The Black Dots on the Land Called South Kanara

November 26, 2015

I am perturbed about everything happening in the last few years in my beloved South Kanara, the land of rich culture and heritage. South Kanara deserves to be autonomous in every sense of the word for its distinct identity. Forgive me for such a thought for I have no desire to lay claim to a separate Tulu State. So much has changed in the last 20 years or so. The people who loved and respected each other no more do so. Ask the reason and none would be able to tell as to what happened to my beloved South Kanara. It bothers me no to end how once a harmonious social fabric lies in shambles these days. My worry – Is South Kanara becoming another place of extreme religious fanaticism?

Harish Poojary

Look at the events in the weeks passed. Harish Poojary was from Bantwal, where most of the people make their ends meet with daily labour work. Harish was one such. Like in any corner of the erstwhile South Kanara, nobody saw each other from the prism of religion. Harish knew no religion, his friend was Samiulla, or even if he knew it did not matter to him. Harish and his friend Samiulla, a Muslim, were returning back after an evening of wholesome cricket in the slowly turning cool weather of November. Exhausted, they had quenched their thirst in a nearby grocery and were on their way back their home. From nowhere came the daemon of death.They were stabbed left right and center and Harish succumbed to the injuries and Samiulla managed to barely save his life with serious injury only to recover slowly.

Two friends, innocently walking home were done to death. This is new brand of terror hitherto unknown at least in this part of the world. Harish was the sole breadwinner with father a cancer patient, ill mother and a younger sister to tend for. As is the case every time the district went berserk with protests, bandhs and road blocks followed. People ranging from politicos to religious leaders and organizations made beeline to Harish's house for so called 'consoling the family'. Compensation packages were announced and the right-wing gave ultimatum to the government to bring culprits to the book. A week later it turned out to be that it was the same right-wing organization which was behind the administration to nab the assailants that had killed Harish, in a case of mistaken identity or so it is alleged.

When is that religion dictated the killing of innocent person like Harish? When is that religion motivated people not even to be kind to the family where the father was a cancer patient and the mother ill? Can anyone who justifies violence in the name of religion answer these questions? So far we thought that violence in the name of religion was elsewhere, and now that it is right at our doorsteps, the right thinking people should speak up against the religious fanaticism. We have renowned educationists, bishops, seers belonging to different sects, teachers at madrasas, Bhattarakas of Moodbidri and Karkala, writers of repute, all should join hands together and be vocal about the need to stay as humane as possible. That innocent Harish need not lose his life for somebody’s fanatic faith. That his cancer stricken father need not stare at a bleak tomorrow without hope or his mother who for no fault of hers should ever look when her son will be back from work or his sister who in the absence of her brother doesn’t know how to look at the future. All those who instigate such killings should introspect and place themselves in such a situation and feel the pain.

As for those involved in the killing they will be tried for murder of Harish and will be awarded sentence befitting the crime. All others who had ever thought that killing the person of other religion, defends his faith and does it a favour should realize religion would not come to defend them and least of all its leaders. Violence has no place in civil society. The writers andd artists should, at these times of bleak hope for humanity, come forward and voice their concern. Let South Kanara which I loved see no more killing in the name of religion because in ensuring the order lies all of our future. Peace in the neighborhood is peace within us and religion is supposed to be soothing and humane and not opium of violence and unkind. If any religion asks one to sacrifice life, it is no religion at all. Blind faith will only lead us to the hell on earth. I surely will not believe God of sanity will ever reward with even one virgin for everlasting bliss in afterlife for killing the person of another faith. Let peace prevail. With an earnest wish that the stars shine on South Kanara and harmony be the language with which we deal each other.



By William Pais
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Comment on this article

  • Vijay Prabhu, Kundapura/Canada

    Fri, Dec 04 2015

    Looks like people are getting crazy in south kanara (dakshina kannada)

  • Edmond Noronha, Kirem-Sharjah

    Thu, Dec 03 2015

    Thought provoking article.
    If 50% of our so called leaders think on the lines of the author, I hope our Motherland would b a better place to live in.
    CGS/William: where do can I get to read "The Land called South Kanara?

  • Mujeeb, mangalore

    Tue, Dec 01 2015

    The writer's though touch my heart with pain and grieness to the family of deceased Harish. Killers of Harish are not humans and the organisation supported these killers should be black listed and their leaders be arrested and kept behind bars forever.

