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A Badaga child prodigy
It is a well known fact that Badaga children possess above average intelligence and some among them are truly out standing. One such is Jayanth.
Jayanth Sidhartha is the youngest and probably the first in our community to hold a record in India Book of Records.
Born on 9 April 2018, he holds the record for solving 63 puzzles, reciting counting from 1 to 30, alphabet A to Z with corresponding words, identifying 52 animals, 29 fruits, 24 vegetables, 23 English words, 22 body parts,, 20 tools, 20 flowers, 18 birds, 18 stationery items, 18 national leaders, 16 colours, 15 festivals, 15 occupations, 15 personal care products, 14 vehicles, 14 shapes, 10 cartoons, seven national symbols, seven insects,, and six worship places, at the tender age of 2 years and 7 months as confirmed on 21 November, 2020.
Jayanth is born to Sidhartha (son of Chandrashekar Raju and grand son of (Late) Shri B Raju, Maniyagar family, Kiya Kundhey – Kil Kundah), and Divyakala (daughter of Rajkumar Ramalingam and grand daughter of (Late) Shri B Ramalingam, Nunduva -Nunthala)
(Sidhartha Chandrashekar +91-9944634876)
Badaga Migration – the myth and the MISTAKE
The Professor who corrected the colonial blunder about Badaga migration !!!
Ethnography is the study of peoples and cultures with their customs, habits, and mutual differences. Ever since, British rule in 1800, foreign Ethnographers have been studying the native people of Nilgiris.
Ethnographic and general accounts of Nilgiris and its people began with Evans Macpherson (1820) followed by James Hough (1829), Henry Harkness (1832), Bernhard Schmid (1837), Harry Congreve(1847), Richard Burton (1851), Rev.Metz (1856), John Shrott (1868),William Marshall (1873), Breeks (1873), Grigg (1880), Edgar Thurston and Natesa Sastri (1898), Francis (1906) and Rivers (1908). This was followed by local writers and later by Western scholars from America, Germany, UK and so on.
They wrote about the different communities on the Nilgiris including the Badagas. They had their different viewpoints. But they had on common view. That is, Badagas migrated from Karnataka some 300 or 500 or 800 years ago. Every writer repeated this religiously as if it was a God given truth. Many Badaga scholars and elders have questioned this conclusion over the years.
But where is the evidence?
Gareth Davey is UK scholar with a Ph.D in Anthropology and Psychology. He has authored several books and articles on varied subjects and has done extensive work in Asia. In 2018 he wrote a book, ‘Quality of Life and Well Being in an Indian Ethnic Community: The Case of Badagas’.
He reviewed all the literature written about the Badagas over the past 200 years and raised a simple, basic question- Where is the evidence to show Badagas migrated from Karnataka? The hundreds of books written till then had only one evidence- some Badagas told they came from Mysore. Who were they? On what basis they said that? Did they show any evidence? Nothing was known.
Now, Prof. Davey asks how so many scholars from so many countries repeated the same claim in their books without looking for any evidence- anthropological, archeological, and historical or any other source. No scholar, Indian or Western, has come forward with any evidence.
The problem, Prof. Davey, is that all these scholars seemed to have made up their mind about Badaga migration even before studying or researching the Badagas.
Prof. Davey categorically states, “Badagas have been misrepresented in the literature with a migrant identity. Grammatical homogeneity of Badagu and the language of Kotas, Kurumbas and Todas might indicate they have always resided in the Nilgiri hills.
Also genetic studies show Badagas share similarities with other indigenous people of Nilgiris. In summary, separation of Badagas from other people based on history and migration seems unfounded”. It is poetic justice that it has taken a UK scholar to undo the injustice of a 200 year old Colonial Blunder !!!
– Venugopal Dharmalingam (Nilgiri Documentation Centre)
8 ) Perattaadhi
9) Dhodda Devige
10) Kiru Devige
There are 12 months and each month that starts on the 10th of English Calendar month but for a few exceptions due to the fact that the month of Feb has 28/29 days [leap year].
Since Badagas consider ‘Sovara’ (Monday) as the most auspicious ( ‘holy’ ) day, they have attached a lot of importance to that day. Generally, no non-vegetarian food is taken on Mondays. No ‘Hola Gelcha'[field work] is usually done on ‘sovara’s.
The biggest festival of Badagas is day-specific and not date-specific. That is to say that this festival – HETHE HABBA (this year it comes on 4th Jan 2021, officially starting from 28th Dec 2020 to $th Jan 2021) – always falls on a Monday [after twelve full moons and on the first Monday of the thirteenth full moon]. By the way, full Moon (‘Pournami’ in Tamil) is ‘HUNNAVE’ [pronounced similar to :- hunnu – wound, awai – mother] and New Moon is ‘MUTTU’ in Badaga. Hunnave and Muttu days have a white and black circle next to the date.
I must put on record my great appreciation to Mr.Sivaprakash. B.Sc.,B.Ed (Dhavane Village) and ‘Naakku Betta’ magazine [1979 Koodalu issue] for their pioneering effort on this subject.
The beautiful Badaga dance song that contains all the Badaga months – Kappu Hutti Leyu
The more I listen to the song ‘Kappu Uttileyu’, the more fascinated I become. All the 12 Badaga months starting with Koodalu [given in Capital Letters] are beautifully integrated within the song.
