Ask Kodava Samaja to change its by-laws and protect Kodava Community & Kodagu.
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Ask the Kodava Samajas to change its by-laws and take up the work of protecting the Kodava Community and Kodagu.
All these years the Kodava Samaja has performed the role of bringing together members of the Kodava Community, both inside Kodagu and outside Kodagu.
They have done good service as an organization that helps Kodavas come together and perform ceremonies, and we have all benefited from the cost and convenience.
But today, the community’s needs have changed.
Today it is no longer enough to just help us Kodavas with our functions, since over the last ten years, several changes have taken place both inside Kodagu and outside.
Now, our very survival as a community is in doubt.
The biggest problem of the Kodava Community today is that no organization represents and protects the entire community in its every aspect. Political, social, cultural and economic.
Our political leaders have not taken up the responsibility of protecting the community’s interests.
Our cultural leadership, which is our respected Kodava Samaja, have also not been able to take up the cause of protecting the community’s interests, because their by-laws do not permit it.
Our social activist leadership have created a few organizations and are working to protect the Kodavas and the ecology of Kodagu. But they do not have the support of all the Kodavas, as we are conservative in such issues and would rather follow a respected organization like the Kodava Samaja.
Over the last ten years the situation in Kodagu has become very bad and our survival as a community is now in doubt. Newspaper articles predict that there will soon be no Kodavas left in a few years.
We have to unite under a banner that everyone accepts, make our voices heard and take the necessary action to save the community. This is why our Kodava Samaja has to step in.
What are the threats faced by the Kodava people today?
Attempts have been made by the Govt to take away our Jamma land, and our arms exemption is threatened frequently.
Land conversion is being done to allow large numbers of people from outside the district to settle in Kodagu. People from outside the District are being given land easily, but our own retired Army men are not getting land allotted to them.
Encroachment is being regularized which is leading to over-population, crime and garbage increase. Too many vehicles are now plying in the district leading to a large number of accidents.
Tourism is being encouraged more and more, even though Kodagu does not have the capacity to handle so many tourists. In 2016 we got 12 lakh tourists, but our District’s whole population is 6.5 lakhs. To give you an example, India has 1.2 billion population, imagine what would happen if we got 2.4 billion tourists every year. Our society and ecology would degrade rapidly. But this is what is being done to Kodagu only so the Govt can earn more revenue.
Once Kodagu becomes full of layouts and gated communities, the trees and the beauty will disappear, the weather will become hotter and the tourism will stop. Those Kodavas running home stays, resorts and other tourism-related businesses will be affected.
More and more giant resorts are coming into Kodagu. Wherever resorts are opening the ground water is depleting rapidly and lakes and streams are disappearing, and this is affecting the crops and coffee plants of people living near the big resorts. Soon they may sell to real estate companies and leave Kodagu. Tourism can and must be regulated, even if it cannot be stopped.
We must understand that the location of Kodagu is such that the regions outside have to bring their projects through Kodagu. Whether it is a high-tension power line, or the three railway lines that are planned which will need to cut lakhs of trees making our rainfall reduce in volume and also the rain to fall at the wrong times. This will also affect our coffee and other crops.
There are also many dam projects coming up which will drown out large areas in which Kodavas live. This puts upon us the responsibility to fight these projects, or soon disappear as a people.
If we protect our ecology, we can save the River Cauvery which flows through the rest of Karnataka and through Tamil Nadu. 8 crore Indians depend on the River Cauvery, it is therefore our duty to fight to save the River.
Our sacred Devakads are being given away for other people to settle in, we have to save our Devakads for our future generations. They are a deep and inseparable part of our culture.
Animal sacrifices in temples are being stopped by people from outside. Whether this is right or wrong is a different issue, the worrying fact is that people from outside who have come to Kodagu recently, have great power over us.
There are less than 80,000 Kodavas now left in Kodagu, remember our District’s total population is 6.5 lakhs. Our numbers today have become negligible. The total Kodava population is hardly 1,20,000 some sources say it is 1,40,000. We are believed to have close to 18,000 people in the Defence Services.The remaining numbers are spread over Mysore, Bangalore and a few live and work abroad.
As we do not have many votes, the local administration and political parties in Kodagu do not care about us. In most issues, they favour other communities as they are more in number and politically more powerful. There are predictions that we will soon disappear as a community, as we have a very small growth rate in population.
Our history is being re-written by other communities in Kodagu, along with people from outside. They are trying to make Kodavas look like people who came from outside the Country recently. This is being done to take away the respect we have, so that we can be exploited easily by the other communities, and the Govt.
How the Kodava Samaja can help save the community.
By being the voice of the Kodava Community, just like the Vokkaliga Sangha and the Bunt Sangha represent their community’s interests. They have to make public the decisions of the community on various issues, talk to the media and when necessary interact with the Govt.
While the Kodava Samaja is doing good work for the community in social terms, they still remain a social organization, and cannot take on the work required to protect the community from the many threats we are facing.
We the Kodava people request the Kodava Samaja to change its by-laws and take on the role of protecting the community.
Once they do that, they can bring in people who can take up the activism required to save the community. When a Kodava Samaja representative speaks for the community, he will get much more respect from the government, the press and from the other communities.
Please sign this petition, with every signature the Kodava Samaja, Bangalore gets an email asking them to take the initiative to help in getting all the Kodava Samajas to change their by-laws so they can work for the protection of the Kodava Community.
Thank you for your cooperation. Jai Kaveramme.
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