‘RISE AND FALL OF THE COORG STATE’ IS CLOSEST TO MY HEART, SAYS AUTHOR P.T. BOPANNA
Out of the seven books authored by me, the ‘Rise and Fall of the Coorg State’ is closest to my heart. The book mainly deals with how the Coorg State was wiped out from the map in 1956 following the linguistic reorganisation of the States. The erstwhile Coorg State merged with Karnataka. From being a Part ‘C’ State, Coorg which has now been renamed as Kodagu, was reduced to the status of a district.
Most of the old timers in Kodagu still feel betrayed by the merger with Karnataka. Many are convinced that Coorg would have continued as an independent State, but for the “selfish” politics played by a few leaders.
The sense of betrayal is more so, when one looks back at how Kodagu has been neglected by successive Karnataka governments and how the natural wealth of the area has been looted by the politico-timber lobby.
Being a journalist, I had to be impartial while documenting how the Coorg State was wiped out and the subsequent injustice meted out in the development of the area.
Since the subject matter of the book was close to my heart, I wrote it with a lot of passion. The book created a record of sorts by going into reprint within two months of its publication.
The original English version of the book was first published in 2009. I was keen to get the book translated into Kannada, in order to reach out to the rest of Karnataka on the merger story. The book was translated into Kannada by journalist B.K. Ganesh, who also hails from Kodagu, in 2011 title ‘Coorg State: Udaya-Pathana’.
I was keen to translate the ‘Rise and Fall of the Coorg State’ in Kodava Thak, the language spoken by the indigenous people of Kodagu. Eminent Kodava language writer Nagesh Kaloor translated the book into Kodava language in 2012. The Kodava title of the book is ‘Coorg State: Udchad – Thandad’.