You make us proud , Dr.Haldorai

Dr.RK Haldorai from Kiya Kawvatti, a well known Badaga who has published many books have been honoured by the Government of Tamil Nadu.


You make us proud, Dr.Haldorai


Hubbathalai N Siva is invited for Trade 2018 & XXI Commonwealth Games


Nilgiris Small Farmer to Introduce Speciality Nilgiris Teas in the event

The XXI Commonwealth Games is being held in Australia from 4-15,April, 2018 in Gold Coast.

Alongside the event, the first of its kind TRADE 2018 is also going to be held in Sydney and Queensland for the 71 member-countries of Commonwealth between 11-15, April 2018 led by the Premier of Queensland,Ms.Annastacia Palaszczuk and many High Level Business Delegations are participating in the event.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), is also taking a High Level Indian Business Delegation to the event including Agri-Business Sector to explore possibilities of Joint Ventures, Marketing Associations, FDI Opportunities, etc., through its India Ascent Networking Sessions and Business Matching Sessions.

The Indian Business Delegation is meeting the Queensland Premier along with Union Sports Minister, Col.Rajyavardhan Rathore to explore business possibilities in the growth and transformation between India and other Commonwealth Countries.

Mr.Sivan, a Small Farmer from Peria Hubbathalai Village of the Nilgiris is also invited to the event to introduce the products of Organic Speciality Nilgiris Teas( White Tea, Green Tea and Orthodox Black Tea, having various health benefits to the tea drinking consumers) produced by the Nilgiris Small Farmers’ Consortium brand of OOTYFRESH. This event is going to take the Quality and Speciality Nilgiris Teas to many Commonwealth Countries and set to bring in new market opportunities, investments, etc. to the Nilgiris into Plantation and rural-based Eco-Tourism projects.

There is no doubt that through these initiatives, the livelihood conditions, sustainable developments and inclusive growth of the Nilgiris Small Farmers will be improved if they produce quality speciality teas on their own in the Nilgiris by establishing mini tea factories in their villages.

Wishing Siva all the very best.

2017 Nature Photographer of the Year Contest by National Geographic – a Badaga based in Singapore

Picture of a orangutan

[Photograph by Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan.
courtesy – National Geographic ]

Surrounded by wildlife in the hills of the Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu, India, Bojan grew up with a love of nature. A point-and-shoot hobbyist during the 18 years he worked in Bangalore, he began to seriously pursue photography in 2013, buying his first DSLR and joining National Geographic’s Your Shot community.

Around breakfast time on an August morning in Borneo’s Tanjung Puting National Park, Jayaprakash Joghee Bojan took off his shoes, hoisted his new camera, and slid into cold, chest-deep water stained an opaque brownish-red by the tannins of submerged roots.
Trusting the rangers to warn him if a crocodile appeared, Bojan inched along—gently, to avoid startling the male orangutan wading through the river only yards away.
“Honestly, sometimes you just go blind when things like this happen,” Bojan later tells National Geographic. “You don’t feel the pain, you don’t feel the mosquito bites, you don’t feel the cold, because your mind is completely lost in what’s happening in front of you.”

Bojan knew he was witnessing something special. Orangutans are famously wary of water—their long arms are better suited to swinging in the trees than dog-paddling—so the unusual sight made him wonder. Why would a member of this arboreal species attempt a dangerous river crossing?
It’s possible that widespread habitat loss due to clearing forests for palm oil cultivation has forced the critically endangered primate into areas it would have previously avoided. But whether or not palm oil plantations are behind this orangutan’s atypical behavior, its wary expression and vulnerable posture compel viewers to imagine the threats it faces.
It’s that sense of a rare, weighty moment that led the judges of the 2017 Nature Photographer of the Year contest to select Bojan’s image as the grand prize winner. But the picture almost didn’t happen at all.

