By P.T. Bopanna
Maj Gen Codanda K Karumbaya, SM (Retd), aged 87 years, who had written extensively on Kodagu (Coorg) and Kodavas (Coorgs) passed away at Mysuru on January 4.
It is a personal loss for me because we both felt that the original faith of the Kodavas should be preserved and practiced because it was more scientific and rational.
General Karumbaya (in picture), who was known in close family and friends circle as Keshu, had contributed articles for my book ‘Are Kodavas (Coorgs) Hindus?’.
It will not be an exaggeration if I call him my Kodavame guru because we both were on the same wavelength as far as Kodavame (Kodava way of life) was concerned. So much so that I had already decided to dedicate my next book – Kodava Religion At Crossroads – to Keshu Uncle.
I came to know from my cousin K.C. Belliappa (Kambeyanda) that Keshu Uncle was ailing for quite some time and was on dialysis.
General Karumbaya was born and educated in Madikeri, Kodagu. He was commissioned into the Army in 1958. He actively participated in the 1965 Indo-Pak war in the Rajasthan/Sind sector, where he was wounded. In the 1971 Bangladesh war, he was awarded the Sena Medal for gallantry. He retired as Deputy Commandant of the Indian Military Academy in 1991.
He is survived by his wife Dechu, son Somanna and daughter Shabari. His last rites were performed at Mysuru on January 5.