Include Badagas in ST list: Jayalalithaa requests PM

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to consider the request of the inclusion of Badaga community of the Nilgiris in the Scheduled Tribes list at the earliest.

In her letter sent to Dr. Singh on Thursday, she pointed out that the issue had been pending for long. In September 2003, she wrote to the then Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, with a detailed analysis of various attributes of the community such as primitive traits, distinctive nature, shyness of contact with the public at large, geographical isolation and social and economic backwardness to declare them as a Scheduled Tribe.

Referring to a recent representation made by the Badagas to her, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the evidence produced by the community revealed that the Badagas had been living in the Nilgiris hills for several centuries with other Tribes such as Todas. “The Badagas are an ethnic and linguistic minority tribal group with a distinct culture and heritage of their own. Their oral literature, belief and faith reveal their attachment to Nakkubetta and Nilgiris through DEVVA and HETHE HABBAS, which are animistic in nature.”

The Chief Minister argued that the criterion of primitive tribe, one of the characteristics indicated for Scheduled Tribes, could no longer be applicable to many of the STs in the country due to their upliftment through various developmental programmes of the government since Independence, whereas it was very much relevant in the case of the Badagas of the Nilgiris. “It is clear that the broad characteristics indicated for classification of a community as a Scheduled Tribe have been satisfied, thus making them eligible for qualification as a Scheduled Tribe.” she said in the letter.

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Printable version | Sep 14, 2021 1:03:14 PM |

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