(Read the full article here)

The beautiful Badaga Bashe[Maathu] – language

The beautiful Badaga Bashe[Maathu] – language

Ponga Bellie Ranga Raaju’s son ANANDHAA [Thangaadu – Orenaayi]

Anandhaa 1

Anandhaa 3

Anandhaa6Anandhaa 2Anandhaa5Anandhaa7Anandhaa 11Anandhaa 12Anandhaa 4Anandhaa 13Anandhaa 10Anandhaa 9Anandhaa 8






A Badaga Singer with golden voice

 Kerban Bella Gowder

Over a period of time, I have listened to a lot of Badaga singers [some were as good as professionals] but the best in my opinion is KERBEN BELLA GOWDER who had a golden voice. I met him for the first time all most three decades ago. He could play harmonium, ‘bull bull tara’ and ‘thambutte’ [drum] with equal ease and elan, His greatest ability was to compose and render songs on the spot, some times suitably changing the verses to suit the occasion.

He was a much sought after singer in any function, be it a wedding, savu or anniversary. Just with a couple of his colleagues accompanying on the thambutte [mathalam] and jalra [cymbals], he would sing while playing the harmonium. Sadly, no songs were recorded in any studio. His savu [sad] songs would bring tears streaming down even in the hardest of hearts.Another, great contribution of Bella Gowder is his rendering of many Badaga Ballads – the best being ” BERADA BELLIE “ I had the great fortune of recording [on a tape recorder] some of his songs when he had visited my home at Hubbathalai on a few occasions. Luckily I could trace them recently.

It is with a great sense of honour and as a tribute to this gifted singer I have uploaded some of his BERADA BELLIE as well as KAARA CHENNE and other songs on the net so that all of us can listen to his golden voice. The voice quality of some of these streaming songs may not be very good due to the original recording having been done on a tape recorder.


I bow my head in dedication to Kerben Bella Gowder who passed away a few years back.

Listen to the streaming music of “BERADHA BELLIE” and “KAARA CHENNE” ballads in the golden voice of Bella Gowder

Beradha Bellie Songs




BADAGA SCRIPT – BADAGA BARAE [படக பரே – எழுத்து ]

[படக மொழியை எப்படி எழுதலாம்?]

It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language.

So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga. Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exists, if any. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating a unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.

Three scripts come to mind straight away – Tamil, English and Kannada.Tamil – because a majority of us know how to speak and write due to the simple fact that we belong to Tamil Nadu, English – since most of us choose to learn as well as put our children in English medium schools and Kannada – due to the fact that Badaga is more akin to Kannada than any other language [though I firmly believe that Badaga is a separate language on its own merit and not a dialect of Kannada].

But when trying to choose a script for Badaga, Kannada script is ruled out for the basic reason that most of us do not know the language or familiar with the script and no scope to learn it in our schools in the Nilgiris. Hence the choice between Tamil and English. Badaga ,like many other Indian languages, has very definitive and distinctive sounds/words [I do not know the exact English equivalent] that distinguishes one word from another. Even a small change in pronunciation could result in an entirely different meaning in Badaga. For example, a subtle change in context of the word ‘BAE [bay]‘ could mean mouth, bangle, lentil, crop etc. Bella – பெல்ல [jaggery] or BeLLa – பெள்ள [ a male name] are two entirely different things. So are ‘kallu கல்லு – stone’ and ‘KaLLu கள்ளூ – a drink’. So, what could or should be the choice?

In Tamil script we cannot differentiate ‘K’ from ‘G’ or ‘T’ from ‘D’. This makes a  huge impact when Badaga words are written in Tamil script. ‘Gaasu – potato’ is totally different from ‘Kaasu – coin, remove’. Or ‘Ettu – eight’ and ‘Eddu – getup’. Another drawback could be the absence of ‘Ha’ in classical Tamil. On the other hand, in English, we cannot clearly bring out the difference of ‘na’ from ‘Na’ [anna – அன்ன food, aNNa – அண்ண elder brother] or ‘halli – ஹல்லி  lizard’ from ‘haLLi – ஹள்ளி name, village’. ‘Kalla கல்ல – a male name’ sounds the same as ‘ kaLLa கள்ள – a thief.

Yes, it is indeed a little tricky to choose between Tamil and English. But, taking into consideration the younger generation who are going to be the future hope and the irrefutable fact that they are all more familiar with English than Tamil, the choice is English. Keeping in mind the successful adaptation of English script for Malay language (Malaysia) I would plump in for English. With a few minor modifications to overcome the grey areas mentioned above, English script can be easily used in Badaga.

