C. P. Belliappa's Column

‘Dateline Coorg’ book review: Damocles sword hangs over Jamma-holders

P.T. Bopanna’s latest book – ‘Dateline Coorg’ – is out in print. Bopanna, a senior journalist, has come up with this compilation of some of the important articles pertaining to Coorg, penned by him over the years in national newspapers, and in his popular website:
Bopanna has quoted the adage – ‘journalism is history written in a hurry’. This is very true. When articles appear in newspapers they normally have shelf-life of a day. In magazines, the shelf-life is extended depending on the frequency of the periodical. However, when the publication is in the form of a book, the shelf-life is vastly improved.

Coorg has suffered for lack of proper documentation of issues concerning this province from time immemorial. A great deal of local history has been lost with the passage of time. Primary reason is that education came to Coorg only in 1834. Unfortunately, our ancestors did not emulate the British penchant for keeping records. Even some of the history of the recent past is not in the public domain for lack of chronicling.

In this anthology, Bopanna has touched on some of the important issues concerning Coorg. The contentious Jamma tenure conundrum continues to tie us all in knots. As suggested in the book, our elected representatives need to put aside political differences and force the state government to pass suitable legislation to stop the authorities from using various interpretations as ‘Damocles sword’ over the Jamma land owners.

Other important issues covered in the book pertain to gun licence exemption, environmental concerns and settlement of people from neighbouring states as vote banks. These articles sound alarm bells for the locals to take note of some of the long term threats to this pristine province.