Monthly Archives: September 2015

A Badaga for UN Summit at New York

NDC Director for UN Summit

The United Nations Summit for adoption of Post-2015 development agenda  is being held on September 25-27, 2015 at New York alongside the 70 session of the General Assembly. The Summit will approve a new agenda which will supersede the Millennium Development Goals as the common global agenda for the next fifteen years till 2030.

More than 150 world leaders including Prime Minister Mody are expected to attend the Summit to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda. This momentous agenda will serve as the launch pad for action by the international community and by national governments to promote shared prosperity and well-being for all over the next 15 years.

Representatives of Non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations from across the world will also be participating in the Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda.

Dharmalingam Venugopal, Honorary Director of Nilgiri Documentation Centre will be one of the  few NGO representatives to participate from India. He had earlier participated in the   United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio di Janeiro in 2012.

“As a member of the Mountain Partnership, which is a UN affiliated NGO, we have been campaigning for the  specific inclusion of mountain priorities in the Summit agenda. The draft report of the Summit tiltled, ‘Transforming Our World for People and Planet’  has accepted the inclusion in paras 6.6, 15.1 and 15.4  which will be approved at the end of the Summit’, said Mr. Venugopal.

Mr. Venugopal who is on a one month visit to the US said he will meet with Nilgiriologists in America and visit various libraries to seek copies of Nilgiri material available with them for the documentation centre.

VenugopalWishing Venugopal, a Badaga from Kannerimukku Village, all the very best. – Wg Cdr JP

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Netaji’s brother – under house arrest in Coonoor

A brother’s anguish at Bose’s death

scbose

Sarat Chandra Bose, the illustrious elder brother of Netaji was under house arrest in Coonoor in the Nilgiris when the latter died in an air crash in August 1945. Sarat Bose had been under arrest since December 1941 in various places for joining hands with Subhas Boses. It was from the newspapers that he came to know the devastating news of the death of his brother. The anguished entry in his prison diary on the fateful day read, ‘Divine Mother, how many sacrifices have we to offer at your altar! Terrible Mother, your blows are too hard to bear! Your last blow was the heaviest and cruelest of all.”

The two brothers, though temperamentally different, had a special bond.

The diary continued, ‘Four or five nights back I dreamt that Subhas had come to see me. He was standing on the verandah of this bungalow and appeared to have become very tall in stature. I jumped up to see his face. Almost immediately thereafter, he disappeared. I did not attach any meaning to the dream then’ But now’.

In a letter he wrote to his niece the same day, Sarat Bose lamented, ‘How shall I console you all , how shall I console myself’.

The district administration should consider erecting a plaque at the  Coonoor-Kotagiri road, near Sim’s Park, where he was imprisoned in a bungalow, mentioning Sarat Chandra Bose’s association with Coonoor at an eventful time in Indian history.

Dharmalingam Venugopal

[Nilgiri Documentation Centre,Kotagiri, 9444365360]

Badaga Chanting – ‘Aathikkodhu – Eay Aah Huv’

A visitor to this website SHIVA (luvableshiv@gmail.com) asks: Please enlighten us on ‘eay aah huv’ 

The beauty about Badaga community is not only the unique customs specific to the community but the steadfast belief with which atleast some of them are followed by Badagas with fervour. One of them is the loud chanting of ‘Athikkodhu – saying  EAY AH HOW – on certain but specific occasions. It is said that in earlier days [hundred of years back], when the Badaga villages [hattis] were separated by thick jungle forests , ‘athikkindu Hoppadhu ‘ – traversing the forest with loud athikkodhu chant – kept the wild animals away.

Three occasions come to mind immediately,

1) During “Hethay Habba’ – both when from every village the devotees go to Hethay temples at Beragani and Peddhuva as well as when the Hethay deity is taken to ‘Madi Halla -river’ for change into new dress once a year [and also whenever a hatti temple deity is taken on procession during habbas in hattis],

2) During weddings when the bride and groom are brought to the ‘Madhuvay Mane – wedding house,and the newly weds are taken to the temple and

3) On funerals when the widow is brought for ‘olay Kattodhu’ and the ‘akki eththuva ‘ procession starts from the ‘dhodda Mane’ to ‘saavu hanay ‘ where the corpse/body is kept before being taken for burial.

This loud ‘chanting /cry’ is made from the bottom of the stomach by a few leading the procession and repeated by the rest following them.

