Kodagu (Karnataka): Kodavas don’t want to be a part of Karnataka, said Codava National Council President N.U. Nachappa said on Thursday.
He also said the Kodava community does not want separate religion, but linguistic minority and tribal status.
Talking to ANI, Nachappa said on Thursday, “We don’t want separate religion or to go out of India. We will be with Indian union and abide by our Constitution. We respect sovereignty and integrity of our nation, but we don’t want to be a part of Karnataka.”
He said that senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy has also favoured autonomous status to Kodagu.
“As per his promise on the Kodava Day, Senior economist Subramanian Swamy has already moved a private member bill in the Parliament in this regard. Congress leader B.K. Hariprasad also moved and debated a private member bill in the Parliament regarding the inclusion of Kodava language in the eighth schedule of the Constitution,” Nachappa said.
He exhorted Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bypass Karnataka government and declare Kodavas as tribes.
Madikeri Kodava Samaja President Mathanda M. Chengappa said, “There is little difference between Lingayats and Kodavas. Kodavas are a separate caste. Most of the Kodavas have embraced Hinduism from time immemorial. Our history is thousands and thousands year old. We are the locals of this place. We want separate linguistic minority status.”
A linguistic minority is a group or class of people, whose mother tongue is different from the majority of the people in the state or part of the state.
He added that other than being a linguistic minority, Kodava is a race by itself therefore we want a tribal status for ourselves.
“It is our birthright to put forward these demands and it is the duty of the government and the concerned communities to fulfill it. There is a special mention of the Kodava community in the British Gazetteer, wherein the Kodava community has been given a special status to carry a gun without a license,” Chengappa said.
Chinnappa Devaiah, a member of the Codava National Council, said Kodavas belong to a tribal community, which is being suppressed.
“We are suppressed by the government as well as the major communities, be it in the field of education, employment. We are not being given any reservation or special category and status, even though we are entitled to,” Devaiah said.
He demanded the government to grant the community tribal status and some sort of reservation.
Another Kodava Movement Member, KS Devaiah told ANI, “We are demanding a linguistic minority status, which is very essential for our community’s survival and our political rights”.
Saraswati, a Kodava Movement Member, told ANI, “We Kodavas belong to a particular race. Actually we are living in high latitude and called tribes. We belong to Hinduism and don’t have a separate religion. We want linguistic reservation.”
The Kodavas are a martial race from the small, coffee growing district of Kodagu in southern part of Karnataka. Their total population is less than 1.5 lakh and they speak ‘Kodava Thak’ language. (ANI)