thing these days is youngsters addressing any Badaga elder simply as ANNA or AKKA[elder brother & elder sister]. Even the general term AYYA or HETHE [grandpa & grandma] is so much more respectful.

Though the suggestion to include the SEEME before the Village name carries a lot of merit, there are a couple of catches.

You see, every SEEME (consisting of a large group of villages) is divided into communes known as OORUs (consisting of a particular number of villages in one group).

That is, NAKKU BETTA [of the BADAGA COMMUNITY] consists of Four SEEMES -> divided into many OORUs -> subdivided into individual Hattis [villages]. In a Village, everybody is a brother/sister and hence marriage among themselves is taboo.

For example, under PORGANGADU SEEME, ‘HATHOMBATHU [19] OORU’ and ‘AARU[6] OORU’ are two of the many communes.

All males, say, in AARU OORU are ANNA THAMMARU [brothers] and hence cannot marry from families within these six villages. But a boy from AARU OORU can marry a girl from HATHOMBATHU OORU. Or vice versa. Example, I am from AARU OORU (Beratty) and my wife is from 19 OORU (Hubbathalai).

That simply means for people of AARU OORU the people of HATHOMBATHU OORU are MAMMA & MAMMI and hence ‘madhuve maaduva MORAE hadadhe’ (The relation to marry exists).

The beauty of the system is that boys from both Beratty & Hubbathalai [villages belonging to Porangadu Seeme] can marry girls from the same village belonging to a different SEEME [say girls from Ketchigatty of KUNDHE SEEME]. Conversly, a boy from Ketchigatti can marry a girl of his choice either from Hubbathalai or Beratty. Or for that matter, he can marry a girl from within his (Kundhe) Seeme but NOT from the same village or OORU.

I am reminded of an exception though. In the village KODHUMUDI hatti, there are two groups belonging to MELA HATTI and KIYA HATTI (roughly, upper and lower streets) and a person from one group can marry from the other group. Probably, one of the few exceptions of marriage taking place from within  the same hatti (village).

Yes, this topic is not only very interesting but very important. Hope it gets the attention it deserves.

Also see here or here

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Website of Wing commander Bellie Jayaprakash that is regularly updated and more info added

On the unique BADAGA community of the Nilgiris in Southern India…their origin, language, culture and customs !!

 

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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©2016

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Badaga Bangara – Appra Singara !

Badaga Jewellery

Badagas, especially the women, have some exotic and unique jewellery that they wear on their person.

It was a chance but a wonderful meeting with Mrs.Gangamma, aged 78 years, daughter of Karibajja Kari Gowder of Pedduva Kallatti who was associated with Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder (‘Ari Gowda koottuda maathu adile, Koodi ebba ella bae muchindu unnippa ortara endu appa hegina’, she remembered] and wife of late Kari Gowder of Kerben Village (Kotagiri) who passed away about 40 years back, at Mettupalayam in Feb,2007.

She was wearing traditional Badaga Jewllery – ‘Mookkuthi [nose ring & Chinna [ear ring]’ which made me ponder and wonder about Badaga Jewellery.

click here to see plenty of photos and read the complete article about the wonderful ‘world’ of BADAGA Bangara – Jewellery

About Badagas

Edgar

Badagas 1

A lot of research has been done on BADAGA, both the people and the language. One of the early westerners whose research on Badaga is very authentic, interesting and educative, is Edgar Thurston. His article about Badaga Tribe in ‘Castes and Tribes of Southern India (Vol.!)‘ published in 1909 with a lot of photos, is a must read.

Castes and Tribes of Southern India is a seven-volume encyclopedia of social groups of Madras Presidency and the princely states of Travancore, Mysore, Coorg and Pudukkottai published by British museologist Edgar Thurston and K. Rangachari in 1909. [Wikipedia]’

The ebook, as part of Project Gutengerg, produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at www.pgdp.net/ is freely avai0lable.

“This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. http://www.gutenberg.org

Dr.R.K.Haldorai has done an excellent translation on the info on Badagas into Tamil.

I have great pleasure in including the same with the original in the New Page About Badagas.

 – Wing Commande JP

 

At the cross roads and in a catch 22 situation

There was a time when every Badaga household got their FRESH vegetables from their own holas [vegetable gardens next to their houses or a little away from the hatti [village].

2-8-15 008

Be it Avare [beans], gaasu [potatos] or kadaley [peas] or the healthy Keerey Soppu. They were part of the daily menu. Ganji Godhumay [wheat] and baththa  were grown, harvested and made into flour so that Eragittu, Pothittu and baththa hittu could be made very often if not daily. There was no dearth of haalu [milk], majjigay [butter milk], mosaru [curd] and thuppa [clarified butter].