I have given the ‘live’ recordings of this unique chanting (recorded during a wedding [the band playing in the background] at Thambatty

and

at a funeral at Kundhey Ketchigatty)

See : https://badaga.co/badaga-chanting-athikkodhu/

Excellent article by an IAS officer on ‘INDIAN ARMY’ – a must read!

Excellent article by an IAS officer on “INDIAN ARMY” – a must read

We need a permanent solution to this tussle over emoluments so that the armed forces need only confront the enemies of the nation, says T.R.Ramaswami IAS.

Army

In the continuing debate on pay scales for the armed forces, there has to be a serious and transparent effort to ensure that the country is not faced with an unnecessary civil-military confrontation.That effort will have to come from the netas, who are the real and true bosses of the armed forces and not the civil bureaucracy. A solution may lie in what follows. This country requires the best armed forces, the best police and the best civil service. In fact that is what the British ensured.. By best one means that a person chooses which service he wants as per his desires/capabilities and not based on the vast differential in prospects in the various services.

How much differential is there?

Take Maharashtra, one of the most parsimonious with police ranks thus still retaining some merit –

The 1981 IPS batch have become 3-star generals, the 1987 are 2-star and the 1994 1-star.

In the army the corresponding years are 1972, 1975, 1979. ie a differential of 10-15 years. While the differential is more with the IAS, the variance with the IPS is all the more glaring because both are uniformed services and the grades are “visible” on the shoulders.

First some general aspects. Only the armed forces are a real profession, ie where you rise to the top only by joining at the bottom. We have had professors of economics become Finance Secretaries or even Governors of RBI. We have any number of MBBSs,engineers, MBAs, in the police force though what their qualifications lend to their jobs is a moot point. You can join at any level in the civil service, except Cabinet Secretary. A civil servant can move from Animal Husbandry to Civil Aviation to Fertilisers to Steel to yes, unfortunately, even to Defence. But the army never asks for Brigade Commanders or a Commandant of the Army War College or even Director General Military Intelligence, even from RAW or IB. Army officers can and have moved into organizations like IB and RAW but it is never the other way round. MBBS and Law graduates are only in the Medical or JAG Corps and do nothing beyond their narrow areas. Every Army Chief – in any army – has risen from being a commander of a platoon to company to battalion to brigade to division to corps to army.In fact the professionalism is so intense that no non-armoured corps officer ever commands an armoured formation , first and possibly only exception in world military history is General K. Sunderji.Perhaps it is this outstanding professionalism that irks the civil services.

Next, one must note the rigidity and steep pyramid of the army’s rank structure. In the civil services any post is fungible with any grade based on political expediency and the desires of the service. For example I know of one case where one department downgraded one post in another state and up-graded one in Mumbai just to enable someone continue in Mumbai after promotion!

You can’t fool around like this in the armed forces. A very good Brigadier cannot be made a Major-General and continue as brigade commander. There has to be a clear vacancy for a Major General and even then there may be others better than him. Further the top five ranks in the army comprise only 10% of the officer strength. Contrast this with the civil services where entire batches become Joint Secretaries.

Even the meaning of the word “merit” is vastly different in the army and the civil services. Some years back an officer of the Maharashtra cadre claimed that he should be the Chief Secretary as he was first in the merit list.Which merit list? At the time of entry more than 35 years before! The fact is that this is how merit is decided in the IAS and IPS. Every time a batch gets promoted the inter-se merit is still retained as at the time of entry. In other words if you are first in a batch at the time of entry, then as long as you get promoted, you continue to remain first! This is like someone in the army claiming that he should become chief because he got the Sword of Honour at the IMA. Even a Param Vir Chakra does not count for promotion, assuming that you are still alive. In the armed forces, merit is a continuous process – each time a batch is promoted the merit list is redrawn according to your performance in all the previous assignments with additional weightage given not only to the last one but also to your suitability for the next one.Thus if you are a Brigade Commander and found fit to become a Major General, you may not get a division because others have been found better to head a division. That effectively puts an end to your promotion to Lt. General.The compensation package must therefore address all the above issues. In each service, anyone must get the same total compensation by the time he reaches the ‘mode rank’ of his service. “Mode” is a statistical term it is the value where the maximum number of variables fall.

