Camp : New Delhi
Date : 28-12-2000
Justice M. Venkatachalaiah
National Commission to review the working of Constitution
Vijnan Bhawan, Moulanazad Marg,
New Delhi – 11
A handful of people are trying to create an opinion about Coorg which is contrary to facts. Prajavedike of Coorg wishes to provide the following clarification.
When the separatists tried to observe Coorg Bundh it was a total failure in Somwarpet Taluk. There was a mixed reaction in Madikeri Taluk. The Taluk panchayat members of Madikeri Taluk took a unanimous resolution in their meeting that Coorg should remain a part of Karnataka and that it shouldn’t go separate. All the representatives of the people also declared their willingness to follow this lead.
The reality of Virajpet Taluk, the so-called stronghold of the separatists, is very different. Even though the bundh appeared to be a success, it was merely because of money-power rather than peoples involvement. This point becomes clear if we examine the details of caste statistics of this Taluk. The schedule caste and tribal people, 27101 in number, aren’t asking for a separate state. Vokkaligas, Lingayats, Christians and Muslims, who are 32029 strong, have opposed separatism. Could the separatists expect the support of Malayalis and Tamilians, 24178 strong, whom they consider outsiders? Of the 33910 who speak the Kodava language, two thirds from the communities like Heggade, Iri and Amma Kodavas are with Prajavedike. 7335 people – Brahmins, Bunts, Billavas aren’t demanding a separate state. Among the Kodavas, the families that supported the Late C M Poonacha or even his admirers are not with the separatists.
Moreover, Coorg is still not a separate cultural unit as present was carved out merely for the conveniences of the British rule during 1834. Under the leadership of Doddaveeraraja a group that supported the British got together. Virajpet was built in the forests which were a grant and a result of the 1792 Mysore pact. The Nalkunadu palace was built in 1795. What is very remarkable is that there are no traces or remains of any palaces supposedly belonging to the so called earlier rulers of Coorg. Amara Sullia and Elu Savira Seeme which were under Tipu’s rule were added to Coorg after Tipu’s death. That these aren’t at all emotionally part of Coorg was only too evident from their responses to the separatists bundh.
The people of Shanivar santhe border areas have expressed their desire to go with the Hassan District while on the other side the people of Sampaje and Peraje border areas have expressed their desire to go with the Dakshina Kannada District. The co-existence of a variety of cultures being the uniqueness of Coorg, the Coorg identity will be lost without a trace if the people of Bayaluseeme and Karavali go their separate ways. Therefore Prajavedike is hoping to retain Coorg as a district that respects the co-existence of these various cultures.
Some people appear to evince a transitory interest in the idea of a separate Coorg state with the expectation that it might then get adequate recognition and preferential treatment since Coorg does not get in return the recognition it deserves in answer to the revenue it offers to the Government. But when the Coorgis living outside Coorg seem to lose their stature as a reaction to this the separatists demand, there was a complete transformation even in these people as evidenced by the total failure of the movement for non payment of Taxes, as also by the defeat continuosly suffered by the politicians who maintain links with the separatists.
In the recent assembly election held in September 1999 the separatists could not field a candidate. Surprisingly, when the candidates of three constituencies of Coorg were interviewed by the press, none of them were in support of a separate state for Coorg except on independent candidate who lost his deposit. We are herewith enclosing photo copies of reports from Kannada newspapers in support of the above.
Both on behalf of Prajavedike as also on behalf of the large majority of Coorg, we wish to urge that Coorg should be retained as a district of Karnataka, i.e. as it is at present, and that the windy arguments of the separatists who represent none but themselves should be overlooked.
Kodagu Praja Vedike
1. ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಅಖಂಡತೆಗೆ ಕೊಡಗಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಸಜ್ಜು (Janagere Patrike 2-12-1998)
2. ಪ್ರಜಾವೇದಿಕೆ ಭಾರಿ ಸಮಾವೇಶ (Andolana 24-11-98)
3. ಕೊಡಗು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಅವಿಭಾಜ್ಯ ಅಂಗ (Shakti 24-11-98)
4. ಕೊಡಗಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆ.ಆರ್.ಎಂ.ಎಂ. ಪ್ರಜಾವೇದಿಕೆ ನೇರ ಸಂಘರ್ಷ (Janagere Patrike 25-11-98)
5. ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕತಾ ಧೋರಣೆ ಮರೆತು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದೊಂದಿಗೇ ಕೊಡಗಿನ ಸಮಗ್ರತೆಗೆ ಹೋರಾಟ (Shakti 22-05-1999)
6. ಮತದಾರ ವೇದಿಕೆ ಮುಖಾಮುಖಿ (Shakti 30-08-1999)
7. ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕತೆ : ಪ್ರಬಲ ವಿರೋಧ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಪಡಿಸಿದ ಅಭ್ಯರ್ಥಿಗಳು (Shakti 31-8-99)
8. ಪ್ರತಿಧ್ವನಿಗೊಂಡ ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕತೆಯ ಚರ್ಚೆ (Shakti 01-09-99)
Justice M. Venkatachalaiah 21, Willington, Present Rd. Near 3 Murhti Bhawan ND, Phone 3022006(0) 3018818 (R)
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