OFFBEAT: ARE KODAVAS (COORGS) HINDUS?

Zarina Sannu Mallangada says: “As a Kodava, I am privileged not to be bound or bundled by something called religion and it gives me both an edge to privacy while freedom to watch and learn.” 

Zarina who hosts the blog coorgstories.com writes:

On the 10th of May, I was traveling from cowMadikeri to Mysuru and saw this unusual looking 4-wheeler in front of us near Kamplapura. I was craning my neck to get a clear view as it was cloudy, raining and mad driving in a 2-way lane. That’s when my husband said look at the extra limb on cow’s back and the people are taking advantage of its deformity. He continued, see how the vehicle is modified into look like a shrine, picture of one of the prophets is kept decked with flowers and the cow is made to look holy! The 3-ladies and the driver, and perhaps even some more might be making a living out of the deformity of the cow!!

Like prostitution, conning is one of the oldest professions in the world. Akin to the prey and the predator of the jungle, wherever “innocent victims” congregate, the salesmen “concentrate”.

I call it CON-monetization (en-cashing on the innocence, ignorance  helplessness of poor people in a cunning way). One has to marvel at their ingenuity, creativity and the ability to fool their fellow beings. Looking at them I remember a famous line from the Kirtane of Kannada Saint Composer Kanakadasa (1509-1609): Ellaru madu-vudu hotte-gagi genu batte-gagi {Ellaru = every one, maduvudu = doing or does, hottegagi = for the sake of stomach, genu = a measurement from the fingertip till the elbow and battegagi = for clothing. In short, everyone is working to fill one’s stomach, be it a king or a pauper, thief or saint, etc. Ironically that piece of cloth is what differentiates the humans from the rest of the living being who walks vertical and has no natural cover!

After the mystery of Mother Nature, it’s religion that always fascinates me. Often I wonder who coined, designed, shaped and coloured something called religion. It’s soft and fragile as a new born, beautiful as a flower petal, fragrant as jasmine, stronger than an earthquake, powerful than a tsunami, brighter like Sun, darker like moon, blind as a mud snake, deaf and dumb like each other and definitely the most used, misused and abused aspect of human life. It has taken more lives and spilt more blood than anything else in the history of mankind.

As a Kodava, I am privileged not to be bound or bundled by something called religion and it gives me both an edge to privacy while freedom to watch and learn. I find it very funny when someone tries to lure me (twice I experienced) with the classic “you are such a nice person, you must read our book, it has so many merits” … (I have no idea if there is shortage of good people…) and want to tell them to be humans first and then think of religion.

It happens only in India… In India, religious con-monetization and fooling is not just limited to Hinduism but practically wide spread in almost every religion though in different fashions. The religious salesmen are pro-monetizing the innocent, the ignorant and the helpless by promising protection from the current and the future ghosts for generations to come!! Guess the entire community of ghosts from India including the ones from Kukkarhalli Kere goes to these religious congregations seeking solace and comical action.

Everyone will do anything for the sake of filling the stomach be it in a righteous or in an unrighteous manner. It will continue to be till the last man on earth survives and sadly religion is the easiest guise to cover up the con.

 

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