Private bus owners go on strike

Private buses in Kodagu remained of the road on Tuesday in the wake of the Coorg Private Bus Owners’ Association’s call for strike against operation of KSRTC buses in the district without permits.

Members of the association said that they would seek the resignation of the elected representatives if their demand for issuing permits to KSRTC buses were not fulfilled within a month. The members staged a dharna in front of the RTO office here on January 8. However, absence of private buses did not cause much inconvenience as it was a government holiday on Tuesday. The KSRTC buses posed a unhealthy competition to private buses by not sticking to the departure/arrival timings allotted to them, Ramesh Joyappa, president of the association, alleged in a statement here on Tuesday.

More than 80 KSRTC schedules operated in Kodagu though the RTO stated that only 19 buses operated without permits. More than 190 private buses operated in the district. The association had petitioned the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) headed by the Deputy Commissioner and the State Transport Minister, Transport Commissioner and other officials over the unhealthy competition by the KSRTC buses, but no action had been taken, Mr. Joyappa said.

The issue was brought to the notice of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Transport Minister R. Ashok when they visited Madikeri on December 11, he said.

-The Hindu

`Mobile Love’ ends up in Murder Attempt

A Man and his friend who attempted to kill his pregnant lover by pushing her from a running car are now are now `State guests’.

Nityakumari of Somvarpet in Kodagu District is working in Manipal Hospital for last two years as a nurse. One fine day an accidental mobile phone call  acquainted her with a Mahesh of Arasu Kallahalli village in Hunasur Taluk. Acquaintance turned into love and she became pregnant.

Then Nityakumari started pressurizing Mahesh to marry her. But he insisted on abortion and tried to do so in several hospitals. But doctors refused because she was five months pregnant then.

Mahesh came up with a master plan and took her to Tamilnadu in a car along with his friend Harish on the pretext of doing abortion in Coimbatore. In Satyamangala Ghat he opened rear door and pushed her down and speeded away.

But fortunately a lorry driver rescued injured Nityakumari and she came back to Hunasur and filed a complaint. Police have arrested Mahesh and Harish.


Human-Chain aimed at promoting peace

The Kodagu unit of the Samasta Karnataka Sunni Students’ Federation (SKSSF) will form a human chain at the ground facing the Cauvery Hall here on January 26 at 4 p.m. K.A. Yakoob, one of the directors of the SKSSF, told presspersons here on Saturday that about 1,000 people of different communities will participate in forming human chains in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala simultaneously on the same day. The programme is aimed at condemning communal violence and promoting peace.

A procession will be taken out from the Badriya Masjid here to the Cauvery Hall before the formation of a human chain.

Sri Vishveshwara Swamy of Virakta Math in Somwarpet will inaugurate the programme. President of the Kodagu district SKSSF Arif Faizi will administer the oath to the participants. Religious leaders of the community such as K.S. Haidar Darimi, K.M. Ibrahim Musliar from Sakleshpur, former MLA K.M. Ibrahim, and president of the Kodagu District Christian Welfare Association K.T. Baby Mathew will be present among others.

-The Hindu

Incentives to boost honey production in Kodagu

Coorg Honey and Wax Producers’ Cooperative Society at Virajpet in Kodagu will offer concessions to its members to encourage honey production in the district, president of the society K.K. Mandanna said on Friday.

Addressing presspersons here, he said the society would provide 25 per cent concession on beehives made of teakwood. The cost of the each unit was Rs. 2,000. “Honey family”, comprising bees and honeycomb, too was being given concession up to 50 per cent. Besides, the Department of Horticulture here was supplying material needed for beekeeping by providing 25 per cent concession. The Dharmastala Gramabhyudaya Samste too was offering concessions on purchase of beehives.

Mr. Mandanna said the society had processed 60,000 kg of honey procured from different parts of the district, mainly Makutta and Thithimathi.

There was a demand for one lakh kg of honey in Kodagu every year, he said, and urged farmers to take to beekeeping to meet the demand. He did not rule out adulteration of honey by some persons in Kodagu, especially while selling it to tourists. The society sold “Agmark” certified honey. The society’s annual turnover was Rs. 1.5 crore, he said.

