Monthly Archives: July 2015

Homage to Justice E.J. Bellie

Homage to Justice E.J. Bellie by Mrs.Indu.K.Mallah iyya 2 Justice E.J.Bellie

[12-5-1932 to 14-6-2015]

With the demise of Justice E.J.Bellie in Chennai on 14-6-2015, the judicial world has lost an icon who epitomised integrity, straight-forwardness, impartiality, strength of character, and an unwavering sense of justice, under-pinned by a wholesome goodness of heart. (Was it Somerset Maugham who said: “Goodness is the greatest force on earth?”)

Born into a family which held high dharmic values, in Ellithorai, in the Nilgiris,  Justice Bellie had his early education in  Coonoor and Coimbatore, and took his B.L. degree  from Madras Law College in 1956. Soon after his appointment as advocate, he set up an independent practice in Ooty. He was appointed twice as Govt. Pleader- cum- Public Prosecutor  at Ooty. He was selected as District Judge by direct recruitment in 1973. In a steadily-rising legal career, he served in various capacities as Additional Judge, City Civil Court in Madras, Additional District Judge, Madurai, District Judge, Ramanathapuram, and Chief Editor, Tamil Law Reports, Madras. After serving the State Subordinate Judiciary for circa twelve years, he was elevated as Judge of the Madras High Court in 1985, a post he held until his superannuation in 1994.

As the Chief Justices of Madras High Court, and companion judges sitting on the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court mentioned at a condolence meeting for Justice Bellie at the Madras High Court, “Some of Justice Bellie’s judgments, which are reflected in various law journals, bear ample testimony to his deep insight into the intricacies of law, and his earnestness in the (understanding) of human problems. By reason of his conscientious devotion to duty, his cool and unperturbed attitude in court , and fairness to both sides in giving a patient hearing, he endeared himself to one and all. His simplicity, courtesy, and humane attitude endeared him to both the judiciary, and the litigant public… It was said that Judgeship sat very lightly on his shoulders.”

Invoking the great Greek philosopher, Socrates, in his farewell address to Justice Bellie on his superannuation, the then Advocate General Shri R. Krishnamurthy said that he possessed the qualities of courteous hearing, wise answering, sober consideration, and impartial decision, as advocated  by Socrates as requisites in a judge, in full measure. Quoting the Dharma Shastras, about the office of a judge, the Advocate General observed:

“He should be learned, sagacious, eloquent, dispassionate, and impartial; he should pronounce judgments’ only after due deliberation and enquiry; he should be a guardian to the weak, a terror to the wicked; his heart should covet nothing, but equity and truth.Justice Bellie conformed to the afore-mentioned qualities, and won the hearts of the Bar and the litigant public.” He commended the  Hon. Judge for dispensing justice without fear or favour, true to the oath taken by him, which is the greatest tribute that can be paid by the Bar to any judge.

After his retirement as High Court Judge in 1994, Justice Bellie was posted as the President Of the State Consumer Redressal Commission, Tamil Nadu. It was during his tenure that I was appointed to the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in The Nilgiris, and I can vouch for his impartiality, his high code of ethics, and his dignified demeanour  during my five-year tenure. Subsequently, he was appointed as a member of the Advisory Board Of Pondicherry. In addition, his services were also sought by TADA.

It is a telling commentary that Justice Bellie is the only High Court Judge to hail from the Nilgiris so far.

To invoke Socrates again,  his final words when he was forced to drink the hemlock, were :

“Beloved Pan, and all ye other gods who haunt this city,
Give me beauty of the inward soul,
And may my outward possessions be in harmony with my spirit;
May I reckon the wise to be the wealthy,
And those who need the least to be most like the gods.”

Those of us who knew Justice Bellie best know how dispassionate he was to materialism. In fact he was a vairagyi in the best sense of the word. It is a silent testimony to Justice Bellie’s luminous, highly-evolved soul, that he was in deep meditation when he breathed his last.

My heart-felt condolences to his family.

Yet another pillar falls…
Mentor, you have fulfilled your destiny, but have left us bereft;
Your sense of duty was your vertical axis,
Your goodness of heart, your horizontal,
With your insight keeping the balance.

When a just man dies,
The death he deals,
is greater than the death which has swallowed him ;
Anna, daari doora, jama kathalai.

What you were, you were,
What you are fated to become, depends on us.
Remembering your death,
How we choose to live, will decide it’s meaning.

