TN: Badaga associations fault American scholar’s writings about their origins
The issue came to light after Dr Hockings revealed snippets of his upcoming book The Nilgiri Hills: A Kaleidoscope of People, Culture and Nature to media recently.
NILGIRIS: Alleging that facts about the community have been presented wrongly, members of Badaga associations demanded an apology from Dr Paul Hockings, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at University of Illinois, and editor of the Encyclopedia of the Nilgiri Hills. They also demanded an apology from Keystone, a non-profit organisation that engaged Hockings.
The issue came to light after Dr Hockings revealed snippets of his upcoming book The Nilgiri Hills: A Kaleidoscope of People, Culture and Nature to media recently. Addressing the media, representatives of Badaga Desa Party, Young Badaga Association, Federation of Badaga Association, Youth wing of Badgar Peravai and Nakku Seemai Badagar youth wing said Hocking’s claims that Badagas arrived in Nilgiris after other tribal groups like Toda and Kotas was incorrect.
Badaga Desa Party founder-president Manjai V Mohan said, “We are giving seven days to Hackings to apologise for making claims that Badagas migrated from plains. Actually, we are the sons of soil since the majority of the people own land across the district. We are living in harmony with other tribal communities.” Mohan said the community has been striving for ST category status as they have been classified as BC in the 1950s.
Dr Paul Hockings told TNIE that he authored the book based on interviews with hundreds of Badaga community elders in 80 villages across the district and that his claims are based on facts.