But now, all these seem to be a dream. The basic reason  could be the INVASION of the koda and kaadu emme [monkeys and bisons] which would not spare any thing green. The strict laws related to wild life and their implementation had become a big deterrent in growing vegetables. A family’s wealth was based on the Banda [cattle -number of buffalos and cows] owned. Tho and kottagay [large and individual cattle sheds] were part and parcel of a hatti.

Every Badaga family had atleast a small patch of thotta [tea estate] that would give an assured income. The steep fall in green leaf tea prices and steeper labour wages have made owning and maintaining the estate more of a burden and headache.

Now, everything is uncertain. Health and wealth have become big casualties.

Life in the Naakku Betta [the Nilgiris, the blue mountains] has really become very difficult. Badagas are at the cross roads and in a catch 22 situation.

Future is a big question mark now?? What can we do about it???

Open Letter on OROP

Open Letter to Prime minister Modi on OROP (One Rank One pension)

Dear Prime Minister,

I feel deeply feel pained and betrayed. By your action, rather your inaction, on the OROP issue. For the First Time, I have started having doubts on your ability to solve the issues facing this great Country and its people.

I have been an unabashed supporter of you even before you became the Prime Minister. Never doubted your ability to solve the problems of this country. Definitely, never doubted your words or promises. I was under the impression that before you promised and  said anything, plenty of thought and preparation went into it.

The dillydallying and delaying tactics of announcing the One Pay One Pension has deeply hurt me. How can the IAS lobby, through the Finance Minister Arun Jaitly, convince you to backtrack and betray the Ex-Servicemen, the fauji that fought for this country without fear by giving up their youth, the best years of life?

Do you realise that you are losing an enormous amount of Good Will ? Do you understand the repercussions and the rippling effects that will have on the ‘serving’ Defence Forces when the ex-fauji is neglected and OROP issue relegated and reneged?

Sir, I feel totally betrayed and deeply pained.

Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash  [an ex-fauji]

World Photography Day

DV

On the day of World Photography [19-08-2015], here is a  candid shot of Kannerimukku village [a Badaga Hamlet] at 6-30pm, the first ever settlement of the British Raj in any hill areas of India. The concept of a Hill Station began here. Welcome to the Nilgiris !!!

Dharmalingam Venugopal

Learn Badaga

[Reproduced from the page Learn Badaga – ]

Badaga Language

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 anymore.
badaga-blessing1
sketch by JP
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, or in Hindi – Thum and Aap when we talk to an elder. In Badaga – Nee and Ninga]

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 badayee 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/

Badaga Thoreyas

There are a variety of views about Badagas (and their origin) – their classification based on clans is one such.

Unless, a clear and correct picture about Badaga Origin is established, a true picture may not emerge.

The following views are that of one educated Badaga Thoreya who strongly feels that both researchers and others have not given a correct picture about Theoreyas and have always shown them in a degrading terms by not including them with other Badaga clans. – Wg.Cdr.JP

Image result for ravi joghee

Ravikumar Joghee is a Baduga Toreya from Bamudi Ooru (near Nedugula). Son of Prof. R. Joghee, first Badaga principal at Govt Arts, Ooty (before Prof. Kulla Gowder) and JD of collegiate education before he retired. He is a Co-Founder of a tech start up based at Bangalore. His ancestral roots are from Ebbanad (and Kengamudi due to minority marginalisation).

Bamudi Ooru is surrounded by many clans of Badugas in hatties like Kottanalli (Haruvas), Sundatti (majority clan), Nedugula (wodeayru and mixed clan), Selakorai (Badaga majority clan), etc. Bamudi has patronised with lands to build Kottanalli and Sundatti. I am surprised to see new historical facts like we are indigeneous, etc which I feel is against our roots. Every Ooru has our Devva habba traditions which invoke our ancestors and roots. Educated jobless youngsters are taking the community for a ride in the name of history. We are clear our ancestors are from Old mysore regions—Tagadur, Thayur, Ummaturu, etc which is similar to Jakkatha as per Paame book. Irony is other clans near our ooru whom we have patronised with lands to settle  are indigenous against our roots of old mysore roots.

As I belong to Badaga Toreya clan of Badagas, it is my duty/fundamental right to defend/raise voice in order to safe guard our clan and badagas at large. We feel we all are one and take liberty if any one portrays th other in poor light in  public domain. Hope you understand. We wanted the majority clans to support us in our endeavour to solve the common challenges we face in the region collectively. Social media is a powerful tool. I am seeing lot of youngsters writing at will, probably misguided by few elders, which needs to contain. I also wrote to Prof. Paul Hockings on the some of the factual errors in his book. I think he has made his research study based on the majority clan facts and ignored the minority ones like us. One Lakshmanan of Ketti was the major source of information for Hockings research.

