[Nilgiri Documentation Centre, Kotagiri]
The Nilgiri district administration’s open mind to consider the positive winds of change among the feuding factions of the Badaga community is praise worthy. However, a lasting solution to the recurring problem and a competent body to take over the YBA Building should take into to account representations from across the Badaga community.
Badagas have always been socially conscious and have been forming various associations and advocacy groups to spread social, cultural, economic and ecological awareness among the community. A federation of all such groups will be the best representative body of the Badagas to manage common community assets like the YBA building and to make representation to district, state and central administrations on the problems and welfare of the Badaga community.
All registered social, cultural and economic welfare associations including bajan and music groups and modern groups based on websites and social media as well as documentation centres can form an umbrella organization which may be called All Nilgiris Badagas Union (ANBU ) or GAVA, the equivalent of the word love in Badaga.
Only such a federation would reflect the glorious traditions of the Badagas together with the high achievements and aspirations of the community spread world over. Such a body will be capable of bringing all the two lakh odd Badagas under its active fold, mobilize enough funds and undertake necessary welfare and developmental activities.
The management can be of two tiers. The traditional leaders or the Parpathis and can be the patrons of the Union whose functioning can be managed by an Executive council with due representations to the four Nadus and the various eligible associations. A management consultant can be engaged to frame the criteria of eligibility, functions, laws and bylaws. The Union should be the sole voice to represent the Badaga view to the administration and mediate in local issues and disputes.
The YBA building can be managed professionally by a paid Manager and a Accountant, preferably non-Badagas, to the satisfaction of all groups.
A library and a cultural gallery depicting the history and culture of the Badaga community should be the top priority of the new management.
Mahendra commented on Need for All Nilgiri Badagas Union (ANBU)
Sir, there is no doubt, our community needs a bonding body which can interact with every village. I hope all the seniors and experience elders like you can take up this task by approaching every village. As you have mentioned that Badagas have always been socially conscious and if every house becomes a member for the association then the bargaining power may increase. Badaga words for abbreviation only may give emotional touch for naming the association. beyond this with my limited knowledge, to get social identity, I humbly wish to suggest a celebration every year on a great personality who worked for the up lift meant of our community. District administration may be approached for the celebration and have a statue of such a personality at Coonoor or Ooty. Through my grand father I came to know about one of the great personalities Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder, the great man who lit the light of education to our community. Like him other great personalities might be there in our community and those personalities can be remembered. Finally we must respect our community ladies for their hard work which helped our community’s development along with education.
Bellie N commented on Need for All Nilgiri Badagas Union (ANBU)
Dear Mr Venugopal, Your article seem very good and productive. If it is implemented our community will be united in alll aspects, and will get good knowledge about our culture and all. But unfortunately there was a Federation of all of our community Associations. The first hurdle started at that stage only. The ego and power fight between the Federation and YBA started and some unnecessary difficulties started there. At one stage all the leaders of Federation and YBA decided to stop the functioning of Federation. OK past is past.
I humbly suggest all our leaders to prefer YBA as our Apex Body for all the Badaga Organizations throught the Nation and Abroad. Any Association started at any place in India and abroad should be affiliated with YBA, and its name should be the same YBA followed by their respective area, like YBA, Coimbatore, YBA, Chennai and so on. As YBA is situated in our Native Nilgiris head Quarters, and all the Naakku Betta people are the members of YBA,, it is obviously the sole Association for our whole community. Of course all the other Associations, out of Nilgiris should be given representation in the Governing committee, and office. i hope it will be a welcome suggestion, I hope.
I welcome other opinion, to get a wide discussion in this matter.