In homage, in desolation, in grief, Your ‘sister’,  Indu K.Mallah



Mrs.Indu K.Mallah, is an articulate social activist whose articles and book reviews regularly appear in many News Papers. She is the First Badaga who has published a novel in English – ‘Shadows In Dream-time’, which, inter alia has been compared to James Joyce’ “Finnegan’s Wake “. Her plays have been aired on BBC Radio.



‘Youth who spent 15 yrs plucking tea leaves joins IIM-L’

Info courtesy Krishnan Rangaswamy ‘Saw an article today [28July2015] in the Times of India, which does the Badaga community proud’

Times Of India

[Mumbai] Isha Jain, TNN | Jul 27, 2015

Lucknow: June 20 was an unforgettable day for this 26-year-old Thane youth, who spent 15 years of his life plucking tea leaves. It was the day Naresh Kumar got a call from an Indian Institute of Management, making him perhaps the first from the indigenous Badaga community of the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu to have entered the hallowed institution.20150728_182606
After belling the CAT with 94.5 percentile, the call from IIM-Lucknow evoked part joy, part worry in him. Although it sounded “like a fairytale,” the family went into the thinking mode instead of celebrating. “We barely had any funds. I got a call on June 20 and had to join on June 22,” Naresh told TOI.
Hailing from Konavukkarai village in Nilgiris district of Ooty, Naresh is one among 422 students who have got into the post-graduate programme in management in IIM-L’s 2015-17 batch.
Son of a retired stenographer at ACC Cement, Naresh has donned several hats to support his family, which lives in a one-room semi-pucca house in Thane, where they moved after his father’s transfer in the late 1990s.
While studying at SVPM School, Naresh assisted his mother in offering tutions. After school, in 2006, he joined Datta Meghe College of Engineering, affiliated to Mumbai University. To fund his education, Naresh’s father, Raghupathi, took a loan from his company. With little money to buy books, Naresh sat in his college library for hours to study. “I never bought college books. In school, we could arrange it from senior students,” recalled Naresh, adding, “There were days when we slept hungry.”
When in Class VI, he began to pluck tea leaves to add to the family income. “I hold over 15 years of experience in plucking tea leaves. And I love to pluck them even now,” he says with pride. “All my life, I have seen my father work day and night just to earn an extra penny. This is all that I could do for them,” he says. And by the time he was in Class XI, he was offering part-time tutions.

His hard work bore fruit and he got a break at Infosys during campus placement. After working as a trainee leader for two years in Mysore and one year as a web developer in Pune, Naresh quit in 2013 to assist his mother in tutions. IIMs, too, were on his mind.
“All the money which I had saved while I worked went into paying off loans, bringing us back to square one,” said Naresh. He therefore worked hard for two years to make his dream of joining an IIM come true.
Naresh got his first cellphone when he was in the final year of college. “I could hardly afford a phone. It was a gift from my father’s boss to him for his service. My dad gifted it to me,” said Naresh. After coming to IIM-L, he has finally bought a smartphone. “My friends here downloaded WhatsApp and taught me how to use it,” said Naresh.
After he passes out two years later, Naresh said he “will let the entrepreneurial streak in me unwind. I will go back to my village and start a tea factory. In my district, agriculture is in bad shape. The tea rates for farmers have been by just Rs 4-5 in past two decades. Relatively, the market rates in this period have been more than doubled,” he says. At IIM-L, the first project he is doing is on understanding how the tea industry across the country works.20150728_182606

Bharat Ratna Dr.Abdul Kalam – RIP

There are very few people and personalities who make a difference in our lives, though we have never met them. Their words and deeds are an automatic inspiration.

Bharat Ratna Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was such a person.

His sudden demise has affected us deeply as if a very close family member is no more.

His simple advise “Dare to Dream” is one of the inspirations to create the Badaga Websites.

I have always marvelled at the future vision of this ‘simply’ great person be it the interlinking of the rivers in our country or the need to develop a strong defence missile programme. He believed in this nation remaining strong and become a developed nation by 2020.

Will we respect and reach that destination?

May his soul rest in peace.

Sullivan’s school that would produce a President

 The late, lamented former President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam was a product of the Schwartz Higher Secondary School, Ramanathapuram, which heralded English education in India in the late 18th century.

English education in India began at the Schwartz schools in 1787 founded by Rev. Schwartz and Rt.Hon. John Sullivan who was Resident at Tanjore with ‘control over districts south of Cauvery’.