In the IAS normally everyone reaches Director and in the IPS it is DIG. In the army, given the aforementioned rank and grade rigidities and pyramidical structure, the mode rank cannot exceed Colonel. Thus a Colonel’s gross career earnings (not salary scales alone) must be at par with that of a Director. But remember that a Colonel retires at 54, but every babu from peon to Secretary at 60 regardless of performance.Further, it takes 18-20 years to become a Colonel whereas in that time an IAS officer reaches the next higher grade of Joint Secretary, which is considered equal to a Major General.These aspects and others – like postings in non-family stations – must be addressed while fixing the overall pay scales of Colonel and below. Thereafter a Brigadier will be made equal to a Joint Secretary, a Major-General to an Additional Secretary and a Lt. General to a Secretary. The Army Commanders deserve a new rank -Colonel General – and should be above a Secretary but below Cabinet Secretary. The equalization takes place at the level of Cabinet Secretary and Army Chief.

If this is financially a problem I have another solution. Without increasing the armed forces’ scales, reduce the scales of the IAS and IPS till they too have 20% shortage.

Done?

Even India ‘s corruption index will go down.

If the above is accepted in principle, there is a good case to review the number of posts above Colonel. Senior ranks in the armed forces have become devalued with more and more posts being created.But the same pruning exercise is necessary in the IAS and more so inthe IPS, where Directors General in some states are re-writing police manuals eg one is doing Volume I and another Volume II!

Further the civil services have such facilities as “compulsory wait” ie basically a picnic at taxpayers cost. And if you are not promoted or posted where you don’t want to go they seem able to take off on leave with much ease. In the army you will be court-martialled. Also find out how many are on study leave. The country cannot afford this.

Let not someone say that the IAS and IPS exams are tougher and hence the quality of the officers better. An exam at the age of 24 has to be tougher than one at the age of 16. The taxpaying citizen is not interested in your essay/note writing capabilities or whether you know Cleopatra’s grandfather.

As a citizen I always see the army being called to hold the pants of the civil services and the police and never the other way round. That’s enough proof as to who is really more capable. Also recall the insensitive statements made by the IG Meerut in the Aarushi case and the Home Secretary after the blasts. Further, when the IAS and IPS hopefuls are sleeping, eating and studying, their school mates, who have joined the army, stand vigil on the borders to make it possible for them to do so. Remember that the armed forces can only fight for above the table pay. They can never compete with the civil services and definitely not with the police for the under the table variety.

Finally, there is one supreme national necessity. The political class, not the bureaucracy – which represents the real civil supremacy better become more savvy on matters relating to the armed forces. Till then they are at the mercy of the civil service, who frequently play their own little war games. At ministerial level there are some very specialized departments eg Finance, Railways,Security (Home), Foreign and Defence, where split second decisions are necessary. It is always possible to find netas savvy in finance, foreign relations and railways. Security has been addressed in getting a former IPS officer as NSA at the level of a MoS.Is it time that a professional is also brought into the Defence Ministry as MoS? The sooner the better. In fact this will be better than a CoDS because the armed forces will have someone not constrained by the Army Act or Article 33 of the Constitution.Of course the loudest howls will come from the babus. The netas must realize that a divide and rule policy cannot work where the country’s security is concerned. Recall 1962?

Our army, already engaged in activities not core to their functions, including rescuing babies from borewells, should not have to engage in civil wars over their pay scales. I only hope our defence minister or anyone who would take a reasonable stand for defence forces ever gets to see this article.

It would definitely affect any person with an iota of integrity

reproduced for GK by me

source n credits :
http://iesmorg.blogspot.in/2010/07/article-by-ex-ias-offr-tr-ramaswamy.html

http://exairwarriorsgroup.blogspot.in/2010/04/read-this.html

regards

Titbits

BADAGA INSPIRATION

Newa : 11 Sep 2015

Mata Amritanandamayi, or Amma as she is fondly referred to, donated a whopping amount of Rs 100 crore to the Namami Gange project that aims to restore the Ganges River to its former pristine glory. 

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[The following post is reproduced ]
Badaga Inspiration
https://i1.wp.com/e.amritapuri.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/ashramdiary.jpg

I love watching the Badaga dance in Coimabatore. Two years back when Amma last was here, and again during Amma’s 53rd birthday celebrations in Amritapuri, they also enchanted the crowd – inspiring westerners, students, and Ashramites to join in . The same happened again this year. Young and old, men and women. Their rhythmic movements, graceful flowing hands and bodies, the beating of drums and call and response voices calls to the dancer inside us. It’s so primal, so natural, and so beautiful. 

