`Ain Mane’ of Kodavas a thing of the past

OLD-WORLD CHARM: The verandah of an Ain Mane, where portraits of ancestors are displayed.

The famous “Ain Mane” (ancestral house) of Kodava families, where men, women and children of a family lived together in the past in Kodagu, has crumbled in many places.

There are over 900 Kodava families each with a distinct family name and an “Ain Mane” of their own. This magnificent edifice of Kodava culture, heritage and history is fast turning out to be a relic.

The “Jamma” land and the “Ain Mane” were inseparable from the families in the past. Joint family system was the hallmark in the “Ain Mane” culture. Men and women cultivated paddy on their land under the leadership of the master of the family and shared the bounty after the harvest.

The ancestral house is marked by the deeply cut passage called “oni,” leading to the front. The “oni” is paved with rough stones and has sloped walls on either side. An ideally built “Ain Mane” resembles a fort. The fort-like structure of the house was, according to one source, derived as a measure of self-defence after a series of feuds between the chiefs of each clan. History has it that chiefs fought for gains, demarcating their boundaries, which are the “cadangas” found even now.

“Mundu mane” which greets the visitor who enters the “Ain Mane” is unique in style that is never found or prescribed in any building architecture. The four inner slopes of “mundu mane” allows rainwater to flow down to the square paved bottom and from there to an underground channel. The front of the veranda is raised and laid with a wooden slab called “aimara,” providing seating for family members.

A visit to Maggula village in Virajpet taluk reveals what has happened to the “Ain Mane” culture in Kodagu. There are at least six such ancestral houses in that village. One “Ain Mane” came down due to the fury of monsoon three years ago. The family members have rebuilt it, but with a modern touch. The families, which had houses around that “Ain Mane” in the past, deserted them for various reasons.

The grandeur and pride of owning several head of cattle, the cows that gave so much milk to feed the young ones, have vanished. Paddy fields have turned into ginger fields. Never was there a complaint about drinking water shortage in the past. Fans and refrigerators were known only to a few then. They are a necessity in every house now.

Cloudbursts, which used to be the order of the day during monsoon, do not worry the residents any more as there rainfall is scanty now.

It is not just the people who have changed but also the weather. Respect for elders and concern for children has come down. The warmth in the hospitality is missing. The situation is the same in other villages also. Another “Ain Mane” was full of life where elders steered the destiny of the family successfully once. Withered grass welcomes a visitor to these houses, which were the vibrant symbols of the Kodava culture in the past.

The elders, who fostered the “Ain Mane” culture, are not there anymore to guide the destiny of their family. Their children are now fathers or grandfathers or mothers or grandmothers. Those who find jobs outside the district settle down in the places where they work.

Some “Ain Manes” have crumbled as nobody lives there. However, the annual offering, “meedhi,” to the “Guru Karona” (ancestor) brings together men, women and children of the family under the aging roofs of the “Ain Mane” all over the district. Festivals such as “Puttari’, “Kail Poldu” and “Cauvery Changrandi” also pave the way for the meeting of family members in the “Ain Manes.”

 –  Jeevan Chinnappa

TP meet resolves to take action against tahsildar, other officials

Madikeri Taluk Panchayat President H S Subhashini conveing a general meet on Thursday.The taluk panchayat meet held on Thursday resolved to recommend desciplinary action against tahsildar and Forest Department officials who did not attend the general meet on Thursday.

The decision was taken by Taluk Panchayat President H S Subhashini in the wake of objections and complaints raised by the members with regard to officials’ absence.

Speaking on the occasion, member Taloor Kishor Kumar said that there were several major issues related to Revenue and Forest Departments which should have been discussed in the meet. However, it is unfortunate that panchayat could not discuss the issues as officials are not present, he added.

Another member Uma Prabhu alleged that the doctors of Madikeri Government Hospital refused to provide treatment to heart patient Anjali, who is a student from Parane.  Anjali was diagnosed with heart disease at a medical check up camp organised in her school through the Arogya Chaitanya Scheme of the government.

Responding to the allegations, Health Officer Mahadevaiah said that he was not aware of the incident. He assured that a report on the incident will be submitted within a week.

Taluk panchayat executive officer Puttaswamy, vice president Chitra Nanaiah and officials were present.

Increase subsidy to 50 % says Kodagu Growers Federation

Kodagu Growers Federation has, in a memorandum to the Union Government, sought an increase in the subsidy being given for quality upgradation of coffee to 50 per cent from the existing 20 per cent-25 per cent.

Mechanisation of farm activity was the only way out to steer clear of the labour shortage and the 50 per cent subsidy should cover purchase of farm equipment such as coffee harvesters and weed cutters.

Copies of the memorandum have been sent to the Prime Minister, the United Progressive Alliance Chairperson, the Union Finance Minister, the Chief Minister of the State, the Union Commerce Minister, the Mysore MP and elected representatives from Kodagu.

– The Hindu

Mines and Geology Department asked to auction sand in Kodagu

Madikeri: Kodagu Deputy Commissioner K.H. Ashwatha Narayana Gowda on Thursday asked the Department of Mines and Geology officials here to auction sand from river beds instead of renewing licences of holders till the district administration received fresh directions from the Government.

Mr. Gowda said that complaints were being received from several parts of the district that sand extraction was going on without renewal of licences. A final decision on sand auction would be taken at a meeting on December 8, he said.

When an official of the Department of Mines and Geology said that licence could be renewed by increasing fee by 10 per cent of that fixed the last time, Assistant Commissioner Shivashankar and Madikeri Tahsildar Devaraju said the issue needed a review as licence was granted for paltry sums at certain places last time.

The Department of Mines and Geology official stated that the Government had banned transportation of sand to Kerala and shortage of staff in the department had affected the process to check transportation of sand to Kerala.

 – The Hindu

National-level Karate competition from Nov 21 in Kolar

Deputy Commissioner N Prabhakar will inaugurate the national-level Karate competition, organised by the City-based Bruce Lee Karate School on November 21, said Bruce Lee Karate School head B Srinivas.

Speaking at a press conference at Patrakartara Sangha in the City, he said Zilla Panchayat President M Srinivas will preside over the programme which will be held at Government Higher Primary School in Petechamanahalli, Kolar at 10 am.

The valedictory function will be held on November 22 at 5 pm.