The Kodava community should be accorded tribal status in recognition of the unique customs of the Kodavas, Prof Balveer Arora, Political Science professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, has urged.
He was addressing the gathering at a seminar on the study of Kodava genealogy on account of the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination organised on Thursday at the Capital Village Auditorium in Madikeri.
Prof Arora welcomed the move of the government to conduct a study of the genealogy of Kodavas. The study will facilitate the conservation of Kodava heritage, he stressed.
He observed that the culture and tradition of the Kodava community, had a close resemblance to those of tribals.
“The government should consider the demands submitted at regular intervals by the tribal population. The demands are just and should be implemented by the government,” he said and added, “Kodava population has been dwindling in the recent years due to sociopolitical reasons.”
He also stressed that it is necessary to preserve the community.
Codava National Council (CNC) president N U Nachappa said that the Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute (KSTRI) in Mysuru had been conducting a study of the genealogy of Kodavas for the last 72 years. He also urged the members of the Kodava community to extend full cooperation to the researchers from the Institute.
The Social Welfare Department has released grants to carry out the study, he added.
M T Nanaiah, president of the Kodava Samaja, Bengaluru, said that the Samaja will provide assistance to the survey. An awareness programme will be organised on the survey, he added. “Around one lakh members of the Kodava community
reside in the district. There is a misconception that all
Kodavas are affluent,” said Nanaiah. “The fact is that there are many Kodavas who are poor and have no access to government facilities,” he added. Dr Madhusudan of KSTRI and Kodava Samaja president K S Devaiah were present.