The former president of the society Chiriyapanda Raja Nanjappa said that honey was not being bought by the society from outside the district or State. He ruled out adulteration of honey sold by the society. The “Thai sac brood” disease played havoc some years ago, affecting honey production in the district. Honey production had improved now, Mr. Nanjappa said.

B.C. Somaiah, member of the society, was present.

-The Hindu

Dharna for water at Haleri village

People of Chamundeshwari Colony at Haleri village in Somwarpet taluk of Kodagu staged a dharna in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner here on Friday in protest against the “apathy” of the district administration in tackling water shortage in their colony.

Rallying under the Janapara Horata Vedike, they demanded that the district administration provide them adequate drinking water.

Their pleas fell on deaf ears, Balakrishna Rai, president of the vedike, alleged.

The protesters said that they would intensify their agitation if their demand was not fulfilled at the earliest. A memorandum was submitted to the officials here.

-The Hindu

Coorg royal family in Andra Pradesh!

It’s interesting to note how the descendents of Coorg royal family came to settle down in Bodhan.

In a sub-continent that has been in existence for ages, it is no surprise that there is every possibility of us crossing paths with the descendents of some king or sultan who had reigned over some part of the Indian soil. Within the confines of this city, or more so a fairly small place called Bodhan in this State (Nizamabad district to be precise), we’d come across the direct descendents of the Coorg royalty — the Haleri clan that had held sway over the exotic tract of land for nearly 234 years. That they found their way to Bodhan is mind-blowing, for Coorg is nowhere in the horizon of Andhra Pradesh! But as Lakshmi Devi Sardesai and her son Ajay Rajendra Wadiyar point out, there is a third dimension to the riddle —the Benaras factor.

The jigsaw nature of Coorg history started unfolding no sooner than Lakshmi Devi began her crisp narration introducing herself as the great granddaughter of the last king of Coorg Chikka Veera Rajendra. The beautiful lady is grace personified, albeit a little frail. Says she, “to cut a long story short, the last rajah was arrested by the British (East India Company) and put in house arrest at a place of his choice and this happened to be Benaras.”

The East India Company provided him with a privy purse which allowed him, his four sons and daughter Gowramma to live in comfort if not luxury. One of the sons was Lakshmi devi’s grandfather on the paternal side. Chikka Veera Rajendra along with his daughter went to Britain to plead for his case to no avail. His daughter was baptized there after the Queen of England who took a liking to the beautiful Gowramma but the Rajah refused to convert, it was reported. Heart-broken, he left his daughter along with the royal jewels in the care of a British royal couple and died quite suddenly in London. The mortal remains of his body buried in that country was later sent to Benaras to be immersed in the Ganga as per Hindu custom.

Now, where is the Bodhan link? Smiling, Lakshmi Devi shares the information for the Veera Shaiva sect, there was a mutt (Jangamvadi) in Kasi (Benaras) headed by a Panchacharya (seer). Congregation of all lingayat priests (Jangam) from across the length and breadth of the country at this mutt at least annually was not uncommon then and even now. It so happened that one Jangam from Bodhan Samsthan met Chikka Rajendra’s son at Benaras during one of his visits to the place.

An alliance for the two daughters of the king was proposed to the Deshmukh of Bodhan. Both were without heirs and it was then that one of the sisters decided to call her brother’s son (nephew) to Bodhan to take care of the family and property. That’s how Linga Rajendra (third son of Veera Rajendra) came to settle down at Bodhan. The other three sons of the rajah were Veera Rajendra, Mudhu Rajendra and Chandrashekara Rajendra. Since Linga Rajendra at a young age his and my widowed grandmother called for her youngest brother-in-law to take care of the Samsthan at Bodhan.

It’s interesting to know that Lakshmi Devi’s second son was adopted by her father to take on the family name as there was no male progeny. The silverware, brassware embossed with the royal seal and gazette notifications are the only precious preserves now with the family while the original Madikeri (Markara) palace at Coorg has been housing the Collectorate now.

The erudite Lakhmi Devi, is personification of the three ‘Bs’ (beauty, brains and breed) not to talk of the Coorg secularism.

-Report: Ranee Kumar, Photograph: Sathish H , The Hindu

For Coorg history please click here