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Jaya push to accord minority status to Badagas
CHENNAI: A few days after representatives of the Badaga community requested her to help include them in the list of Scheduled Trib..
CHENNAI: A few days after representatives of the Badaga community requested her to help include them in the list of Scheduled Tribes, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday took up their matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought immediate action.
In her letter to the PM, the CM pointed out that according to the 1931 census, the Badagas were classified as a tribe. Recalling her letter in this regard to the then Union Minister of Tribal Affairs on September 5, 2003, she said she had given an analysis of various attributes of the community, such as primitive traits, a distinctive culture, shyness of contact with the public at large, geographical isolation and social and economic backwardness.
The proof given by the Badagas reveals that they have been living in the Nilgris for many centuries along with other tribes, such as To-das, she said and added that the Badagas were an ethnic and linguistic minority tribal group with a distinct culture and heritage of their own. Their oral literature, belief and faith reveal their attachment to Nakkubetta and Nilgris through Devva and Hethe Habbas, which are animistic in nature.
The CM further said the criterion of Primitive Tribe, one of the characteristics indicated for Scheduled Tribes, could no longer be applicable to many of the STs in the country due to their upliftment through various developmental programmes of the government since Independence. However, it is very much relevant and applicable in the case of the Badagas of Nilgris.
It is clear that the broad characteristics indicated for classification of a community as a ST have been satisfied for the Badagas, thus making them eligible for qualification as a ST.
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