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They too follow Guru Nanak

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COLOURFUL TRADITION: Handi Jogi tribes dancing at State Youth Centre in Bangalore where the Kannada Book Authority released books under Alemari community series on Friday.
COLOURFUL TRADITION: Handi Jogi tribes dancing at State Youth Centre in Bangalore where the Kannada Book Authority released books under Alemari community series on Friday.

Special Correspondent

KDA books give insight into Sikligars and other little known nomadic tribes

Bangalore: People of the Sikligar community wear turbans just as the Sikhs do and revere Guru Nanak. But they are outside the mainstream Sikh community and the small number of Sikligars who live in Karnataka did not come under the purview of reservation despite their low social and economic status.

Books that present a study of neglected nomadic community like Siklidar and nine others were released by Kannada Book Authority (KDA) on Friday.

This takes the number of books published under the series on nomadic communities in Karnataka to 22.

Editor of the series K.M. Metry said that these tribes faced a serious “identity crisis” and less than 3 per cent of them had finished secondary education.

Many of them were known by different names in different places, and there was no uniformity in their reservation classification, he added.

He said the long-pending caste census should be conducted in Karnataka to ascertain the number of nomadic tribal people or institute a separate commission to study them.

Mr. Metry said the series of books was unique because most of them were authored or co-authored by the people of the community.

The former KDA Chairperson S.G. Siddaramiah said that the series had been published with a measly budget of Rs. 10 lakh, although they had asked for Rs. 30 lakh.

‘Change lifestyle’

Social Welfare Minister D. Sudhakar advised the community people to shun their nomadic lifestyle and settle down using the government schemes.

He promised to release funds for other books in the series. He promised to convene a meeting of community leaders to look into the demand for a separate commission for them, which had been recommended by the Karnataka State Backward Classes Commission.

KDA Chairperson Siddalinngiah, BC Commission Chairperson C.S. Dwarakanath, Karnataka Scheduled Caste Commission Chairperson Nehru Olekar, Balagurmurthy, Bhaskardas Ekkaru and Sheshappa of the Karnataka State Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Tribes were present.

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