Monthly Archives: August 2011

POWER TO CHANGE

  POWER TO CHANGE

[Dedicated to my mother]

Give me the power to dare,
to reach the heights with no fear,
Instead of meekly stand and stare.

Give me the courage to defend,
the innocent from injustice of any kind,
Instead of simply sit back and pretend.

Give the strength to protect,
the unique and wild to keep them intact,
Instead of finding excuses to destruct.

Give me the heart to offer,
whatever is left in the coffer,
Instead of walking past those who suffer.

Give me the chance to dream,
Give me the courage to dare,
Give me the conviction to do.

GIVE ME THE POWER TO CHANGE,
THE POWER TO CHANGE MYSELF,
TO CHANGE MYSELF FOR THE BETTER.

(Poem by JP)

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Bravo Arjunan

Anand Ramachandran informs :

COME AND WITNESS A BADAGA MAKING HISTORY BY SUPERVISING THE WORLD’s GREAT FOOTBALL PLAYERS AT KOLKATA ON 02 SEP 2011.

On Sep 2011 an international football friendly match between ARGENTINA and VENEZUELA IS TO BE PLAYED AT SALT LAKE STADIUM KOLKATA. The football greats like MESSI,TAVEZ are part of the Argentina team. For this match 4 FIFA Referees are selected. AJJAGOWDER ARJUNAN (A PROUD BADAGA) is one of the Refrees. All badagas are invited to watch the match.(At least for the proud badaga).you can also watch the match on sports channels from 7pm.

Why Badagas wear silver – rings in pair?

A question from Suresh of Kalhatty who had obviously seen the page on Badaga Jewellery [Badaga Bangara]
has clean bowled me. His question is why do Badagas, always, wear silver rings in pairs. Does it have any special meaning?

I have heard elders telling ‘jodi (bellie) ungara ikku’ – wear (silver) rings in pair but never really found out the significance. Anyone who can through some light?

Some ST [Serious Thoughts] on ST

Ms.Sudha Arjun sent the following as comments. But I feel that her strong feelings need to be put as a new post so that a much better and healthier debate can take place .

I was shocked and horrified to see the article in The Hindu, with reference to Jayalalitha’s letter to the PM requesting for ST status for the Badagas. It is a complete shame that we are being used by these politicians as the single largest vote bank in the Nilgiris.

I ask each Badaga to introspect and judge whether we really need this status, which is being given to us as an incentive, as a bribe so that we vote as per political requirements. Have any of us thought what qualifies for a scheduled tribe- have we broadened our horizon to look all over India to see the plight of millions of people living in abject poverty, with barely a single meal a day? The farmers in the plains, who have been sucked into a vicious cycle of debts draining their life blood, the caste-ridden hinterlands of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where people are not given any opportunity to progress, the hills of the north-east, where people barely know the meaning of economic progress the way we in the South have experienced it- these are the people who deserve a special economic status, who need reservation.

One the one hand, we Badagas are so proud of our own social and economic progress- we have people settled in 98 countries in the world, we have a hatti which has 75 cars, our youngsters have been able to reap the benefits of liberalisation to join good companies and lead good lives. I ask many of those youngsters who are still in their hattis without any jobs to re-look at themselves- are you incapable of doing any job or were you unable to find one? If you are unable to find a job, inspite of the required qualifications, we have the vast Badaga network which should be put to use for such good causes to help find jobs, support persons who cannot work, or to help our poor.

Why should we look to the government to dole out reservations like alms- do we not have our pride that we can look after our own? Let the reservation go to the oppressed and the really deserving- let us not snatch is away from those who need these government benefits. In the name of our ancestors who have achieved so much without “reservation” but all with their hard work and belief in themselves, I request you all to stand up and refuse this “special status”.

Very powerful words that express anguish from the heart. However, I do not agree that Badagas being given ST status is demeaning nor that we are snatching away ‘others’ benefits. If all those who deserve to be given ST is not given, it only shows the apathy of the Govt. It is not that the number of communities that should be given ST is limited. My personal view is that ST status to Badagas helps in not only achieving better economic results but helps in protecting land around the hattis that is being given to ‘others’ [tribal lands are protected] ; it may help many to get into IAS/IPS and other Indian Admin Services ; be sure to have atleast ONE MP in the parliament etc.
I know of the Central Cabinet Minister for tribal affairs (from a royal family from Orissa and from Christian College, Madras [Chennai] and whose sisters are from schools in Ooty) who was quite surprised to learn that Badagas do not come under ST. In a different context, just because I am ‘OK’, should I forego the benefits offered to Senior Citizens like rail/air reservations or better Bank interest rates? – Wg Cdr JP

  • Sudha Arjun responds :

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for including my comments even though you do not agree with them. However, I would sincerely advice all Badagas to re-think the ST status. We do not fulfil the general characteristics of a tribe. I prefer that we are looked upon as a forward thinking community grounded in our traditions of rich hospitality & warmth, willingness to take care of our own people and ability to work hard. We already come under the 27% reservation for OBCs which should cover the opportunities available to us. Are we not going against the spirit of the constitution when we cover economically better communities/ castes in the ST category?

