Monthly Archives: July 2013

YBA – Young Badaga Association

On 25th July,2013, I had written the following post expressing my anguish about the ‘happenings’ in the YBA. The DISUNITY among us  was exposed by the factions ridden association who indulged in all sort of shameful acts and made Badagas a laughing stock. One faction went to the High Court.

Now we get the news that the HC has ruled that there will be elections supervised by two eminent Badagas before 15 Jan 2014 (see the report at the end)

JP wrote on 25-7-2013 :

YBA – the NOT so Young Badaga Association, is in the news for all the wrong reasons. News papers report about the factional fights, lodging FIRs after skirmishes between groups etc thus making us – ‘the silent majority of Badagas’, to hold our heads in shame.

The so called ‘present’ body or the managing committee is not an elected one of the recent past. Not aware how many years back, they got ‘elected’. For obvious and not so obvious reasons they do not want to ‘leave their chairs’. but have called for ‘elections’ on the 12th Aug 2013.. The other faction claims that the ‘elections are not going to be free and fair and manipulations to elect the ‘chosen’ few have been already done.

It appears that the association that is expected to be APOLITICAL is precisely divided on ‘party’ lines.

Why can’t we have a proper election in which EACH and EVERY Badaga- from both genders – vote to select a ‘team’ that can represent all Badagas from all the Seemays and wherever they stay at present [I am including all the Badagas from around the globe]. If required, they can pay a nominal fee and become members of YBA so that they are eligible to vote.

In the interim, non controversial persons like Sundradevan I.A.S, T.Gopal, Entrepreneur  [Mel Bikkatty] or B.Balasubramaniam, author of ‘Paame’ can take control of the affairs of YBA and take necessary steps to ‘conduct’ a proper but a sort of grand GENERAL ELECTIONS to select  a truely representative managing committee of all Badagas. There could be many eminent Badagas [who may not be known to me] but can be included in the ‘interim arrangement’. I must confess that I have not spoken to the above mentioned persons about this but they came to mind spontaneously.

URI[jealousy] is in our DNA but can we not try for SIRI[happiness]? Can’t Badagas be ever UNITED and speak in one voice??

N BELLIE (LIC) commented:

Yes, I agree this idea. As one of the Members of YBA since 1986, and as the Mekku Nadu Seeami member, I expressed this idea in a meeting arranged by the YBA exclusively for Mekku Nadu Seemai members.

I told that the YBA should take proper initiative to form Root level branches of YBA. What I told is that YBA Branches should be launched in each and every Ward of a Village Panchayat, Town Panchayat, and Municipalities etc. The President and Secretaries of these branches are to be considered as the Executive Committee Members. The Executive Committee Members of the each Branches are to be the General Council Members of YBA, and this General Council Members should elect the Office Bearers of YBA.

You should go see what they’re up to. Maybe you’ll like their blog as much as they liked yours!

Hello Bellie,

May be your views are worth considering. As an insider, what exactly are the problems at YBA? What is their blog URL?? – JP

Two-member Panel to Hold Badaga Association Poll

The New Indian Express Monday, December 02, 2013 07:01 PM

A retired district judge and a former IAS officer from the Badaga community have been appointed as election commissioners to hold election to the executive committee of Young Badaga Association in the Nilgiris, in accordance with the TN Societies Registration Act, on or before January 15.

Disposing of a petition from the association by its secretary R Ravikumar, Justice KK Sasidharan appointed B Kali, District Judge, and Sundaradevan, IAS (both retired) as the election commissioners. Petitioner submitted that the association was formed for promoting development of members of Badaga community. The district, for purpose of local governance, was divided into four Seemals, namely, Purangadu, Thodanadu, Merkunadu and Kunda Seemal. The Seemals used to elect 5 executive members from each of the four Seemals, except Thodanadu Seemal, which will elect 6 members. The last election was held in 2008. Since there was no co-operation among the members, elections were not held thereafter. When two meetings were held in May 2013 to conduct the elections, the Nilgiris MLA Buddhichandran, claiming himself to be the president of the association, disrupted the meeting. Hence, the petitioner petition.

During the hearing the judge asked if it was possible to arrive at a consensus to conduct the elections, the MLA on October 9 appeared in person and expressed his readiness to conduct the election, headed by a member of the Badaga community. Accordingly, the duo was appointed to conduct the election, the judge said.

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Ari of KURU CHRONICLES, we are proud of you!

