By P.T. Bopanna
Lt Gen (Retd) B.C. Nanda (Biddanda), aged 87, a proud son of Kodagu (Coorg), passed away on December 12. His last rites will be held on December 13 afternoon at his residence on Abbey Falls Road, Madikeri in Karnataka.
General Nanda, who served as Army Commander (Northern Command), settled down in Kodagu after his retirement and was involved in social service activities.
He participated in the function held last year to unveil the statues of Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa and Gen K.S. Thimayya at Gonikoppal in Kodagu. He is seen (in the picture) wearing traditional Kodava dress, greeting General Bipin Rawat, chief of the Indian Army.
General Nanda’s father, Biddanda Chengappa, was the chief conservator of forests, Andamans. His mother Bollu Chengappa was the sister of Field Marshal Cariappa.
This reporter had met General Nanda at his residence in Madikeri two months ago. He had gone to meet the General’s daughter Shalini Nanda Nagappa, the well-known Canada-based food blogger.
General Nanda headed the Kodagu Natural Sciences Society which was set up to trace the origin of Kodavas by ascertaining the ancestry, customs, culture, language and a study of genealogy by the Kodagu Natural Sciences Research Society.
According to him, Kodavas inhabited Kodagu 2,000 years ago. Speaking in favour of tracing the origins of Kodavas, Gen. Nanda had said modern scientific inputs gave ample opportunities to take up research work. Along with the DNA test, socio-cultural aspects, somatometry (physical measurements on various attributes) and demography should go hand-in-hand to corroborate the theory.
General Nanda headed the Mercara Downs Golf Club and was also the chairman of the Biddanda Hockey Festival.