Here is the Baduga majority clan and Baduga Toreya clan story as prevalent in Todhanadu Seemey. We have not publicised this story as we carry a good relation with Todas::::

நமது படுக தொரய பாட்டனாரும் பெரும்பான்மை பிரிவு படுக பாட்டனாரும் அண்ணன் தம்பி என்பதாகவும் ஒருநாள் சூழ்நிலை காரணமாக தொதவா வீட்டில் தங்க நேர்ந்ததாகவும் அது சமயம் தொதுவன் தயிர் கடையும்போது அதில் (non vegetarian ……….) சேர்த்து கடைவதை தம்பியாகிய நமது பாட்டனார் பார்த்துவிட்டு மறுநாள் தொதவன் அந்த கடைந்த தயிரை நமக்கு குடிக்க கொடுத்து விடுவார் என்று பயந்து அண்ணனாகிய பெரும்பான்மை படுகு பிரிவு பாட்டனார் தூங்கிக் கொண்டிருக்கும் போது எழுந்து ஓடியதாகவும் மறைந்து ஓடியதால் தொரைத்தாரி ஓடின தொரைய என்று நமது படுக தொரய பாட்டனாரை குறிப்பிட்டதாகவும் கூறப்படுகிறது உண்மையில் பெரும்பான்மை படுகரும் நாமும் அண்ணன் தம்பி என்பது தெரிகிறது.

No doubt there are issues on supremacy among Badaga clans not just with us but with Haruva, Adhikari, etc. However, few of the minority clans have merged with the majority and has solved some of the issues on the identity.

At Bamudi Ooru, our ancestors had  erected Bukka structure ( I assume you are aware of the Bukka structure significance in an Ooru) which confirms  we are an ancient ooru and also at Nedugula which is close by to our village. We had invited Kotanalli (Badaga Haruva) people from Talamalai area to set up their village  to perform pooja at our  Mahalinga Swami Gudi (Bana Gudi). Kotanalli land records indicate that their hatti was built by the land given by Bamudi ayyas, about 32 acres which they acknowledge. Sundatti village (Thanthanadu lineage)  also came into existence after Bamudi and Kotanalli.

Interestinly, Bamudi Ooru had built a ‘Halamala somi’ temple (original temple is in Talaimalai forest, pooja performed by Kurumbas) which was later taken over by Sundatti after a long dispute. Overall, there are 5 Bukkahatties in the Porangadu region and shared Bukka in other regions.

Interestingly, there were few inter clan marriages in those days between Kotanalli (Badaga Haruva) and Bamudi (Badaaga Toreya). Similary between Kapatti and Kannerimukku. Also Jackanarai and Sakkatha, Kengarai and Kairbetta, Doddamanehatti and Kannerimukku. These are to my knowledge as of now. We are trying to gather information from other regions. We have not had any marriage relations due to historical differences. We have given woman in marriage to other clan and not vice versa.

Regarding MBC status, it was a mistake committed by our elders. I feel frustration due to continued isolation by other Badaga clans had forced them to do so. Our clan (Thoreya) youngsters are fighting it out to bring the status on par with other Badaga clans. Some of the youngsters in our clan have realised that MBC status has created further split among the clans which we realise and working to correct it.

Regarding ‘servant’ (Aevil Thoreya) status, I have not come across these impressions ‘with facts’  in all our 43 villages. There have been disputes and being a minority, it is quite natural for a majority clan to suppress the minority. Others minority clans too had revolted in the past but our clan seems to have preferred to be quiet and keep away. In my investigation with almost all hatties, I have never heard of any ‘servant’ status. Probably, due to our poor economic status, some of the people may have worked with a majority land lord and it does not mean a ‘status for all’

At Ebbanad, where my family ancestors hail from, they have their ancestral roots at Kadanad. We are just 4 houses among 250 houses of the larger clan but we have been treated with utmost respect. We have been reciprocating it from time immemorial. We continue to lead the poojas at Annikal temple, Jedayasomi temples, Devva Habba etc. Also you may be aware that at Kadanad, both of our clans have adjacent Devva Mane though the minority clan has just 2 families at present among the balance 200 families of the majority clan.

In the recent Devva Habba at Ebbanad, it was interesting to know that our ancestral prayers refer to ‘Thale Tagaduru’ and common Hethappa between our clans though we have different Devvu Mane (Dodda Mane) among us. Badaga Toreya leads the pooja, Badaga Haruva performs the pooja and majority Badaga clan carries out the pooja further. I think we all co-exist in a harmonious manner.

We have started documenting some of the real historical facts and shall release it as soon as it is completed. Meanwhile, we can interact and also invite you to Ebbanadu and Bamudi Oorus where I am connected to take note of yourself the traditions, customs, etc which are no different or as good as other Badaga clans. To me, all our customs and traditions are no different. Issues like economy, religious conversions, attitude, agriculture, etc are all the same which we are struggling to solve.

I strongly believe we have only oral history with us and we can just write books and web sites based on the oral facts only.

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