    I am glad that you brought up the point of our land being protected, which is exactly what I had raised a few years back in “Burning issues”. Is there no other way to protect our lands? I have heard that in Himachal, only the locals can buy and sell land to each other and harmony with nature is an essential requirement. What can we do to bring in similar laws? How do we maintain the beauty of our hills without rampant construction in the name of development? Is getting included as ST, the only way to protect our land?

    With reference to the perks given to Senior citizens, I beg to differ. Majority of senior citizens across the country have no income and live on their savings, hence, this cannot be an equal comparision.
    Having said that, I look forward to more such healthy debates on the betterment of our community.

    Hello Ms.Sudha Arjun, thanks for your prompt rejoinder. I am putting your comments as a new post with the hope that there will be many more healthy debates on this ‘current’ topic – Wg Cdr JP

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 MAHALAKSHMI comments :

I agree with you Ms Sudha Arjun. Its meaningless in degrading us(Badagas) from our status for mere reservation and benefits from the Govt. There are people all over India(world) even today who die due to starvation, drought etc….There are people who even don’t know that the govt. can help them in many ways. These politicians play a good game there. We badagas with God’s Grace are good enough and developing ourselves in all the sectors today. Its a shame to all badagas asking for ST status though we can stand on our own. We should understand one thing basically (i.e) Reservation from govt. is to help the poor people to come up in their life and to make them stable. When a person from SC/ ST/ OBC gets a govt. job they should write to the govt. That they no more belong to lower caste, they satisfy their needs by themselves & they should upgrade their status. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen everywhere. Very scarcely people are genuine. It looks selfish, we Badagas strive for ST status in the country where we have the duty to abolish the caste difference, we should leave way for the poor and help people to come up.

Instead we can make way for unemployed youths. As we see in other parts of our country we don’t leave our senor citizens in old age home. Also I agree that not all of them are safe and good. We can ask govt. to take any safety measures for these problems and feel them safe rather to degrade us to ST status.

Also we should note that we have a major problem in our community, (i.e)early marriage of girl children, unawareness about the politics, in general though we are educated we lack in understanding the things that happens around us and take measures. We have to fight for these……….

THALAIKAARU EMMATTI- a journey to trace forefather’s route [roots]

This is a must see video on youtube [Uploaded by yogeshajjan] in which a youngster  traces the wild path in the wilderness of the unspoilt Nilgiris that was frequented by his forefathers. Hats off to those who made this journey to Devarbetta. Yes, with a nice sound track – Badaga Song.

THALAIKAARU EMMATTI: This is the place where my grandfather and great grandfathers lived with their cattle to overcome drought. This place is unknown to our generation. This journey is to find my grand fathers wild house-I just added a sound track ….

http://youtu.be/UdzPucNJI30

Titbits

Anandan Raju who had created a Badaga Script writes :
Dear Wg Cdr JP, I take great pleasure in announcing that I have written and published a grammar book entitled 
“A Descriptive English Grammar”. 
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Rajesh Bojan, M.A.,M.Phil. [ rajeshbojan@gmail.com] 
Editor-in-Chief, The Dawn Journal (DJ),
Assistant Professor and Head Department of English,Dr. R. V. Arts and Science College
Mettupalayam Main Road, Karamadai Coimbatore – 641 104

Dear Sir,
I have started a new online journal “The Dawn Journal” on Tribal Studies. Access to the journal is available at: www.thedawnjournal.com
Further details can be found at the website of The Dawn Journal (DJ).
It would be helpful if you could spread this news to our community and encourage good writers to contribute their works for publication in The Dawn Journal (DJ).

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Anand Ramachandran writes :

Lakshmi Ram (Kannan) a badaga from muttinadu village is the first actor,director and co-producer in tamil film ‘MAAYAI’ which is to be released soon.let us support for the success of the film and for a bright future

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Chandra sekar Dharmen – Hulical Village [email :cdharmen@gmail.com] writes :
Dear Wg cdr. Jaypee,
I am pursuing my Doctoral research in the field of Information and Communication Technology, and wish to know the impact of the same amongst those who live in the hill area of the Nilgiris with special reference to the Badaga community.
I want the questionnaire filled by badagas who live in the Nilgiris and have family/ relatives outside Nilgiris.Could you help me to get in touch with them preferably by e-mail through your website.Or you could post my request on your website and ask them to e-mail the questionnaire back to me.Please find the attached questionnaire – here
Chandra Sekar.D
Head, Department of Visual Communication & Electronic Media
PSG College of Arts& Science
Coimbatore