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Lok Sabha elections 2014: Separatist movements at the fore in Karnataka

Saturday, 22 March 2014 - 12:15pm IST | Place: Madikeri (Karnataka) | Agency: dna

The demands for a separate Kodava land and Tulunadu are increasingly becoming louder.
  • codava A file picture of members of the Codava National Council (CNC) demonstrating in front of the Town Hall and demanding an Autonomous Kodava Land in Bangalore in 2013. Mohan Kumar BN dna

Candidates contesting from the Mysore-Madikeri Lok Sabha constituency might find themselves in a fix over the Kodava land demand. Separatist activists have decided to rake up the issue of independent Kodava land in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. They are likely to give a call to vote only for those candidates who can pledge their support to the formation of Kodava land in the form of an 'autonomous region' or 'hill council'.

The Codava National Council (CNC) that met in Madikeri on Friday has decided to sensitize candidates of all national and regional parties on the issue of racial discrimination and regional suppression that had been allegedly meted out on Kodava people. 

Speaking exclusively after the meeting to dna, president of the CNC U Nachappa Codava said, "There are various instances of Lok Sabha candidates supporting the causes of micro societies, hill councils, and autonomous administrative units. In recent times, the Gorkhaland and Telangana issues have been supported by the Lok Sabha candidates in those areas." 

SS Ahluwalia, the Lok Sabha candidate from Darjeeling constituency, has been supportive of Gorkhaland, and in the past, Yashwanth Sinha of the BJP, when he contested from the same constituency, was also sympathetic to the cause of autonomous administrative regions in the North East, So we expect candidates from the BJP, the Congress and the JDS to not just give lip service to our cause but also treat our demands for a hill council or autonomous administrative region status for Kodagu district" Codava said.

Though a minority, the Kodavas have 1.25 lakh votes in the Mysore-Madikeri Lok Sabha constituency. In the 2004 and 2009 elections, the constituency recorded 4% less voting by Kodavas due to a boycott.

"We do not want to be branded as anti democracy, but a few thousand Kodavas will prefer to show their dissent for neglecting socio-economic and political issues pertaining to Kodagu by boycotting voting in this elections, we have appealed to the governor on Friday that the gross negligence of developmental work in Kodagu district amounted to racial discrimination by the Indian Union and the state government. The central government has been studying the Khap Panchayat, a proposal to bring Jats under the OBC category, and even a Bodoland and the separate state of Telangana. So why not Kodava land?" was the question posed to the Karnataka Governor.

In another case, the Tulunadu separatist movement might also gather steam in the coming days using the Nethravati river diversion project as a plank. Pramod Kumar Rai, the originator of the Tulunadu movement, told dna that "the coastal region that we refer to as 'Tulunadu' was also suppressed to a great extent by the government of Karnataka. But for brave private initiatives in development, this region would have been as backward as any other backward areas. To rake up Tulunadu issue in these elections may not be possible. But I am sure that Nethravati river diversion project can be fought on Tulunadu platform."

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