our Badaga website

Nearing 400,000 hits…

That is a lot of hits for a website on BADAGA focused on a small ‘TRIBAL’ community of the Blue Mountains – the Nilgiris, in the southern part of India.

Bala with his wife Gayathri[J.B.Balasubramaniam, author of  ‘PAAME’ and an authority on Badaga, clarifies that ‘BADAGAS’ may be a hill tribe but is different from the ‘Primitive Tribal Groups‘ of Tamilnadu [all the six viz Todas, Kothas, Kurumas, Paniyas,Irulas and kattnayakas are based in the district  of Nilgiris  coming under the Schedule Tribes[ST]; based on social and economical factors as classified by the Government of India. We were discussing about recommendation of Tamilnadu Government to accord ST status for Badagas. 

It is always a pleasant and educative experience to share a thought with him. Incidentally, Bala’s second book on Badagas – PAAME-2 will be out soon.]

Is it due to…

a) the urge to know the unknown about ourselves….

as I have mentioned in a lot of posts, when you dig deep into the customs, culture, traditions, rituals, festivals, food habits and language of Badagas what we know about them is much less than what is STILL unknown….

b) to sift the truth from fiction….

the satisfaction that we have a very unique history….

who is a Badaga….are Odayas and Thorayas same as the main group…if so how ia that Thoraiyas as classified as MBC – most backward class but Badagas as BC….

c) the mystery about the mistaken migration…..

Most of the western scholars have ‘loosely’ identified Badagas as migrants from North [Mysore] based just on the name BADAGU – which means northern direction. They alledge that the migration took place during the suppressive regime of Tipu Sultan who was converting the population to muslims  towards the later part of 1700s,

Though, JB Balasubramaniam, states that the migration took place much earlier in the 12th century for the same reason,

but MY CLAIM is that Badagas have always been  original inhabitants of the Nilgiris like the Todas, Kurumas and Kothas, though it is very much possible that small groups may have migrated from southern Mysore from time to time, mixed with Badagas and subsequently become part of the society. As on today, many Badaga lingyats – lingakuttys – from Kattery area marry lingyats from Karnataka [Mysore]…

d) the traditions that are still steadfastly followed…..

some of the traditions and festivals and are unique only to Badagas. The funeral rites are different from other tribals…

e)the great language that has survived for centuries without a script…

Badaga is a separate and UNIQUE language and not a sub branch – dialect of old halaya Kannada…

The simple fact that this site’s motto of ‘Proud to be a Badaga ; Proud to be an Indian’ has become an accepted norm…

You all, my dear friends, have made me bow my head in gratitude.

Proud to be an Indian and proud to be a Badaga, indeed.

Hope to say – ‘thanks a million’ soon…

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