One wonders how long these people have been dancing like this – how far back in time? How wonderful that India has been able to preserve these
timeless traditions.

For a while, I was content just taking photos, or watching from the sidelines – focusing on their movements. But I found my inner self wanting to join in. I stood there – conflicted – trying to overcome my inhibitions – people would look at me – a westerner in white awkwardly throwing his body around. But then some westerners did join in, the Badaga happy to show them the movements even as they were ‘throwing a wrench’ into the coordinated movements of those already dancing.

Still, I stood by the sidelines. Then, at the end of the first night, as Darshan ended, and the Badaga still playing, Amma Herself stood up to leave the stage – and made a full circle – turning round with the beat, no inhibition, no concerns. Just dancing…..

The next day, I knew the Badaga would be there again. Would I join in?

Around 2am, they were singing and dancing again. Again, I stood by the sidelines, thinking about how Amma was so natural, innocent when She danced. I recalled how Amma says it’s just not enough to stand at the shore of the ocean and just get your feet wet. You have to dive in. I recalled how I overcame my fears when I used to go firewalking (walking on hot coals) – I would stand there trying to convince myself that it would be fine. It just takes a leap of faith…

In a moment of surrender, I joined the line. I found myself behind a Badaga man who was more than happy to call out the movements and changes as we made our way around the circle. I loved it. At times, it was awkward, but once I got the jist of it, it seemed so natural, so beautiful. When we were in synch -hands, legs, arms, – it was so nice – like a huge drum circle when they reach that magical moment when all the drummers are connected and the music just flows. So did our bodies-around and around, faster and faster.

I can’t wait till the next time..

Sri Pati, USA
Coimbatore, 23 January 2007

[http://e.amritapuri.org/blogs/2007/347/]


Crossword in The Hindu about BADAGA

In ‘The Hindu’ newspaper of June 17,2008,<strong> crossword No.9252 carries the following clue for a six letter word for 5 Across:….. ” SHEEP’s CRY CAPTURES GADABOUT, A TRIBAL (6)”….. Yes. your guess is correct. Sheep’s cry is ‘BA’….. [Of course, as usual the answer to the crossword 9252 was given the next day June 18, 2008 in crossword no.9253]. Info Courtesy – my wife who is more fond of crosswords and sudoku than me – sob sob !!

….. See the crossword here !

hCW

[http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-miscellaneous/article1279073.ece]


Enna Alli Mutta Beda…

A couple of days back I received the following email  from David McCreedy :

I’m looking for translations for four sentences in Badaga to add to my web site:

Currently the site lists over 500 languages in their own writing systems, everything from Afrikaans to Zulu, ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics to Braille.

I realize this request is rather odd…  Please let me give you some background:  My best friend from college has, since graduation, traveled extensively for her employer.  So much in fact that she JOKES she only needs to know four phrases in the local language to get by:

1)  Where is my room?
2)  Where is the beach?
3)  Where is the bar?
4)  Don’t touch me there!
I am hoping that you can provide me with translations preferably using the native/normal writing system for the language as well as the Latin alphabet.
I will appreciate any effort you can make. Thank you,

And here is my reply :

Your email to me. Quite interesting. Here are the Badaga – equivalents –
1)  Where is my room? – Enna Roomu ellie? என்ன ரூமு எல்லி ?
2)  Where is the beach? – Beechu ellie hadadhey? பீச்சு எல்லி ஹடதெ?
3)  Where is the bar? – Baaru ellie hadadhey? பாரு எல்லி ஹடதெ?
4)  Don’t touch me there! – Enna allie mutta beda! என்ன அல்லி முட்ட பேட!

You can ‘see’ the Four Essential Travel Phrases at http://www.travelphrases.info/languages/badaga.htm

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Speciality Teas of Nilgiris to be displayed at GIM

Hubbathalai Nandi SIVAN, founder and chairman of Nilgiris Tea Foundation informs that Speciality Teas of Nilgiris will be displayed at  the Global Investors meet at Chennai.

sivan

Deccan Chronicle, 5th Sep 2014

SIVAN WITH Dr.Premnath

Sivan in traditional Badaga seelai receiving an award at New Delhi

Wishing Siva and his team all success.