[Article published in THE HINDU, Bangalore Metro Plus 18 July 2013]

Ari Jayaprakash is the great grandson of Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder and grandson of Mrs.Idyammal Bellie Gowder

Abhi

VISUAL EFFECTS, TO CONCEPT ARTIST TO ILLUSTRATOR AND EVEN AN ILLUSTRATOR And now Kuru Chronicles, says Ari
Ari Jayaprakash Kuru Chronicles to be released shortly has a lot of tantric influences. The artiste tells Preeti Zachariah the book is for a mature reader

Spatters of black ink across thick paper with charred edges and sepia tones unravel into a story. A story of a dysfunctional, morbid word plagued by death, disease, destruction, vices and suffering. Barriers crumble, beliefs disappear, insanity becomes a spectrum not a border, darkness is allowed to not just permeate but flourish. Nothing remains sacred or perhaps everything is.

But for artist and photographer, Ari Jayprakash who has created the Kuru Chronicles (which derives its name from a disease affecting cannibals when they consume human brain matter) in collaboration with writer Anisha Sridhar, this is nothing more than an artistic expression of an interesting form of spirituality, “We knew there was stuff here that may make people uncomfortable but we will stick to that,” he says, rather vehemently. “Freedom of thought and expression is an essential aspect of artistic evolution and we have restricted ourselves too long.” He believes however, that this is changing for the better, “People are beginning to push boundaries. I think India will produce a lot of interesting art, music, dance and theatre over the next few years,” he adds.

His own artwork (he refers to it as Kuru art) certainly not just pushes boundaries but tramples all over them, leaving the viewer too enthralled to even notice that they existed in the first place. “Kuru uses black ink done mainly with a calligraphy pen. At the end of the execution the pictures are burnt. The burning was done as an offering to the fire God and also because it gives it an old rustic sort of look and an interesting shading.”

Ari, a self-taught artist has dabbled in various forms of visual art as long as he remembers, “I have done different things in my career. I’ve done visual effects, worked as a concept artist and even an illustrator. I do a lot of photography and was a photographer for sometime in Boston and New York,” he says adding that his tryst with photography helped him in Kuru art. “A lot of the photographs got translated into drawing. I do a lot of digital manipulation; it gives photographs an abstract, surreal feel.”

Talking about the origin of Kuru, he says, “It all began December 2010. I was watching a documentary on Kuru on TV and met a few aghoris at the Ganga Sagar mela later that year and then I read Svobodha’s Aghora. One thing lead to another and what happened was the chapter names came up one night. I had no idea what were in the chapters and what it was going to be about. I didn’t know it would be called the Kuru chronicles. But obviously these things were at the back of my head subconsciously and seven drawings of abstract faces came out one night in Calcutta. I don’t know who they were but I know it had to fit into the story somewhere.”

It was a friend who ran a festival at Bombay who invited him to display his work there, “People liked what they saw and over time I developed more art work. Over a couple of years a substantial amount of work came out, around 800 pages — four books, 26 chapters.”

The story, which is set mostly in a dystopian version of Calcutta follows the lives of five characters —Dakini, Sen, Kala Hari, Shivali and Devika, “Kuru begins with the five of them and also kind of ends with them,” says Ari adding that Kuru spans a 17-year period. “They are all in their late teens when it begins. Dakini is the protagonist of the Kuru Chronicles and this is more or less her journey and evolution. There is complete disintegration all around her and she basically needs to keep it all together. ”

The book is certainly not for the faint-hearted however, “It is for a mature reader. All the philosophy is from the left hand path. It has a lot of tantric influences and magic. The Rig Veda was another big influence. A lot of dark themes are touched upon — cannibalism, rape, graphic sexuality, violence, modern-day issues like police brutality, attitudes and reflection on capitalism and communism,” says Ari, adding that, “Kuru is totally a work of fiction. It is dedicated to the Gods, the city of Calcutta, to Ma Durga — all of that. It takes from the scriptures and borrows from the Vedas but its modern day tale.”

In addition to the Vedas, “There is an Aghori influence and also influences from the Kalki Purana, Upanishads. I also read a book called Aghora: At the Left Hand of God by Robert E. Svoboda. I went out there; got to know more about the aghoris, spoke to some of them. There is also a lot of modern influence — varies from Pink Floyd to Michael Haneke to Lars von Trier and Takashi Miike, Japanese anime, heavy metal music,” he says.

The book, which is self-published, is slated to be released at the New York comicon later this year and Ari hopes to translate it into different languages and also attempt a psychedelic coloured Japanese version, “I have travelled to festivals all over the country with my art. I must say, people have been very supportive.”

He has recently come out with the Kuru circus — a haunting, ethereal track that seeks to explore the sound scape of the Kuru Chronicles and is also looking at a cinematic translation of Kuru.

