By P.T. Bopanna
Kumaraswamy’s failure to announce any new project for Kodagu and raining a spate of new projects for his Vokkaliga-caste dominated Hassan, Mandya, Mysore and Ramanagaram districts, has led to a lot of resentment among the people of Kodagu.
It is not just the people of Kodagu, but people across Karnataka are disappointed by Kumaraswamy’s budget as it aims to promote prosperity only in areas where his Janata Dal (Secular) party enjoys support.
Even the JD (S) coalition partner, Congress, is also cut up with Kumaraswamy, for neglecting most of the districts in northern parts of Karnataka, not to speak of the coastal districts, the stronghold of the rival BJP.
The budget has reinforced the impression that the JD (S) is a “private limited company for benefitting the clan of JD (S) supremo and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda.”
In view of the total neglect of Kodagu, the social media is flooded with the demand for restoration of statehood for Kodagu, as it existed prior to the linguistic reorganization of the states in 1956, when Coorg State merged with the erstwhile Mysore State.
This writer feels that much water has flown down the Cauvery and it is too late for the restoration of the Coorg State.
The creation of Kodagu Autonomous Council is the ideal solution to overcome continued neglect of Kodagu on the lines of the erstwhile Darjeeling Gorkha Autonomous Hill Council.
Some of the main provisions of the agreement providing for delegation of powers to Darjeeling Hill Council, include general power of supervision over Panchayat Samithies, Gram Panchayats and municipalities falling within the area of the Council’s jurisdiction.
The Kodagu autonomous council is possible only if the people of Kodagu are in favour of such a body. There is a need for educating the people for setting up of the council to look after the developmental needs of Kodagu.
Once the awareness on the need for the autonomous council is created, the Kodagu zilla panchayat could pass a resolution and send it to the Karnataka government for suitable action.
In fact, Dr Sandeep Shastri, well-known political analyst, has also favoured the creation of an autonomous council for Kodagu.
Dr Shastri has opined: “Keeping in mind the best interests of the Kodagu region and its people, it may be more worthwhile for a limited autonomy being sought. 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.”