OOTY: Badaga tribal leaders attached to various political parties formed a forum and decided to fight together to urge the centre to restore scheduled tribe (ST) status to Badagas, the hill community, who constitute for the single largest ethnic community in Nilgiris.
Stating this J.B. Subramaniam, who is the coordinator of the Nilgiris district Badaga Political Leaders Forum(NDBPLF), said that though the Badagas and various political parties over the time took up the issue of restoring tribal status to Badagas, it failed to yield any result so far. Now, all the political party leaders in the Nilgiris, including the ruling AIADMK, have come together to fight for the cause with determination to ensure that the near seven decades long issue of the Badagas fructify soon.
He said that NDBPLF recently held a meet in Ooty and resolved to unite all the other apolitical Badaga leaders and other Badaga organizations to knock the doors of the state and union governments to restore the ST status to Badagas. To highlight this issue, the NDBPLF has decided to hold a maga rally in Ooty in November, he added.
Mr.K.R .Arjunan (AIADMK) former Rajya Sabha member, said that the Madras census in 1901 stated that the Badaga community in the Nilgiris district of Tamilnadu is a tribe. The 1911 census indicates that the Badagas are Hindu animists speaking tribal mother tongue which is called as “Badugu”. The 1931 census speaks that the Badagas are primitive and important tribe of the Nilgiris. The constitution (scheduled tribe) order, 1950 had its norms for the tribal Badagas to be a scheduled tribe. But, it was not taken and the Badgas were included in the backward community list after Independence, he explained and added that though he took up the issue earlier, nothing happened....