Major General Codanda K. Karumbaya (Retd) (in picture) has levelled serious charges against the Federation of Kodava Samajas headed by Mallengada Dada Belliappa. He said the Federation was an illegitimate body and does not represent the Kodava community as a whole.
In a post on the Facebook Group Coorg/Kodagu Books, the Major General has alleged that a prominent politician, a ‘thakka’ and a couple of property developers have conspired to remain in the organisation permanently without election.
In his FB post, General Karumbaya said: “The start of ‘The Federation of Kodava Samajas’ about 14 years ago was considered as a giant step taken to have an apex body for Kodavas; but regrettably it was started in haste and its leaders- a prominent politician, a thakka and couple of property developers have conspired to remain in the organization permanently without election.”
“They have managed to keep out other Kodava organizations/ leaders inimical to them out of the organisation. Whereas, every Indian citizen knows our Constitution, rank and file of Kodavas do not know the bye-laws of the Federation which is supposed to represent us! Even though, the organization is registered, they have not yet sent their bye-laws to its constituents viz Kodava Samajas for their ratification by their members. It is therefore illegitimate and do not represent the community as a whole.”
“Yet, it has managed to convey to the Government that they represent the community to get financial grants. The senor most Kodava Army retired officer now settled in Kodagu, Lt Gen C N Somanna, PVSM, in his capacity as the Chairman of ‘Temporary Association for Forging Kodava Unity’ with about 30 members drawn from different parts of Kodagu, had written to the leaders during 2003, pointing out the shortcomings and need to have an apex body incorporating other smaller organizations also in its fold.”
“He had also enclosed a suggested bye-laws in English of the proposed ‘Kodava Federation’, translated in Kodava language by Bachirannianda Appana; but till now there is no progress.”
“It is no wonder that this organization is doing nothing substantial for Kodava community to get their rights under the Constitution. The first goal of our Community should be to persuade The Federation of Kodava Samajas’ to transform themselves as’ Federation of Kodavas’ on democratic lines as advised by Gen Somanna.”
EDITORIAL: The Federation of Kodava Samajas need to be lauded for setting up the Kodava culture centre at Balugodu near Virajpet. Chief minister Siddaramaiah recently inaugurated the Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa Cultural Centre and General K.S. Thimayya Multipurpose Sports Complex.
Since the Federation has taken government grants, there is need for transparency and accountability in its functioning. The Federation should act on the suggestions made by General Karumbaya. The Federation should not become a cabal of a few vested interests and self-serving politicians, but should emerge as the voice of the Kodava community.