[Kannerimukku, Kotagiri, 9444365360]
Reform Young BAdaga Association ! Save Badagas !!
One People ! One Voice !!
Onndu Makka ! Onndu Maathu !!
NOW OR NEVER !! Let winds of change blow in February !!!
Badaga Society is at a crossroads. Tremendous progress on one side and backwardness on the other. Extreme prosperity on one side and deprivation on the other. Enlightenment and achievement on one side and differences and divisions on the other.
There is only one way to meet the challenges and march forward. We need to think and act as one. We need to organize ourselves to meet the demands of a fast progressing Indian and global society. We need to respect the talents, aspirations and feelings of the new generation of Badaga youth.
We need an organization which is truly Participative and Representative. Failure of such an organization as already cost us dearly.
- We have lost our right to represent ourselves in parliament (Lok Sabha)
- We have lost our right for a separate identity (language) in the census.
- We have lost our right as a Hill Tribe of Nilgiris
- We are losing our right as an Indigenous community of Nilgiris
How to reform YBA?
Starting a new association is needless. We must reform YBA which has roots in the pre-independence days. Some suggestions:
- Make all adult Badagas (from the voter’s list) members compulsorily.
- Membership fee to be made Rs. 100 for men and Rs.50 for women. (Heththe kannike is 2 annas, Thappu kattudhu is Rs.100, Hatti vari is Rs.100 and Honnu is Rs.200)
- Make YBA non-political (member of any party cannot be office-bearer)
- Age restriction of office-bearers (below 60)
- Minimum qualification for office bearers (graduates)
- Residential qualification (full time resident of Nilgiris)
- Make all past and present political leaders (representatives) Patrons
- Make a Governing Body of 60 plus Distinguished Badagas
- Do not involve traditional position holders like Parpathis, Gowdas etc with YBA
- Form separate committees for Library and Archives, Culture, History, Economy, Business enterprise, women, education etc.
This is a long and difficult process; but not a difficult one. Everyone must be patient and work hard.
To start with, all elections to YBA must be put on hold indefinitely. Continuing with the elections in the present set up will only divide the community and dilute our efforts.
All peaceful, lawful, legal and administrative efforts should be taken to prevent elections till the reforms are in place.
Let winds of change start blowing from the first of February. Let us mark February 10 as Mass Membership Day.
Why I want to lead the Reforms?
My simple desire to serve our community.
What does YBA stand for? A clarification.
I was sorry to learn that many think the name Young Badaga Association means that it was started by the present office bearers when they were young. Nothing can be more ridiculous.
The origin of YBA dates before independence when Young Men Indian Association was started to mobilize youth for independence struggle. Inspired by that a handful of Badagas, then in Madras, started the Young Men Badaga Association in 1941-42 led by my uncle ( seated in kurta and dhoti) Andi Ramalingam, who was then working in Ananda Viketan.
Reform ! Participate !! Represent !!! Achieve !!!!
Dear Venu – I am with you hundred percent.
– Wg Cdr Bellie Jayaprakash