Rt.Hon. John Sullivan, father of John Sullivan, the founder of modern Nilgiris, believed  that if some of the higher classes of natives were educated in English, they would have a new world of knowledge opened to them and  there would be a better chance of the establishment of mutual confidence. 

The Directors of East India Company accepted the argument and decided to financially support it at a time when even England had no public educational policy or educational department. The Sullivan-Schwartz schools were established in Tanjore, Kumbakonam, Ramanthapuram and Trichy areas.

Later, the Governor General of India, Lord William Bentinck, who was earlier Governor of Madras and was influenced by the functioning of the Sullivan schools, summoned, during his sojourn at Ooty in 1834,  Lord Macaulay to commence his famous  Minute on Education, which adopted the ‘Madras system of English schools’  to the whole of India. The popularity of the Sullivan-Schwartz schools led to the creation of the first university in India at Madras.  

Dharmalingam Venugopal, Nilgiri Documentation Centre, Kotagiri, 9444365360

Badaga Names

Badaga Names

“What is in a name, a rose smells the same by any other name” so said a great poet. But is it so ? In the context of preserving the culture of a community, the names given to both persons and places can play a very crucial part.

In our history of many thousand years, naming of places was generally and literally linked to NATURE. Be it on names given to villages like ‘Bikka Mora Hatti [Olive Tree Village]’ or ‘Hubbathale [Chinese Pagoda tree/grass]’ or ‘Osa Hatti [New Village]’.

Badagas had [ I am very sad to use ‘past tense’ here] a great tradition of naming their children after their ancestors, usually a deceased grand parent. By this they not only ensured that the dead are constantly remembered but also to differentiate Badaga as an unique entity as a tribe with their own traditions and customs.

Jayaprakash, Sabbarish, Yudhister, Abhishek, Parmesh, Ramesh, Satish, Vivek, Vinodh Bhuvanesh or Shalini, Shakila, Sudhalini, Nivideta, Kaushalya etc are, hold your breadth, some of the names of the so called modern(?) Badaga men and women. If you have to identify persons only from the names, then the above mentioned could be from any part of our country.

Contrast these with names like Bellie, Jogi, Kada, Hala, Sevana, Jevana, Moracha, Nandhi, Ari, Boja, Bella, Ajja, Madha or Kangi, Nanji, Madhi, Kade, Masi, Dhali. Straight away, these names not only point to Badagas but also remind us of our great ancestors.

I have always wondered, why being from a ‘STAUNCH BADAGA’fied family I was named Jayaprakash. My mom told me that when I was to be named in 1948, a much elder cousin who was both a bully and the first of his generation, insisted on this name because he was a follower of Jayaprakash Narain. Of course, the consolation is that in our generation (one earlier to the present one) everybody was compulsorily given a Badaga name also. For example, my Badaga name is JEVANA. Unfortunately, while registering the name for joining the school, the Badaga name was not included and hence Jayaprakash -and the short form of JP -got stuck. In one of those ironies of fate, when I had to give the [initials expanded] name to join the Indian Air Force as a commissioned officer, my father’s name Bellie became my first name [and since we do not have a family name common to all brothers and sisters], Bellie is how I am known these days and yes, I am quite happy about it.

If we continue to name our children as we do now by following the blind and bad advise of some ‘IYER’ who advises that the name has to start with X or Y, we can surely and sadly bury one of our best traditions of NAMING our children only with Badaga names and thus preserving and protecting our culture and KULA (clan).

The least we can do is, while naming the new born babies, ensure that a Badaga name is also given and that Badaga name is definitely included in the school records as well as for other important requirements like voter ID, passport etc.

[On a personal note, on our part we (my wife & I) have ensured that our children’s names include Badaga names ARI & NANJI [Rao Bahadur Ari Gowda was great grandfather to my son from my wife’s side and Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowda’s wife Nanji was great grandmother to my daughter from my side] along with their other names which were chosen by the ‘modernists’ in which I had no say (sob sob)]

As a first step, may I request the readers to list out all the old, original and exclusive Badaga names (both male and female) and give a serious thought to this serious problem. The names of all GODS/GODDESS is not considered original / traditional.

Some names that come to my mind :

Male names :

◾Ari, Ajja, B(h)oja, Bellie, Bela(Mada), Bella, B(h)eema, Bidia, Bulla, Dona, Gedda, Gujja, Hala, Hiriya, Jevana, Jogi, Kada, Kariabetta, Kakkamalla, Kalla, Kari, Kulla, Linga, Madha, Madiya, Moracha, Nandi, Nanja, Pada, Pokka, Raju, Ranga, Sevana, Sele, Thatha, Thippa.

