Monthly Archives: June 2011

40th Death Anniversary

On this day, 40 years ago, the greatest leader in the history of Badagas, Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder, departed from this world, after dedicating his life to the upliftment of Badagas and other suppressed people.

Even today, 40 years later, we remember him with gratitude.

[Read all about Ari Gowder here]


When will we get a [Badaga] General, Admiral or Air Chief Marshal?

Having been a defence services officer [ I took voluntary retirement after 20 years of service], I have always nurtured the hope that there will be a General [Army], Admiral [Navy] or Air Chief Marshal [IAF]- the highest rank, from among the Badagas in the not so distant future. Mind you, it takes about 35 years  to reach the top as a commissioned officer.

Kodavas – Coorgis have had many who reached the very top – who can forget Field Marshal Cariappa?

And then, there was an email from shibu khadan who writes to ask “I want to join the defence,so can you give me some tips about ssb(PPDT)..” and hence this post.

Hello Shibu,

Thanks for your email. I am glad to know that you want to join the defence forces. I am giving the link below for career options in Indian Air Force.

Pl do let me know your qualification so that I can give more info.

The basic quality you need to get through in SSB is self confidence. There is a huge shortage of officers, both men and women, in all the three arms of the defence services [Army, Navy and Air Force], so it is not very difficult to get through if you prepare a bit. Go through the SSB guides – plenty available in the book stores.

Pl do not hesitate to contact me for more guidance.

With best wishes,

Wg Cdr JP

Flora and Fauna

It is not well known that Badagas had attached a lot of importance to flora and fauna.

In fact most of the names of Badaga Hattis (Villages) are based on ‘Nature’.

For example , the name ‘ Hubbathalai ‘ ( a village near Aravankadu Railway Station) is based on a plant ‘HUBBE THALE ‘ or ‘ Bikka mora hatti ‘ (another village) gets the name after the tree BIKKE (a kind of olive?) MORA (tree)

Bird or Flower ??


[The beautiful flower bird]

Badaga folklore is full of glory about Nature and their home land the Nilgiri Hills are endowed with rich flora and fauna, a true gift of mother NATURE. Of the many wild flowers, this particular one which grows on a short  trees near many villages, has always fascinated me. It appears that mother Nature created a bird as a flower….or… is it, a flower as a bird ? !



[‘ A miniature pet ‘]

Another instance of Nature at its best. A catterpillar [-‘Kambli Poochi’] at our residence at Coonoor. The day after I took this snap, I was desperately trying to locate it again, but……it has just vanished !!

Another catterpillar -I call it ‘Lioness’ – captured in May 2011 at Coonoor

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Badaga Poetry

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. When the sweetness of this language is combined to carry the human expressions in the form of a poetry, it is a great pleasure to indulge oneself in a world of sheer bliss.

When I came across the following poem, my first reaction was, ‘how beautifully the love of a mother has been brought out’. That set me thinking that there may be many other ‘unsung’ poets among ourselves. How nice if their poems in BADAGA could find a wider audience? I am not talking about some KAVITHAI in Tamil or a poetry in English. BUT ONLY BADAGA POEMS. By the way what is the word in Badaga for poem & poetry? I am sure it is not kavithai or kavi . Cannot be kadhe (song) too. Then……..??

This poem titled ‘My Mother’ by Mohan( hope he reads this and sends more of his creations) beautifully describes the filial bond and eternal love a mother has for her son even in very adverse, trying and difficult situations. She could not find any fault nor found anything demeaning, in the one whom she had brought into this world,nurtured, carried on her hips, cared for and brought up even when the rest of world rejected and rediculed him. I have attempted an English translation and hope I have captured the essence of the deep feelings expressed in the poem.The author has really ‘ played’ with the rhyming Badaga words and forcefully brought out not only the sadness and silent suffering of a son but also the uncompromised love of a mother.

Read the complete poem here Enna Awai (My Mother)

Comments from Prof.Paul Hockings

paul2.jpgProf: Paul Hockings has sent the following comments:

Am glad to say that my book “Ancient Hindu Refugees” will be out in a year or so in A MUCH REVISED AND EXPANDED EDITION. It presents new evidence for a move from Mysore villages in the late 16th century, and brings the story completely up to date. Several people have been enquiring about how many hattis there are: well, in our Dictionary of Badagu (1992) we already gave the complete list of 468 hattis divided between a number of u:ru. That has not changed, although some of those hattis were abandoned.