Assembly polls: Kodagu BJP’s gameplan to woo Kodava voters
It cannot get bizarre than this. Some of the top BJP leaders in Kodagu have decided to perform a maha pooja to undo the so-called ‘curse’ on the Kodavas (Coorgs) uttered by Agastya Rishi as made out in the Hindu Puranas.
A new outfit has been floated called ‘Kaveri Hitharakshana Samithi’ to undo the curse on the Kodava race! The leaders of this are A.K. Manu Muthappa, a district BJP leader who is also the chairman of the Talakaveri-Bhagamandala temple management committee, and M.B. Devaiah, a senior BJP leader.
On March 8, these leaders performed “Swarna Prashne-Ganapathi homa” at the Akhila Kodava Samaja premises at Virajpet, in preparation for a maha pooja to be performed next April as suggested by leading Tanthris (astrologers) from outside the district who have assured that it was possible to ‘undo’ the curse of Agastya Rishi.
The timing of the entire exercise is suspect because it is apparent that the organisers want to mobilise the Kodava voters by playing on an emotional card in the run-up to the Legislative Assembly elections in May. The organisers claim that due to the curse of Agastya Rishi, there was no ‘unity’ among the Kodavas.
According to the BJP leaders, Agastya Rishi cursed the Kodavas after his wife Lopamudra, daughter of Kavera Muni, spilled out in the form of a river, enraged by the betrayal by her husband, who had promised not to leave her alone.
The BJP leaders are apparently misleading the people of Kodagu by misquoting the Puranas. According to ‘Pattole Palame’, the most authentic book on Kodava culture and traditions, written by the late Nadikerianda Chinnappa, it was the Brahmins who were cursed by Agastya Rishi. At page 23 of ‘Pattole Palame’, it says:
Agastya, the great sage, filled with anger, looked at the Brahmins and cursed them “O Brahmins of Matsya Desa”, may the people of this land be unfriendly to you!”
Moreover, Puranas are nothing but mythology and there are no records to prove whether there was any curse uttered by the sage.
It is a fact that the Kodavas are ancestor and nature worshippers and were outside the purview of mainstream Hinduism. The Puranas, apparently written by the Brahminical class, tried to absorb legends and weaved myths around historical characters. Besides, it is of interest to note that Brahmins have no role to play in the life cycle rituals of birth, marriages and deaths of Kodavas.
That being the case, the BJP is obviously trying to mislead the Kodavas, mainly with a view to woo their votes.
Akhila Kodava Samaja President Mathanda C. Monnappa told this reporter that he had nothing to do with the ongoing rituals to undo the curse of Agastya Rishi, even though the Samaja premises was allowed to be used for performing the various poojas.
The Kodagu Ekikarana Ranga leader Thammu Poovaiah has claimed that the entire exercise of trying to undo the so-called curse of Agastya Rishi was aimed to woo the Kodava voters during the elections.