Congress leader seeks tribal status for Kodavas

Congress leader seeks tribal status for Kodavas

Two-day Kodava literary, cultural meet begins in Mysuru

Congress leader seeks tribal status for Kodavas

All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesperson and leader Brijesh Kalappa on Saturday demanded tribal status for Kodavas.

Addressing a huge gathering at the opening of a two-day Kodava literary and cultural festival, organised by Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Akademy at Scouts and Guides ground here, Kalappa, also legal advisor to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, “It was not just a spur of the moment to seek any benefit, but the culture and tradition practised by Kodavas are akin to tribals in the State. Earlier, especially post-independence, Kodava IPS officers were in large numbers. Now, the number of such officials in civil service has dwindled. Owing to lack of reservation, Kodavas are not able to get their due share in such top service oriented jobs. So, if Kodavas are considered as tribes and reservation facility is extended, they can benefit from it.”

Kalappa said that there are similarities in the marriage rituals of tribals and Kodavas. “Moreover, Kodava language has a rich history of over 1,000 years and is older than Malayalam. There is a need to preserve the language. Besides carving a niche in defence services, the community members should also achieve in other fields, thus spreading the innate culture among all,” he said.

Mysuru and Kodagu Lok Sabha member Prathap Simha emphasised on chalking out separate programmes to preserve the language of Kodavas. In the absence of such programmes, the language may be pushed to the brink of extinction and relegated to museums. Kodavas should also focus on their inherited occupation of agriculture, he added.

With the office of deputy commissioner of Kodagu in Madikeri being shifted to a new building, Simha demanded for converting the old office building into an institution to conserve Kodava culture and traditions.

The deputy commissioner’s office was earlier functioning from Kote Hale Sabhangana (old auditorium within the fort), before it was shifted to the new building next to Gandhi Maidan. Barring Zilla Panchayat office, all the offices, including that of assistant commissioner, have been shifted to the new building.

Regional Commissioner A M Kunjappa said that there are possibilities of Kodava culture and tradition facing threat if the people of the land start migrating to other places. Instead, the Kodavas should spread the essence of their land among their offsprings.

CD and book release

‘Kundal Kyamo’, an audio CD with songs written and sung by Boppanda Ayyappa along with other singers, and a book ‘Kodavara Samskaragalu’ by Dr Kaveri Prakash were released.

Akademy Chairman Biddatanda S Thammaiah, State Handicrafts Development Corporation Chairperson Shantheyanda Veena Achhaiah, Kodava Samaja, Mysuru, president Moovera Kuttappa and SP (retd) Balyamanda M Nanaiah were present on the occasion.

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