It certainly seems that for Ari, there is no looking back. “Working on this project has over times changed my own ideas and Kuru is at some level definitely an expression of my own spiritual leanings. I am not the same person who I was when I started the book.”

  Photos: Sreenivasa Murthy V.

link – > Continued from Page 1

Continued from Page 1

Ari, a self-taught artist has dabbled in various forms of visual art as long as he remembers, “I have done different things in my career. I’ve done visual effects, worked as a concept artist and even an illustrator. I do a lot of photography and was a photographer for sometime in Boston and New York,” he says adding that his tryst with photography helped him in Kuru art. “A lot of the photographs got translated into drawing. I do a lot of digital manipulation; it gives photographs an abstract, surreal feel.”

Talking about the origin of Kuru, he says, “It all began December 2010. I was watching a documentary on Kuru on TV and met a few aghoris at the Ganga Sagar mela later that year and then I read Svobodha’s Aghora . One thing lead to another and what happened was the chapter names came up one night. I had no idea what were in the chapters and what it was going to be about. I didn’t know it would be called the Kuru chronicles. But obviously these things were at the back of my head subconsciously and seven drawings of abstract faces came out one night in Calcutta. I don’t know who they were but I know it had to fit into the story somewhere.”

It was a friend who ran a festival at Bombay who invited him to display his work there, “People liked what they saw and over time I developed more art work. Over a couple of years a substantial amount of work came out, around 800 pages — four books, 26 chapters.”

The story, which is set mostly in a dystopian version of Calcutta follows the lives of five characters —Dakini, Sen, Kala Hari, Shivali and Devika, “Kuru begins with the five of them and also kind of ends with them,” says Ari adding that Kuru spans a 17-year period. “They are all in their late teens when it begins. Dakini is the protagonist of the Kuru Chronicles and this is more or less her journey and evolution. There is complete disintegration all around her and she basically needs to keep it all together. ”

The book is certainly not for the faint-hearted however, “It is for a mature reader. All the philosophy is from the left hand path. It has a lot of tantric influences and magic. The Rig Veda was another big influence. A lot of dark themes are touched upon — cannibalism, rape, graphic sexuality, violence, modern-day issues like police brutality, attitudes and reflection on capitalism and communism,” says Ari, adding that, “Kuru is totally a work of fiction. It is dedicated to the Gods, the city of Calcutta, to Ma Durga — all of that. It takes from the scriptures and borrows from the Vedas but its modern day tale.”

In addition to the Vedas, “There is an Aghori influence and also influences from the Kalki Purana, Upanishads. I also read a book called Aghora: At the Left Hand of God by Robert E. Svoboda. I went out there; got to know more about the aghoris, spoke to some of them. There is also a lot of modern influence — varies from Pink Floyd to Michael Haneke to Lars von Trier and Takashi Miike, Japanese anime, heavy metal music,” he says.

The book, which is self-published, is slated to be released at the New York comicon later this year and Ari hopes to translate it into different languages and also attempt a psychedelic coloured Japanese version, “I have travelled to festivals all over the country with my art. I must say, people have been very supportive.”

He has recently come out with the Kuru circus — a haunting, ethereal track that seeks to explore the sound scape of the Kuru Chronicles and is also looking at a cinematic translation of Kuru.

It certainly seems that for Ari, there is no looking back. “Working on this project has over times changed my own ideas and Kuru is at some level definitely an expression of my own spiritual leanings. I am not the same person who I was when I started the book.”

You are always in our thoughts !

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

Second Death Anniversary (13-7-2013)

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…two 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]

By educating a girl, we can educate an entire community!

As a matter of principle, we do not endorse or give info about appeals for donations for the simple reason that we are not in a position to verify and check the genuineness or otherwise of these appeals.
But, an exception is made in the appeal made by Hariharan Emerald Bhojan [though I have never met him]  since I believe that he is doing something really good.
I strongly believe that ‘education‘ can be a very effective panacea for all evils’

Wg Cdr JP

Dear Friends,

Here is an appeal…

Our recent trip to Mel Seemey on 9th & 10th Dec 2012 was very fruitful and was an occasion to introspect on the message of life. God has given everybody a job to fulfill before he takes us away. Some of us realise it, some of us don’t. But, it is never too late to question ourselves and our existence on earth.

At BMS, all our core members have joined together with a single agenda, an agenda to improve the lives of the most poorer and deserving section of our Community since we all are Hethappa Makka, the children of our Ayya & Hetthe. Helping our own people firstly gives us a sense of fulfillment and a purpose to live.

On those lines, we have identified 5 deserving candidates who come from varied backgrounds.

