Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder
4-12-1893 to 28-6-1971
Hubbathalai Bellie Gowda ARI GOWDA was born on this day in 1893 and was the first Badaga graduate.
Though his father Rao Bahadur HJ Bellie Gowda was a great Badaga Nakku Betta Leader, who brought in many reforms to not only Badaga Communiity but tried to bring in all the other tribal groups like Toda, Kotha and Kurumas together. Being credited with the laying of Nilgiri Mountain Railway from Mettupalam to Ooty, he was also instrumental in starting a free school and hostel for Badaga boys at Hubbathalai, as well as a strong Scouts Movement during the British time.
Ari Gowda, carried on the legacy of his father after his death in 1935 and brought in far reaching social reforms in the Nilgiri Hills. Being a MLC and MLA even during the British rule,he succeeded in making the Nilgiris free of the curse of drinking that ruined many families, with prohibition in 1943.
Ari Gowda was not only well known in the Nilgiris and then Madras state, he was declared as one of the 100 influential persons of Asia. The road in front of Mambalam Railway station in Chennai is named after him.
Though, he passed away in 1971, the undisputed fact is that there is no Badaga Leader like him since. Not yet.
On his birth anniversary, we bow our heads in repect and reverence!