Kodagu dissidents boycott Indian elections

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Tue May 18 14:56:25 UTC 2004

The following message is somewhat out of date, since it announces a
boycott of Indian elections which have already finished, but this is a
community of Kodavus, who speak Kodagu, a minority Dravidian language
(a.k.a. Coorg, the name of the area in British times) within Karnataka
State, formerly known as Mysore State. The 8th Schedule of the Indian
Constitution is the section which grants rights to linguistic groups, and
increasingly has created new Indian states for each language so
recognized. Note how this claim by the Kodavas challenges the recent
flip-flop in "circulars" in minority languages in Karnataka State, which
Coorg district is part of. (hfs)

           From: Star of Mysore, Sun, 25 Apr 2004 21:17:02 -0400

            Mysore, Apr. 25 (KMC&BLU)- The Codava National Council (CNC),
a movement advocating the cause of Kodava Community, has urged the Kodavas
to boycott the forthcoming elections till all the demands put forth by the
CNC were fulfilled by the Government concerned.  The Secretary General of
CNC, Mr. Nandineravanda U. Nachappa, addressing a press conference at the
Pathrakarthara Bhavan here yesterday, gave a call to all the Kodavas to
refrain from casting their vote till their major demands (listed below)
were met with favourably:

            Autonomous status for Kodagu which includes 46 naads--the
ancient political boundaries.

            Universal recognition for Kodava minority and nationality.

            A primitive infinitesimal minority tribal nationality status
by extending all reservation facilities accordingly.

            A representation in the Lok Sabha to Kodavas as per Article
331 of the Constitution and also a special nominated membership in the
Rajya Sabha.

            Right to political self-determination of Kodava homeland.

            Internal governing system.

            Constitutional special guarantee for properties of Kodavas
under Article 370 of the Constitution and

            Inclusion of Kodava Thakk (language) into the eighth schedule
of the Constitution.

            Speaking about the movement, Mr. Nachappa said that since the
past two months, 33 meetings were held by the CNC in various parts of the
district, to spread awareness among the masses about the poll boycott.

            'This is just the beginning of our agitation', he said and
narrated the CNC's 13-year-long history of agitation for statehood status
for Kodagu.  'There are two options for agitation--either take up arms or
agitate under the provisions of democracy. We have chosen the path of
nonviolence as in a democracy, to put forth the long-standing demands of
Kodavas', said Mr. Nachappa and added that the total population of Kodavas
was barely five lakhs and those in Kodagu numbered 2.5 lakh.

            He explained in detail about the injustices meted out to the
people of Kodagu, especially for the Kodavas by the successive State
Governments, ever since its merger with greater Karnataka in 1956.

            At least 70 per cent of Kodagu's population live below poverty
line, he said and added, that was the reason why such large number of
Kodavas had migrated to Mysore, Bangalore and elsewhere.  People living
outside Kodagu, who are considerably well off, do not portray the true
picture of Kodagu, said Mr. Nachappa and added that none of the Government
schemes, either of the Central or State Governments, reached the Kodavas,
they being a neglected lot.

            Mr. Kandera Suresh, Mr. Pullangada Natesh, Mr. Kokkalemada
Manju Ponnappa and Mr. Badumanda Dinu Ganapathy were with Mr. Nachappa
during the press conference.

            All rights reserved © 2003-2004, Star Of Mysore

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list