By P.T. Bopanna

Are Kodavas (Coorgs), especially the women, once known for their broad-mindedness, becoming intolerant?

Kodavas, a microscopic community who hail from Kodagu (Coorg) district in Karnataka, have high literacy rate because of their long exposure to education, thanks to the initiative taken by the British who ruled Kodagu as an independent province.

Because of their early exposure to education, the Kodavas did extremely well in all the fields. C.B.Muthamma, who studied at the St Joseph’s Convent at Madikeri, was the first Indian woman to clear the UPSC examination in 1948, and join the Indian Foreign Service.

Due to the exposure to education and a stable administration provided by the British, the Kodavas were a liberated lot. They co-existed peacefully with the other local communities, including the Mophla Muslims from Kerala who were engaged in petty business.

However, the situation has changed dramatically in the last two decades, ever since the BJP started taking roots in Kodagu. The Kodava society, known for its ancestor and nature worship, switched over to Brahminical Hinduism, influenced by the Hindutva ideology. Presently, every village in Kodagu has a Hindu temple, presided over by Brahmin priests. The once proud warrior race of the Kodavas, have become the foot soldiers of the Hindutva brigade and are at the mercy of Brahmin priests.

The Tipu Jayanti celebrations started by the Congress government headed  by Siddaramaiah, came in handy for the Hindutva brigade to inject the poison of communalism in Kodagu.

The social media, especially WhatsApp has been effectively used to transmit toxic messages, both political and communal, to brainwash the members of the Kodava community against the minorities and the so-called secular parties.

Being a journalist who is active on social media, I have been repeatedly targeted by the members of the saffron brigade. Even if I share a link on contemporary political developments, I am trolled by the Hindutva activists as an ‘agent of the Congress’.

In the recent weeks, even some Kodava women have used abusive language against me. Though I am a bit lenient towards women, the language used was so toxic, I had to block a woman on Facebook.

Generally, I have zero tolerance for personal attacks, and I have no hesitation in blocking such people. I do not believe in getting into an argument with fanatics, because I have always followed this famous dialogue from a Western movie: “When you want to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.”

To put it in perspective, I am a journalist, and it is my duty to expose people who are on the wrong. I have not spared any political party. If still people have doubts, I ask them to visit my website and find out.

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6 Responses

  1. K P Balasubrahmanya says:

    Well-written. The saffron brigade has literally taken the natives blind-folded and hijacked the unique tradition and culture of, in particular, the Coorgs by spreading aggressive Hindutva. The brahminical culture has invaded almost every house-hold.

  2. Rohmmel Iychettira says:

    What you are seeing is not rising intolerance but rising awareness, awareness of the fact that we are the only ones who are truly secular and it is because we are Hindu.Muslims and Christians both belong to monotheistic religions, which believe they are the best and their God is the only true God. Why does the onus of being secular and tolerant rest only on our shoulders and not on other communities.

  3. One nation one law says:

    Your remarks on brahmins and temple priests is unacceptable.

    • Coorg News says:

      P.T. Bopanna: I wish to clarify that my reference to Brahmins and temple priests is in reference to the fact that Brahmin priests were not involved in any of the rituals of the Kodavas in the past. The rituals were performed by clan elders. For instance, there is no role for a purohit in performing a Kodava wedding. The rituals are guided by a clan elder.

      However, in the recent years, a number of temples have sprung up all over Kodagu. The villagers approach the temple priests for consultations on important family matters and to match the horoscope before fixing a matrimonial alliance. Earlier, the role of temple priests was mainly confined to ‘purifying’ the house prior to the harvest festival of Puthari. Nowadays, a whole lot of ‘homas’ are performed, especially during the house-warming, which did not exist in the past.

      Of late, the Kodava culture has been diluted, and the Brahminical influence has taken over the lives of the Kodavas.

      In the circumstances, it is not correct to interpret that I have targeted the Brahmins or priests.

  4. Yashika Cg says:

    Beautifully written! I really hope they realized that culture is not limited to food and clothes, it’s beyond and the sooner they start digging deeper, the sooner they will reemerge.

  5. Somanna somkodava says:

    I’m sorry But your comment that After Bjp comming to Coorg Kodavas are towards Hinduism looks totally biased, We all pray Hindu gods and have temples in every villages apart from kaimadas Since time immemorial, So Lord igguthappa who gave us our puthari ,Isn’t he a Avatar of Lord Shiva ,And isn’t Lord Shiva a Hindu God,,
    Your logic isn’t right Annya , Nanga Chaav na Chudodu Kaiva ,Namme katt undengi,ille last wishes undengi poopadhu Kaiva ,How can u say v aren’t still different, Yes we are Hindu pro community,its got nothing to do with BJP .. Bjp is our choice irrespective..

    Proud Indian
    Proud Kodava

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