‘Importance should be given to preserving original culture of the land’
Madikeri: Deputy Speaker of Legislative Assembly and Virajpet MLA K.G. Bopaiah, on Sunday, expressed concern over migration of youth from Kodagu in search of greener pastures and said that job opportunities would have to be created within the district to reverse the trend.
He was addressing a gathering at the Patrika Bhavan here after releasing a Kodava book titled “Kodava Pattaya” authored by Panjerira C. Belliappa.
Elderly persons in rural areas were out to sell their land in the absence of youth who pursued jobs outside the district.
Such a development needed to be stopped at any cost, Mr. Bopaiah said. Preserving the original culture of the land, which could only be done by principal inhabitants of the land, should be given utmost importance, Mr. Bopaiah said.
Lack of rail and air connectivity and also industries in Kodagu had made youth go out in pursuit of jobs. It had created a void in the district, he said.
Care needed to be exercised even to develop tourism infrastructure in the district. Situation in Kodagu now was not the same that existed 25 years ago, thanks to cultural degeneration, Mr. Bopaiah said and added that if the same trend continued it could lead to disaster in the district as far as culture was concerned.
K.A. Kushalappa, a retired Chief Conservator of Forests, who inaugurated the function, said the “Kodava Pattaya” should be translated into English and Kannada.
S.G. Medappa, MLC, who was a guest, observed that cultural practice of every community in the district was unique and each should have respect for the other to be able to carry forward the rich cultural legacy of Kodagu.
Madikeri MLA M.P. Appachu Ranjan, who presided over the function, said the book should serve as a compendium of Kodava culture. Preserving Kodagu’s unique culture should be given priority.
He called upon the people not to sell their land under the pretext of tiding over financial difficulties or lack of manpower to maintain agricultural practice.
Kodagu was still known for its hospitality. Kodava culture was special and efforts must be made to preserve it for posterity, he added. Mention about various aspects of Kodava culture in the book would indeed help foster the Kodava culture, Mr. Ranjan said.
Donors, who helped publish the book, were present. Jagdish Belliappa, reporter, TV9, and son of the author of the book, welcomed and proposed a vote of thanks.