Female names :
◾Beeki, Bulli, Chenne, Chinna, Doni, D(h)ali, Gange, Gangamma, Gauri, Giriji, Hali, Hallamma, Hui, Jevani, Kade, Kangi, Lingi, Madi, Malle, Masi, Nanji, Panne, Paru, Rukki, Sevani, Sing(a)ri.

Found this info in the special issue of Kovai Badagar Sangam [1982] – by M.Parvathi and B.Ramamurthy

Popular Badaga Names

Male :
◾Ajja, Andi, Appi, Ari, Bella, Bellie, Bemma, B(h)oja, B(h)ola, Bijja, Bulla, Chevana, Dhona, Dhooma, Dhunda, Dolla, Gedda, Gejje, Gilla, Gowda, Gujja, Hala, Halli, Hiriya, Hucha, Huchi, Joghee, Jogha, Kada, Kakkamalla, Kala, Kali, Kalla, Kari, Komb, Konga, Krishna, Kunda, Linga, Macha, Madha, Madia, Malla, Malli, Matha, Morcha, Nanja, Nandi, Pamba, Peela, Rama, Ranga, Sakkarai, Sakkolai, Selai, Senna, Setti, Sevana, Singri, Sirangi, Thippa

Female :
◾Akkama, Beeki, Bijji, Chevani, Chinnamma, Devi, Dhundi, Gangi, Gavari, Haalamma, Haali, Honni, Jevani, Kade, Kali, Keppi, Lingi, Madhi, Mallai, Maanikka, Mallajji, Maasi, Michi, Nanji, Peeri, Rangi, Rani, Rukki, Sennai , Sirigi, Thippi

[please also read the page BADAGA NAMES ]

You are an inspiration in life and death

Death anniversary of Mrs.Idyammal Bellie Gowder

mom-6a_edited-lb.jpg02-09-1912  — 13-07-2011

You gave everything to us when you were alive – the greatest of them all being EDUCATION. You ensured that all your eight children, including three girls, got both school and college education even when the times were difficult and hard. Your elder brother Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder was a solid support to our family.

In life, You were an inspiration. In death, you are a greater inspiration.

Mom and Hethe, we miss you. We bow our heads in respect and seek your blessings – wherever You are!

Taking life for granted

Please spend a few minutes to read this – it may make a HUGE difference in life (after death}

Letter written by a wife after her husband’s death in an accident

“Few things I learnt after my husband’s death:-

We always believe we will live forever. Bad things always happen to others.

Only when things hit us bang on your head you realise… Life is so unpredictable….

My husband was an IT guy, All technical. And I am a chartered accountant. Awesome combination you may think.

Techie guy so everything is on his laptop. His to do list. His e-bill and his bank statements in his email. He even maintained a folder which said IMPWDS wherein he stored all login id and passwords for all his online accounts. And even his laptop had a password. Techie guy so all the passwords were alpha-numeric with a special character not an easy one to crack. Office policy said passwords needed to be changed every 30 days. So every time I accessed his laptop I would realize it’s a new password again. I would simply opt for asking him ‘What’s the latest password instead of taking the strain to memorize it.

You may think me being a Chartered Accountant would means everything is documented and filed properly. Alas many of my chartered accountant friends would agree that the precision we follow with our office documents and papers do not flow in to day to day home life. At office you have be epitome of Reliability / Competent / Diligent etc but. At home front there is always a tomorrow.

One fine morning my hubby expired in a bike accident on his way home from office.. He was just 33. His laptop with all his data crashed. Everything on his hard disk wiped off. No folder of IMPWDS to refer back to. His mobile with all the numbers on it was smashed. But that was just the beginning. I realised I had lot to learn.

9 years married to one of the best human beings with no kids just the two of us to fall back on but now I stood all alone and lost.

Being chartered accountant helped in more ways than one but it was not enough. I needed help. His saving bank accounts, his salary bank accounts had no nominee. On his insurance his mom was the nominee and it was almost 2 years back she had expired. But this was just a start. I didn’t know the password to his email account where all his e-bill came. I didn’t know which expenses he paid by standing instructions.

