KARNATAKA

CNC decides to boycott all elections

SHOW OF STRENGTH: Kodavas taking out a procession to mark Kodava National Day, in Madikeri on Monday.  

Staff Correspondent

Madikeri: The Codava National Council (CNC), fighting for an "autonomous homeland" status to the Kodava population in Kodagu, on Monday resolved to boycott the elections in Kodagu until its demands are met.

This was one of the resolutions adopted at a gathering organised by the council to mark the "Codava National Day" at the Gandhi Maidan here. Council secretary general N.U. Nachappa said the resolutions included creation of a Codava Autonomous Region (CAR) from the erstwhile 45 "nads" (cluster of villages) on the lines of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council of the Gorkhas, oppose the moves to classify Virajpet taluk as Schedule Area for tribal people as per Dilip Singh Bhuriya Commission report.

It resolved to build a "Kodava Kund" (Kodava Hill), which would have in it the Kodava "Ain Mane" (ancestral home). The council will oppose any move that disturbs traditional Kodava rights such as "Jamma Bane".

The council urged the Centre to include Kodava language in the VII Schedule of the Constitution. It recommended the Constitution Review Commission to establish a Coorg Development Council under Article 371 of the Constitution.

Mr. Nachappa urged the Centre and the State Government to create a Ministry of Kodava Affairs and give primitive tribal status to the community. It wanted a separate Lok Sabha seat for Kodagu, internal reservation for the Kodava women, and an autonomous university for Kodava minority, on the lines of Aligarh Muslim University.

Mr. Nachappa said the Government should intervene to rescue coffee industry, provide recognition to the Kodava language in the Central Sahitya Academy and make Kodava the official language in Kodagu. The State Government must treat Kodava as the second language and include it in the regular curriculum in schools. It should declare holidays for Kodava festivals such as "Keil Poldu", "Puttari" and Kodava new year on August 18 every year, Mr. Nachappa said.

The council demanded a share in the Cauvery river water since it originated in Kodagu. He regretted that the State and the Union governments had violated the assurance and promises enshrined in the States Reorganisation Act of 1956.

Men and women attired in traditional Kodava costumes took out a colourful procession from the Gaddige to the Gandhi Maidan. Supporters of the CNC had come from throughout the district. The CNC flag was unfurled at the venue.