Staff Correspondent

Seminar commemorates 150th anniversary of First War of Indian Independence

  • `Indian institutes should face challenge from foreign varsities'
  • Political scientists, anthropologists participate in seminar

    Madikeri: Vice-chancellor of Mangalore University K.M. Kaveriappa said here on Tuesday that education was not reaching the poor and had become a tradable commodity thanks to globalisation.

    He was inaugurating a national seminar "State attempted reforms, peoples' movements and socio-economic changes", commemorating the 150th anniversary of the First War of Indian independence.

    Any foreign institute could establish a centre in the country and Indian educational institutions should stand up to face the challenge, Mr. Kaveraiappa said.

    The British introduced English in India with a view to "break" Indian culture and bring disunity in society. However, reforms such as abolition of Sati, child marriage did work well. Indians did resent the land reforms, judicial reforms that heavily favoured the British.

    Mr. Kaveraippa said post-Independence reforms such as the five-year plans did not achieve the desired results. People's movements launched such as the Kisan and tribal movements illustrated this. Referring to Kodagu, he said the fruits of development had still not reached the people of the district.

    Lt. Gen. B.C. Nanda (retd.), president of the Kodagu Natural Sciences Research Society, who presided over the function, recounted the presence of Coorgs dating back to the second century AD. In the Sangam (Tamil) period, there was reference to Kodgu as "Kodagam", he said.

    He expressed dismay at the opposition from some quarters over the proposed establishment of a chair in the Mangalore University to study the rule of the former rajahs of Kodagu. It may be recalled that Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa had announced an allocation of Rs. 25 lakh to institute the chair in his budget speech recently.

    Seminar director and Head of Department of Anthropology, University of Madras, M. Abdul Kalam gave an account of Kodagu. Dr. Kalam has researched various aspects of Kodagu since 1972. Nowhere in the world more than 32 land tenures had been found as in Kodagu, he added.

    Economists, geographers, political scientists and anthropologists are participating in the seminar that is on till May 11.