His office front too was not easy. His department had changed recently. I didn’t know his reporting boss name to start with when had he last claimed his shift allowance, his mobile reimbursement.

The house we bought with all the excitement on a loan thought with our joint salary we could afford the EMI. when the home loans guys suggested insurance on the loan, we decided the instead of paying the premium the difference in the EMI on account of the insurance could be used pay towards prepayment of the loan and get the tenure down. We never thought what we would do if we have to live on a single salary. So now there was huge EMI to look into .

I realised I was in for a long haul.

Road accident case. So everywhere I needed a Death certificate, FIR report, Post Mortem report. For everything there were forms running into pages indemnity bonds, notary, surety to stand up for you. No objections certificates from your co-heirs.

I learnt other than your house, your land, Your car, your bike are also your property. So what if you are the joint owner of the flat you don’t become the owner just because your hubby is no more. So what if your hubby expired in the bike accident and you are the nominee but if the bike is in a repairable condition .you have to get the bike transferred in your name to claim the insurance. And that was again not easy. The bike or car cannot be transferred in your name without going through a set of legal documents. Getting a Succession Certificate is another battle all together.

Then came the time you realise now you have to start changing all the bills, assets in your name. Your gas connection, electricity meter, your own house, your car, your investments and all sundries. And then change all the nominations where your own investments are concerned. And again a start of a new set of paperwork.

To say I was shaken my whole life had just turned upside down was an understatement. You realise you don’t have time to morn and grieve for the person with whom you spend the best years of your life. Because you are busy sorting all the paper work.

I realised then how much I took life for granted. I thought being a chartered accountant I am undergoing so many difficulties, what would have happened to someone who was house maker who wouldn’t understand this legal hotchpotch.

A sweet friend then told me dear this was not an end, you have no kids, your assets will be for all who stand to claim. After my hubby’s sudden death. I realised it was time I took life more seriously. I now needed to make a Will. I would have laughed if a few months back if he had asked me to make one. But now life had taken a twist.

Lessons learnt this hard way were meant to be shared. After all why should the people whom we love the most suffer after we are no more. Sorting some paperwork before we go will at least ease some of their grief.

1. Check all your nominations.
It’s a usual practice to put a name (i.e in the first place if you have mentioned it) and royally forget about it. Most of us have named our parent as a nominee for investments, bank accounts opened before marriage. We have not changed the same even years after they are no longer there with us. Even your salary account usually has no nomination.. Kindly check all your Nominations.
– Bank Accounts
– Fixed Deposits, NSC
– Bank Lockers
– Demat Accounts
– Insurance (Life, Bike or Car or Property)
– Investments
– PF Pension Forms

2. Passwords.
We have passwords for practically everything. Email accounts, Bank accounts, even for the laptop you use. What happens when your next in kin cannot access any of these simply because they do not know your password… Put it down on a paper.

3. Investments.
Every year for tax purpose we do investments. Do we maintain a excel sheet about it. If so is it on the same laptop of which the password you had not shared. Where are those physical investments hard copy.

4. Will.
Make a Will. I know you will smile even I would had I not gone through all what I did. It would have made my life lot easier a lot less paperwork. I wouldn’t had to provide an indemnity bond, get it notarised, ask surety to stand up, no objections certificates from others…

5. Liabilities.
When you take a loan say for your house or car. Check out on all the what if, what if I am not there tomorrow, what if I loose my job. Will the EMI still be within my range. If not get an insurance on the loan. The people left behind will not have to worry on something as basic as their own house.

My battles have just begun… But let us at least try and make few changes so that our loved ones would not suffer after we go. We do not know what will happen in the future. But as the Scout motto goes: Be prepared ”


[recd as fwd email]

Ari Gowda – the great Badaga Leader

Ari Gowder

Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder from Hubbathalai remains to be one of the greatest leaders of not only Badagas for for the entire district of the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu. His services to the community and his philanthropic deeds are still spoken about, though he passed away in 1971. One of his most important achievements was the establishment of NCMS – Nilgiris Cooperative Marketing Society at Ooty that helped a large number of small farmers by releasing them out of the clutches of middlemen. NCMS was considered as the best Co-Op Society in India. Read more about Ari Gowder here.

On the 45th anniversary of his death on 28 June 2015, a function was held at NCMS, Ooty to remember and pay respects to Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder.

DMalar AG[Above report from Dinamalar 29-06-2015]

On behalf of Ari Gowder family, we put on record our deep gratitude and appreciation to the organisers of the above function.