Bangalore Mirror newspaper makes derogatory comments against Coorg communities
The ‘Bangalore Mirror’ newspaper, published by the Times of India group, has made derogatory comments against the Coorgs (Kodavas) and the Yerava tribals living in Coorg (Kodagu).
In an article on Coorg food, published on September 8, 2013, the cross-heading stated: “Coorgi women give men a run for their money when it comes to the consumption of alcohol”.
The article written by Khushali P. Madhwani, quoting one Kajal Appaiah, said: “In the tribes, men would complain that women are drunk and beat them. Women drink more than the men.”
When this reporter took up the issue with the resident editor of Bangalore Mirror, B. Mahesh, over the telephone and protested against the derogatory references to the Coorgs, he defended the article by saying: “Nowadays, everybody seems to feel hurt. We cannot help it.”
Further, in a ‘clarification’ issued by the Bangalore Mirror dated September 12, 2013, quoting Kajal Appaiah, it was stated: “The tribal women (the Yeravas living in Coorg) drink a lot but not the Coorg women.”
EDITOR’S VIEW: It is the height of irresponsibility on the part of Bangalore Mirror to have allowed Ms. Appaiah to make such derogatory comments against the Yerava women. Since the Yeravas come under the category of the Scheduled Tribe, the comments attract the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. The Act lists 22 offences relating to various patterns of behaviours inflicting criminal offences for shattering the self-respect and esteem of SCs and STs.
The least that the Bangalore Mirror could do is to apologise to the Yerava community for allowing their columns to be used for making defamatory statements against one of the poorest tribal communities in India.