Remember Devanagiri (Hindi) is the script for Nepali. The ‘minor’ modifications that can be undertaken to overcome the drawbacks I referred above could be by using an extra ‘a’ – thus milk can be written as ‘haalu ஹாலு’; ‘dhadi தடி – stick’ can be different from ‘dhaadi தாடி – beard’. So on and so forth.

We may use ‘capital’ letters to differentiate between ‘bella and beLLa ’ as I have done above. What if a complete sentence is in capital letters ? – We may use ‘bold’ letters or underline the words to give the emphasis. Innovative use of – ‘ – [apostrophe] can bring out the difference between “soppu  ஸொப்பு – green ” and “so’ppu ஸோப்பு – soap” or “kodi கொடி – flag” and “ko’di கோடி – crore”. [I have used for Tamil transliteration. Google Input Tools online is another great util for Tamil to English and vice versa]

It is said that Indians [read Badagas] will reject 50% of anything without even hearing it, another 50% without understanding it; and if ‘anything’ is left behind they reject it just for the sake of rejecting it. Like what is happening in many hattis with ‘young gowdas’ ruling the roost.



(first appeared in my blog )

Badagas at the Cross Roads

Badagas at the cross roads, need to change with changing times

Recently (on the 10th and 11th Feb 2018),  a seminar was organised by The Nelikolu Charitable Trust at Coimbatore. The seminar was called “Nangava Nanga Arivo – Let us know about ourselves”. This is to make a select group of scholars/youngsters to present their views on issues concerned/connected with Badaga, both the people and language.

This topic is most appropriate and needed focussed attention.

We Badagas stand at the cross roads, at a crucial time in history. Some of the urgent issues that we face today, if not corrected now, will result in reducing us to history.

I chose to speak on “Badagas at the cross roads, need to change with changing times

Some of the issues I touched upon are

1.Who are Badagas?
The similarity, differences or otherwise of the Badaga, Odaiya and Thoraiya groups,

2. What is Badaga origin?
The myth, mystery and mistakes of migration from Mysore theory.

3. Badaga language.
The decline of the purity of Badaga language due to inadequate knowledge of the present generation. The systematic omission of HA sound from the language and its impact. The influence of Tamil and English on Badaga in the day to day conversations.

4. Moray system
Is the Moray system playing a major role in the large number of marriages breaking up? Is it time to change the fundamentals?

5. Need to involve the women as equal partners
No elaboration is required about this issue when we consider ourselves as HETHE MAKKA

6. Music, Dance, Chant and keeping the traditions
The originality of our music and dance is lost in the present day blind copying of cinema ‘koothattam’ dances. Are we cutting short the important traditions/rituals like funerals due to paucity of time?

7.Way forward
What we should do?

8. Conclusion
What we know about Badagas is much less than what we do not know

I will elaborate on each of these issues soon – Wg.Cdr.JP

Nanga – WE


It is a simple message. Nanga – that means in Badaga – WE . 

A noble and laudable movement started by Maniganda (from Kodumudi) and a bunch of volunteers with the object of bringing the Badaga community together.


And by making vegetable and provisions available to the community at an affordable prices and delivery at door steps,

And by luring away the youth and elders from the deadly drinks,

And eliminate the villagers from the scourge of Kandu Vatti (borrowing money from ruthless money lenders at exorbitant interest rates),

And to see the Bagada Dance in all its glory like in the golden olden days instead of the street dance it has degenerated into,

And to encourage Badaga songs rendered like Kerban bella Gowder and Thangadu L Krishna Gowder,

And, to see a community that is prosperous without poverty.

Noble, laudable and lofty.

Doable, insists Maniganda who had come to invite me for the function NANGA _ HABBA (Our Festival) at Nattakkal on 26 Dec 2017.

(Will post a detailed discussion I had with him soon)

After 46 years of the Great Badaga leader  Hubbathalai Ari Gowder, have we found a selfless leader in Manigandan, who can bring the community together?