‘Community facing economic problems owing to ostentatious lifestyle’

With the annual Hetthai Amman festival season having commenced in the Nilgiris, the Porangadu Seemai Nala Sangam, a Kotagiri-based non-governmental organization which highlights various issues relating to the people of Kotagiri and surroundings in general and Badagas in particular has underscored the need for members of the community here and elsewhere to use the occasion to do some reflection and also look ahead.

Speaking to The Hindu , the General Secretary of the Sangam A.Kari Gowder lamented that the community which had since yore been known for its unique hoary culture and qualities is now lustreless and confronted with challenges of a varied kind.

On the one hand the Badagas are the largest indigenous social group in the Nilgiris and on the other their hallmark now is disunity brought about by unhealthy competition and jealousy.

The community which had for long been synonymous with hospitality, is now grappling with economic problems due to an ostentatious lifestyle and inability to do hard work.

Expressing confidence that the trend can be reversed with the involvement of the Badaga youth, particularly in the villages, he said that selfless leaders should guide them by falling back on the ‘live and let live’ policy adopted by their forefathers and their penchant for hard work.

The need of the hour is a strong and effective apex body which can rein in shortcomings and put in place measures which protect the culture of the hill people and also put them on the road to progress.

Listing some of the steps which would be of considerable benefit to posterity, Mr.Gowder said that a simple form of conducting marriages should be evolved.

Elaborate and expensive ceremonies associated with marriages should be avoided.

Elders should be treated properly and their financial, food and health security safeguarded.

The highest priority should be given for education of children and everything possible should be done to prevent consumption of liquor especially in the villages.

A forum called the “Nakkubetta Badaga Development Committee” should be formed for executing major schemes in the villages.

  • Badagas are the largest indigenous social group in Nilgiris district

  • There is now disunity brought about by unhealthy competition and jealousy