Monthly Archives: May 2021

Homage to Mrs.Rukmani Bhojraj

This day, last year (2020) Mrs.Rukmani Bhojraj, left this world.

We remember her with love and respect on her First death anniversary

As the daughter in law of Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder and daughter of Kundah Ketchigatti B K Bella Gowder, she single handedly, helped in safe guarding the name and fame of the great visionaries of the Badaga community.

Mrs.Rukmani Bhojraj

(19 Feb 1937 – 29 May 2020)

We pay our humble homage and pray that her soul Rest In Eternal Peace

Grandson Ari Abhimanyu Jayaprakash, grand daughter Pakshalika Nanji Jayaprakash (with great grandson Shaiel and grand in law Rishim), daughter Tara Jayaprakash and son in law Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash

Badaga Migration theory is a BLUNDER!!

Badaga Migration – the myth and the MISTAKE

The Professor who corrected the colonial blunder about Badaga migration !!!

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Prof: Gareth Davey

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 one 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 !!! 

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Venugopal Dharmalingam (Nilgiri Documentation Centre)

You make us Proud, Dr.J Krishnan

Badagas have been living around the world for quite some time now.

And some of them have reached commanding heights in their respective fields and profession. Some have come to occupy higher positions in the land of choice and living.

One such person is Dr. Jagdhish Krishnan , from Dhimbatty, Kotagiri. He was elected to the Forty-First Parliament for Riverton, Western Australia on 13 March 2021.

Dr. Jags Krishnan

He made an excellent maiden speech where he spoke a few words in Badaga and Tamil.

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WE made a request to Dr. J. Krishnan to send details about his family and the great journey he has taken to reach his present position and received the following reply.

Thank you Sir and Mr. Mark Fahey

Dear Dr. J Krishnan,

Hearty congratulations for being the First MP in Australia from TN, India. I heard your excellent maiden speech in the Parliament and it made us very proud. Very nice to hear both Badaga and Tamizh in your speech.

I want to write an article about you and hence request you to kindly send me details about your family and the great journey you have had to reach this position. The details will also figure in the page  “First Badaga”. It should be a great inspiration to other Indians in general and Badagas in particular. Please send some photos also.

I will greatly appreciate for an early reply from you.
With warm regards,
Wg Cdr Bellie Jayaprakash (JP)

Dear Wing Commander Jayaprakash,

Thank you for your very kind words. Jags has been humbled to receive correspondence from all around the world, including esteemed people such as yourself, and he’s been overawed with the feedback. Your message brought a smile to his face when I passed it on.

Your website is very impressive! Thank you for posting a video of Jags giving his maiden speech. I will endeavour to get more details from Jags on his family history and should be able to supply you with some idea of my winding path to WA Parliament. I will try and get this to you as soon as possible.

Thanks very much again for your message. It means a lot.

Kindest regards,

Mark Fahey

Research Officer for Dr Jags Krishnan MLA, WA Labor Member for Riverton

E: Jags.Krishnan@mp.wa.gov.au  |  E: Mark.Fahey@mp.wa.gov.au