Bommai inaugurates Appachattolanda Cup Kodava Hockey Festival at Napoklu
Madikeri: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that Kodava Development Corporation, a long-pending demand of the people of the district, will be a reality soon.
“I will issue an order on the setting up of the Kodava Development Corporation at the earliest,” he said after inaugurating the Kodava family hockey tournament hosted by the Appachattolanda family at General Thimayya Stadium in Cheriyaparambu of Napoklu last evening.
“Kodavas are physically strong and protect the nation. The Government is committed to the welfare and growth of the Kodava community and the Kodava Community Development Corporation that will strive exclusively for the overall development of the unique Kodava community has been a long-pending demand from the community and steps would be taken to realise it,” he added.
Heaping praises on the concept of a family hockey tournament, the CM said that the concept is wonderful and unique and brings Kodava families under one roof. “Kodava families are well-knit families. At a time when relationships are waning, the tourney has helped bring together families. Families should be united and relationships should bring together the people,” he said. “This is a special tournament as it is organised by the Kodava families. These families enjoy a good relationship, and family bond and the heritage of the Kodava community is being promoted through the game of hockey. The culture, tradition, and practices of the Kodavas unite all. Their attire and food are special,” he added.
“It is happy to note that this tournament is going on for the last 23 years. Families must unite and relationships must prosper. This is the culture of India. This kind of tournament is not seen anywhere in the world. Hence, the State Government has released Rs. 1 crore for the tournament,” Bommai said.
The hockey festival is being held from Mar. 18 to Apr. 9 on three grounds and a record 336 families or teams have registered for it. This is the 23rd edition of the event which had a four-year break from 2018 onwards owing to natural calamities in the district followed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, the tournament began with a grand procession. Besides this year’s participants, the family teams which have participated in the tournament in the previous years also took part in the procession. Heads of the family teams gave the green signal for the hockey festival by firing 23 rounds of gunshots in the air.
The idea of a family tournament to bring together different Kodava families was conceived by the late Pandanda Kuttappa, popular as Kuttani, and the first edition was held in 1997 and has since then grown into a major event. The first exhibition match was held between the 37th Coorg Field Regiment and Kodava Academy-11. The second exhibition match was held between Indian Junior Hockey team and Karnataka team consisting of Olympian players from Kodagu.
The CM was felicitated by handing over a silver hockey stick and silver ‘odikathi’ on the occasion. Bommai was dressed in Kodava attire, complete with ‘Kupiya-chele’, ‘peechekathi’ and ‘mandethuni’. Several cultural programmes were performed.
Minister S.T. Somashekar, MLAs K.G. Bopaiah, Appachu Ranjan, MP Pratap Simha, MLC Suja Kushalappa, former MLC Veena Achaiah, DC Dr. B.C. Satish, SP Ramarajan, ZP CEO Akash, ADC Nanjundegowda, CCF B. Niranjan Murthy, Kodava Hockey Academy Director Cheeyanda Satya, Hockey Festival Convener Appachattolanda Manu Muthappa, Appachattolanda family Pattedara Erappa, ex-Advocate General and Congress leader A.S. Ponnanna, Bangalore Kodava Samaja President M.T. Nanaiah, Padmashri Rani Machaiah, former hockey coaches M.P. Ganesh and A.B. Subbaiah were present.