  • Wilfred Crasta, Taccode/Sydney

    Tue, Dec 01 2015

    Rather than forgetting the sad event why not build on it in the name of Harish Pujary and call on the politicians and the communal leaders to sign a memorandum to stop the communal hatred and may be call it something like Haris Pujary Pact

  • Ann, Mangalore/UAE

    Mon, Nov 30 2015

    Good thought provoking article Mr William.Present scenerio of hatred among people of South Canara is bound with religion and politics. When these two main aspects are seperated then really there would be peace.More over Social mass communication has progressed to such an extent that news flows off in seconds to nuke and corner of the world. Even though it may be a local and regional matter ,and could be solved with least involvement of people, it becomes hell of news.I too hope that South Canara will prosper with peace and be a place of existance for peace lovers.

  • vaman, surathkal

    Mon, Nov 30 2015

    Yes, South kanara has become the epicentre of greedy and selfish people. All the gangsters and smugglers have moved fro other metropolis to manglore and udupi to make this as a mini mumbai. Close relatives started fighting over small small holdings of land. Land sharks are everywhere encroaching lands and change the ownership of lands by illegal means - agents have mushroomed like parasites - specialising in all kinds of forgeries and criminal activities. I know one case - property of a joint family is being eyed by a real estate firm - half party wants to sell the property and the other half party does not want to sell it, because it ancestral property. So during the annual family Bootha darshana, Bootha is ordering unwilling party to cooperate and sell the property. It was very clear that the willing party had offered some allurements to the Boothada pathri to get this order. Then there are more no. of "Bars" than primary schools in all villages. People have forgotten our traditions and culture. Very bad, very bad.

  • CGS, Mangaluru

    Mon, Nov 30 2015

    Some years back William Pais had written a wonderful book-'The Land Called South Kanara'
    It's very pathetic that today he is compelled to write about 'The Black Dots on the Land Called Southa Kanara'.The need of the hour is inter-faith dialogue.And only through dialogue we can hope for the restoration of Unity, Peace and Harmony in this beautiful land called South Kanara.Thanks to William Pais for expressing his brilliant thoughts.

  • Mohammed, Bajpe /Riyadh

    Sat, Nov 28 2015

    Your article was good, no doubt, What are your elected leaders doing?

  • Syed, Mangalore

    Sat, Nov 28 2015

    I used to pride associating with South Kanara but not anymore , your column speaks of our feeling, we should do something...........

  • Precilla, Bantwal/Bangalore

    Fri, Nov 27 2015

    Very good article Willi. Absolutely good words as well it exists facts.

  • Arun Noronha, Agrar/Karkal

    Thu, Nov 26 2015

    Nice article Willie..Sad to hear about all these incidents. When we were studying it was so peaceful. Hope people of South Kanara realise the importance of communal harmony.

  • James Dsouza, Mangalore

    Thu, Nov 26 2015

    South Canara is not the same what it was, the divide is more visible than the unity, greed has taken the place of need. Aggresssion has taken over compassion for felow human being .family values are slowly disappearing.sensitivity is taken over by sex. we are net citizens now with facebook to express our persona and whatsup as knowledgebook. Let us stop for a while and ponder where the most educated district is leading. pray for peace. "sarve jana sukinobavantu. saa vida vimochana"

  • Antony Cony, Karkala/ Qatar

    Thu, Nov 26 2015

    Communal violence’s are incitement tactics which are actually provocative acts to commit deliberate criminal acts. These incidents affect all aspects of peoples’ lives deeply i.e., social services, health, security, education, precious life’s etc.,. People fail to listen others for they have adopted listening methodology to listen and follow their own political or religious leaders. And after communal violence, communication becomes more difficult although communities continue to strive for unity. Many have acknowledged that communication between different religious or political groups had thus become more challenging factor.

    However, if people like William Pais persist in every society or community, real peace have a real chance for Mr. Pais has shown his burden for his district by suggesting inter-faith dialogue. Let everyone read this masterpiece to re-find the inter-faith dialogues and inter-political awareness to resurrect that lost peace and harmony in this coastal region

  • Alwyn Crasta, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Thu, Nov 26 2015

    Let's forget all the tragic/sad events of the past and try to erase The Black Dots on our dear South Kanara (presently divided into 'Dakshina Kannada' & Udupi districts).

    A new beginning has to be made. Let's all join hands in building up a peaceful, progressive, vibrant, joyful Dakshina Kannada & Udupi districts, which will be a source of inspiration and an example to all other regions in our great country.

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Thu, Nov 26 2015

    Your article dis smite the painful cord in me, that existed since the occurrence of the incidence in reference. Absolutely well written, well worded.

    My wish joins yours, let peace prevail in our beloved SK.

  • jimmy noronha, Bellore, Lucknow

    Thu, Nov 26 2015

    The Writer has clearly pointed at the prevailing state of affairs in S.K. but wonder if his which would ever come to reality! The District has been going through turmoil far too long for any peace loving person to endure and I join with the writer in his wish that our beloved State might come back to peace and harmony that had been the hallmark of this beautiful place for generations. Well written and a must read.

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