Tulu Nadu state movement

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Tulu Nadu in yellow with respect to rest of Karnataka (green) and Kerala (purple)

The Tulu Nadu state movement is aimed at increasing Tulu Nadu's influence and political power through the formation of a separate Tulu Nadu state from Karnataka and Kerala. Tulu Nadu is a region on the south-western coast of India. It consists of the Dakshina Kannada and some part of Udupi districts of Karnataka, and the northern parts of the Kasargod district up to the Chandragiri river in Kerala.[1] The Chandragiri river is traditionally considered to be a boundary between Tulu Nadu and Kerala from the fourteenth century AD onwards.[2][3] The first call for Tulu Nadu was made just after the Quit India Movement in 1942 by Srinivas Updhyaya Paniyadi, a banker and a press owner from Udupi.[4] Mangalore is the largest and the chief city of Tulu Nadu. Tulu activists have been demanding a separate Tulu Nadu state since the late 2000s, considering language and culture as the basis for their demand.[1][5][6][7][8]

Tulu Nadu was ruled by several major powers, including the Kadambas, Alupas, Vijayanagara dynasty, and the Keladi Nayakas.[9] The region was unified with the state of Mysore (now called Karnataka) in 1956.[10] The region encompassing Tulu Nadu formerly comprised the district of South Canara.[11] Tulu Nadu is demographically and linguistically diverse with several languages, including Tulu, Konkani and byari language are commonly spoken and understood.[12][13][14]

Distinct identity[edit]

Tulu Nadu is shown with other aspirant states of India.

According to the 1961 Census of India statistics, Tulu speakers (67.27 per cent) constituted the majority of the population of South Canara, followed by Konkani (20.62 per cent).[15] The predominant languages in Tulu Nadu are Tulu, Konkani and Beary bashe,[12][13][14] with Tulu being the lingua franca in Mangaluru and Udupi. Hinduism is followed by a large number of the population, with Billavas, Devadigas, Bunts, Kulalas, Mogaveera and Ganiga (Native Tuluvas).Kota Brahmins (Kannada), Shivalli Brahmins, Sthanika Brahmins (Tulu), Havyaka Brahmins (Havyakannada), Goud Saraswat Brahmins (konkani), Daivadnya Brahmins (Konkani), and Rajapur Saraswat Brahmins (Konkani) also form significant sections of the Hindu population.[16][17] Christians form a sizeable section of Mangalorean society, with Konkani-speaking Catholics, popularly known as Mangalorean Catholics, accounting for the largest Christian community in Tulu Nadu.[17][18] Protestants in Tulu Nadu, known as Mangalorean Protestants, typically speak Kannada.[19] Most Muslims in Tulu Nadu are Bearys, who speak Beary bashe.[20] There is also a sizeable community of landowners following Jainism, known as the Tulu Jains.[17]


As a result of the States Reorganisation Act (1956), South Canara (part of the Madras Presidency under the British) was incorporated into the dominion of the newly created Mysore State (now called Karnataka).[10] Tuluva activists had raised some serious issues on the development of Mangalore and Tulu Nadu.[1] One of them was that the Karnataka State Government has been focusing only on the development of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, and its periphery, and cities such as Mangalore and Udupi in Tulu Nadu were grossly neglected.[1] They also alleged that the Government had "totally neglected" Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.[1] The Kerala Government too showed similar attitude towards the northern parts of Kasargod district.[1]

The Tulu Rajya Horata Samiti, which is active in the Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, and Kasaragod districts advocate self-rule as the only solution for the much awaited developmental works of the region. The Samithi rejected the initiative of the Karnataka State Government to change the name of Mangalore as Mangaluru. It insisted that if it is changed it should be changed as Kudla. Other demands are renaming Mangalore International Airport as "Koti Chennaya International Airport". Samiti aims to create awareness among the Tulu speaking people with regard to the "inevitability of a separate state and enthusing them to fight for the cause."[6]

In the early 21st century, the Tulu Nadu movement gained momentum in the region with support from notable Mangalorean Kannada poet Kayyara Kinyanna Rai and former Member of Parliament Ramanna Rai. In an interview, Kinyanna Rai said "political boundaries might not mean anything to people who were fighting for the survival of a language and its culture. Karnataka and Kerala governments spoke about "tier II cities" and the "Smart City" concept, but investment was not forthcoming". In another interview, Ramanna Rai said that "the work on the Mangalore–Bangalore railway line was completed after 35 years of its launch." He also said that " he would not accept the laying of a meter gauge line between the two cities and converting it into broad gauge as a development project particularly when there was no rail link for nine years."[1]

In 2008, the former president of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Harikrishna Punaroor stated:

"All Tulu organisations from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kasaragod districts will meet shortly to chart out a plan for a separate State and to take it up with the Centre. The people of these districts had a legitimate reason to seek a separate State. Noting that most States came into being on the basis of linguistic consideration. People from Tulu konkani beary language -speaking areas too could stake a claim in this regard. One of the local languages, i.e. Tulu is one of the five Dravidian languages written in Malayalam script. The demand for the inclusion of Tulu in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution had not materialised over the years due to the apathy of the State and Union governments. Creating a separate State would give a fillip to the growth and sustenance of Tulu. It was the responsibility of elected representatives from the region to press for this cause. If the Government failed to fulfil their demand, an organised agitation would be inevitable."[7]

Mahajan Panel Report[edit]

The issue of bifurcation and merger of the northern part of Kasaragod district (to the north of the Chandragiri river) with Karnataka, as recommended by the Justice Mahajan Commission as early as in 1968, was discussed in Lok Sabha elections in 2004.[21]

United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate N. A. Muhammed in an interview to The Hindu said he would not do anything that would distort or topple a bill favouring the implementation of the Mahajan Commission report. He also said that he would not press for implementation of the Mahajan Commission report but would certainly not act against it if such a bill was moved in the Parliament.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Tulu Nadu movement gaining momentum". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 13 August 2006. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  2. ^ Parpola 2000, p. 386
  3. ^ Bhat 1998, p. 6
  4. ^ M Raghuram. "Telangana fuels separatist fire in Karnataka". Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Economic and political weekly (1997), v. 32, Sameeksha Trust, p. 3114
  6. ^ a b "News Headlines (21 October 2006)". Daijiworld Media Pvt Ltd Mangalore. 21 October 2006. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "Tulu organisations to meet soon". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 6 March 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "Samithi seeks separate Tulu state". Deccan Herald. 21 October 2006. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  9. ^ South Kanara District Gazetteer 1973, p. 36
  10. ^ a b "States Reorganization Act 1956". Commonwealth Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 1 July 2008. Although Tulu Nadu has different culture and ancient Tulu konkani beary languages, Tulu Nadu was not created during the independence..  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  11. ^ Caldwell 1881, p. 49
  12. ^ a b Vasudevan 1998, p. 94
  13. ^ a b The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 14, p. 359
  14. ^ a b The Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 14, p. 360
  15. ^ Census of India, District Census Handbook (1961), South Kanara District, p. 192
  16. ^ Bhat 1998, p. 212
  17. ^ a b c Bhat 1998, p. 213
  18. ^ Bhat 1998, p. 214
  19. ^ South Kanara District Gazetteer 1973, p. 93
  20. ^ "Beary Sahitya Academy set up". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 13 October 2007. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  21. ^ a b "Demand to implement Mahajan panel report". The Hindu. 6 May 2004. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.