By P.T. Bopanna
While welcoming BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s letter to Karnataka government to consider grant of an autonomous development council for Kodagu (Coorg) district, any such council should not be confined exclusively to the Kodavas (Coorgs), but should include all the people living in Kodagu.
In his letter, Swamy (in the picture) is reported to have said: “I think it will be good if you now take up this matter with the centre and see that this idea of development council as asked for by the Codavas is implemented at the earliest.”
Any representative body can work effectively if it involves all the people living in an area. All the indigenous people of Kodagu have as much right over Kodagu as the Kodavas.
This writer has been consistently highlighting the need for setting up an autonomous Council for Kodagu to take care of the development needs of the district.
While the erstwhile Coorg State that existed between 1952 and 1956 witnessed phenomenal development, Kodagu was totally neglected after its merger with Karnataka in 1956.
The infrastructure in Kodagu is in shambles especially following the unprecedented floods in the last two years which triggered landslides in the region. There is an urgent need for rebuilding the infrastructure and this is possible only if there is a statutory body to monitor the work with guaranteed funding.
A couple of months ago, the state BJP government had announced the setting up of ‘Kalayana-Karnataka’ for the development of Hyderabad-Karnataka region with a separate secretariat.
Kodagu too could have similar body for attending to the development needs of the region.
It is worth noting here that the well-known political analyst, Dr Sandeep Shastri, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Jain University, has stated: “Keeping in mind the best interests of the Kodagu region and its people, the creation of an Autonomous Kodagu Council within the State of Karnataka may be a more viable option. There could be a clear delineation of functions and responsibilities outlined in the provisions for the creation of this Council. It would then be the responsibility of the people of the region to ensure that this Autonomous Council zealously works to protect and promote the cultural, social, political and economic interests of the region.