The lyrics of the song go like this :-
Kappu huttileyu neppuna sundari,
Oppi hegileyu dhirachiya mundari
Kappu huttile naa hathuna notta dha,
Keppu na huttile ondhuna notta tha
Thatti beetha sileyu nee edhega,
Kottu beetha hennu naa edhaga
Muthu muthu mookathiga sokki hodhane, netti niddane
Sothu pathu neetha endhu kaathundhu endhe dha, matha hegu dha, madhuvaya matha hegudha,
KOODALU thinguvana koodile singarene ,
AALAANI thinguvatha aa aagi varasha mamma ,
NALLANI go kollaandhu hega beda, ,
AANI huttidha mele badhila hegine baa mamma ,
AADHIRE jena nodi bae thumbi maathaadu ,
AADI mudidha mele ododi bannane mamma,
AAVANI thinguvadhoge dhaavani singarava ,
Arattu perattu aara PERATTASI thinguvadha,
DODDA DIVIGEYA dodda kiru edhega ,
KIRU DIVIGEYA siri devi aagi banne ,
THAI mae thalaiga thatti kai yoda aatta paatta.
HEMMATTI ebbaneyu aemaathithindhu hoga beda ,
Thatti beetha sileyu nee edhaga ,
Kottu beetha hennu naa edhega
கப்பு ஹுட்டிலெயு நெப்புன சுந்தரி,
ஓப்பி ஹெகிலெயு திரசிய முந்தரி
கப்பு ஹுட்டிலே நா ஹத்துன நோட்ட த,
கெப்பு ந ஹுட்டிலே ஒந்துன நோட்ட த
தட்டி பீத்த செலெயு நீ எதெக,
கொட்டு பீத்த ஹெண்ணு நா எதக
முத்து முத்து மூக்கத்திக சொக்கி ஹொதனே,நெட்டி நித்தனெ
ஸொத்து பத்து நீத்த எந்து காத்துண்டு இந்தெ த, மாத்த ஹேகு த, மதுவய மத்த ஹெகுத,
கூடலு திங்குவன கூடிலே சிங்காரெனெ,
ஆலாணி திங்குவத ஆ ஆகி வரஷ மம்ம,
நல்லானி கொ கொள்ளாந்து ஹேக பேட,
ஆணீ ஹுட்டித மேலே பதில ஹெகினே பா மம்ம,
ஆதிரே ஜென நோடி பே தும்பி மாத்தாடு ,
ஆடி முடித மேலே ஓடோடி பன்னனே மம்ம,
ஆவாணி திங்குவதொகே தாவணி சிங்கரவ,
அரட்டு பெரட்டு ஆர பெரட்டாதி திங்குவத,
தொட்ட தீவிகியொ தொட்ட கிரு எதெக,
கிரு தீவிகியொ சிரி தேவி ஆகி பன்னே,
தை மே தலைக தட்டி கை யோட ஆட்ட பாட்ட.
எம்மாட்டி எப்பனேயு ஏமாத்திதிண்டு ஹோக பேட,
தட்டி பீத்த சிலெயு நீ எதக ,
கொட்டு பீத்த ஹெண்ணு நா எதெக
Remembering Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder on his 127th birth anniversary.
We thank Nakkubetta TV and their CEO Ramakrishnan for carrying out a full interview with Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash about Ari Gowder in their “Nangava Nanga Arivo” programme
Remembering Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder on his 127th birth Anniversary (4th Dec)
Son of late Rao Bahadur H.J.Bellie Gowder, the then leader of the hill tribes of the Nilgiris, born on 4-12-1893 was the first graduate from the Badaga Community (Madras Christian College). He was the elected member of the Madras Legislative from 1924 to 1957 except for a break in one period.
As the Senior most District Scout Commissioner of Boy Scouts among the delegates he lead the All India Scouters Contingent of Scout Masters of District Commissioners to the World Jumboree of Scouts at Godillo, Hungary in 1933.
He travelled extensively in Europe, including Russia, Turkey and the Balkans etc. He toured around the world visiting U.S.A, Japan, China, Indo-China (Vietnam), Malaya and Burma.
After travelling widely in India too, he started the Madras Provincial Backward Classes League and continued to be its President foe a number of years with a view to make it an All India Organisation, which it indeed become later under the leadership of a Minister of State in Delhi.
As a member of the Tea Licensing Committee, Tea Market Expansion Board, Calcutta, (Imperial) Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Delhi, President of Land Mortgage Bank, he encouraged cultivation of tea by the villagers, thus bringing into existence ‘Small Tea Growers’ and their problems.
With tea, the cultivation of potatoes was also encouraged by forming in 1935, a Co-operative Marketing Society, which has been supplying manure at reasonable price and marketing the produce under favourable terms. He continued to be its President for over 30 years.
As the elected President of the District Board from 1930 for 17 years, he opened a number of additional schools, including High Schools, Village roads and provided water supplies, medical aid, sanitation etc.
With the advancement of education, he worked hard, culminating in the opening of an Arts College at Ooty.
Due to his tireless work in various capacities, it is said that the general standard of living in the Villages improved considerably.
For his services in the Second World War and social work to the society, he was awarded medals and the title of Rao Bahadur.
The road bridge connecting Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in Kakkanalla in Gudalur and the road in front of Mambalam Railway Station, Chennai, are named after Ari Gowder.
He was the Nakku Betta leader of the Badagas and it is said that ‘no dispute will go unsolved’ once it is brought to his knowledge. The Badaga Day, 15 May, is also celebrated as Ari Gowda day.