Are we, the Badaga Community, at the cross roads?
With drastic changes that have engulfed every thing around us, how long can we stay and live unaffected?
With farming, especially growing vegetables [potato in particular] becoming a nightmare with monkey menace and green leaf tea prices on a free fall [mind you, still the tea leaf agents, tea factories, tea brokers are all making money when the actual small tea growers are feeling the pinch of low price that has fallen below Rs.10/- per kg], agriculture that has always associated with Badagas has become an alien word.
With more and more people being forced to leave their villages/Hatties, both for economic and unimaginable reasons [like what happened in Nanjanaadu], following centuries old customs and traditions are becoming difficult.
Added to this is the growing ‘fashion’ among the young and eligible adults to marry ‘outsiders’ that is driving a society to the brink.
Last but the most disturbing is the conversion to ‘another religion’ that has not shown any decline.
Will there be a Badaga Society that is so proud of its unique history, origin, culture, customs, rituals, language and lifestyle, fifty years down the line?