1) N.Sukanya, Female, 21, Married, 2 Children, Daily wages Labourer, Mel Seemey Hosahatty, completed +2 with 732 marks. She is interested in being a staff nurse.

2) N.Roja, Female, 19, Married, 1 Child, Daily wages Labourer, Mel Seemey Hosahatty, completed 10th with 397 marks. She is interested in pursuing a diploma in Engineering.

3) K.Vijayalakshmi, Female, 18 Yrs, single, working in a textile mill as a daily wages labourer, Mel Seemey Hosahatty, completed 10th with 326 marks. She is interested in joining +2 or pursue diploma in Engineering.

4) K.Nandagopal, Male, 19 Yrs, single, studying 2nd Yr B.Sc Comp.Sci at Stahyamangalam, Mel Seemey Hosahatty, sold his government given laptop to fund his 1st year fees. The 2nd year fees is in question, banks are unwilling to give loans due to agricultural defaults earlier, dad is planning to sell 1 acre of his land if he can’t get through any reliable source of funds.

5) A.Ashok, Male, 19 Yrs, single, working as a waiter in a restaurant, Punajanur Badaga Village in Karnataka, passed 10th std with 274 marks. He would like to join a course in catering.

BMS is determined to fund all their studies and bring a change in their lives. We have started a fund, details given below, for funding the same.

MEL SEEME GIRLS EDUCATION FUND
Bank: CORPORATION BANK, ERODE
A/c No: 005400101020463
IFSC: CORP0000054
SWIFT CODE: CORPINBB

We request all members to donate liberally for the well being of our own brothers and sisters at Mel Seemey.

Nanga Hetthappana punniya nanga ellagoo serali, aaru seemeyu singara hagali!

Team BMS.

Celebrating a Century!

A century is always a time for celebration in any field, specially so when it relates to age.

Having lost my mother at the age of 99 years and 10 months, I know how it feels to have a dear and near one to reach that ‘land mark’.

Wishing a long life to B.Mani Hatti Sivama Hethai’, we bow our heads and  seek her blessings,

 “Hethey, Engava Harachu

Photo and info courtesy – Hariharan Emerald Bhojan in FB
You are already a blessed man JP anna. Im sure...
Hariharan Emerald Bhojan
You are already a blessed man JP anna. Im sure my Hethai’s blessings are with you, no doubt. She is the one who told me tales of your beloved uncle and the undisputed hero of Badugaru, H.B.Ari Gowder. Old is gold !

Badaga Mahajana Sangha – we are proud of you!

I had heard from by late brother Nanja about 50 years back, about ‘ a group of Badagas living in Chamarajnagar in a few “hattis” around Hasanoor, my curiosity to learn more about them kept growing. He had mentioned about the the Badagas there selling their milk products through the bus drivers/conductors.

That is the time I realised the true meaning of the proverb ‘Hasanoor haala gudippadhuna, Neelagiria neera gudiipadhu mel – Better to drink the water in Nilgiris than the milk in Hasaroor’. [The different interpretations of this proverb will be discussed in a future post]

Since, we travel to Bangalore from Nilgiris quite often till a couple of years back, we decided that we must take the Sathyamangalam – Nanjangud – Mysore- Bangalore route just to visit Hasanoor to learn first hand about the Badagas of Hasanoor and other nearby villages- hattis. So we undertook the journey a few years back in my ‘ever faithful’ Maruti van but could not reach Hasanoor as the road was under major repairs and it was too risky in my 1986 model van.

However, we did meet one Dhona, a Badaga at the junction of Hasanoor junction and I had written a post on that.

Though there was bits and pieces of information about these Badagas, as part and at the same time different from the main stream ‘Badagas of the Blue Mountains – Nakku Betta, it was only after reading Emerald Bhojan Hari’s detailed narratives mainly in ‘Badaga Mahajan Sangha’ and other forums, I learnt a great deal about these ‘forgotten’ kith and kin of ours. The wealth of information about these ‘countrycousins’ in MEL SEEMAY posted in Badaga Mahajana Sangha FB page is quite a lot. There are plenty of beautiful pictures posted by Raghu Joghee and others.

BMS has not just stopped with sharing the information but have taken the initiative of educating some of those deserving girls and boys belonging to Mel Seemay hattis; Hari and his friends in BMS, have donated liberally and adopted these villages. The great strides taken by this bunch of youngsters and their truly laudable initiatives and efforts are indeed both motivating and ‘educative’.

BMS – Badaga Mahajana Sangha – has not stopped with mere words, but shown what true Badaga Hospitality really means.

For all those who form the backbone of BMS, we are proud of you.