Meaning of Mogaveera
Before the term “Mogaveera” was adopted, according to foreign traveler Buchhanan, Mogaveras were referred to a “Magayers”. The other traveler scholar Thrston recorded that Mogaveeras were known as “Mogers”. According to Dr. Gururaj Bhat, Mogaveeras were known as “Mugers” and “Mugueyer”. “Mogaveera” community was identified with “Moga” and “yers” in different combinations. The word meaning of “Mogaveera” can be explained in many ways. One of the explanations is that the word “Moga” in Tulu means war-front and “veera” means of a heroic man. Mogaveeras who are well built were in army and navy of the earlier rulers and this fact can be established beyond doubt. Therefore, the brave people who led the army/navy in front came to be known as Mogaveeras. It is believed that the word ”Mogaveera” was formally coined by late Shri Monappa Thingalaya and was readily accepted and used by the community.
Need for adopting term “Mogaveera”
It is an admitted fact that Mogaveera community was poor and was looked down by other castes. It is also a fact that as the above fishermen was known in different names, it was difficult to explain that all of them belong to the same community. Further, due to education, the people wanted to have their own identity. It is not out of place to mention here that educated people did not want to be identified as ‘Marakala’, ‘Meenugara’, and ‘Bestha’ as they were not in the occupation of fishing. . It is also a fact that all our people became aware of their surnames. They started adopted surnames and rejected surnames of ‘Marakala’,”Mogera’, ‘Meenugara’ etc. All these lead to adopt a common and respectable caste name. Such a search ended with “Mogaveera” as a common caste name.
Acceptance of the term “Mogaveera”
Official recognition of Mogaveera was made in Madras District Manual about South Kenara fishermen as “Mogaveera”. It is also worth noting that the Central Government, Ministry of Social welfare, vide its Resolution dated 10th September, 1993 notified Mogaveera Community vide Serial No.87 (Entry No.B-41) to include in the list of “Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Government of Karnataka had notified Mogaveera community as OBC and further notified that it is not included in the creamy layer.
Other Backward Classes (OBCs):
Framers of Indian Constitution have provided reservations to (i) Scheduled Castes (SCs) and (ii) Scheduled Tribes (STs). Reservation to OBCs was allowed after the submission of 2nd Backward Commission Report which is popularly known as ‘Mandal Commission’ w.e.f. 7th August, 1990. Culmination of the process is discussed under the head “Scheduled Tribes” later. The list of OBCs given by the Mandal Commission is known as ‘Central List’ and considered as indicative only. Please refer to Resolution No.12001/68/93 BCC(C) dated 10th September, 1993 which was notified in the Gazette of India Extraordinary Part I Section I dated 13th September, 1993. Under this notification “Mogaveera” community is listed as OBC and the extract is given below:
Note: “Mogaveera” community is listed under Sr.No.87 which begins with “Gangakula” and “Mogaveera” is the 22nd sub-caste under this entry.
|Sr.No.in Central List.
||Name of the castes/communities (Including sub castes/synonyms)In the common list of S.E.B.Cs.
||Entry No.in State list.
||Entry No. in Mandal list
Creamy Layer in OBCs:
To provide better representation to socially and economically Backward Classes (SEBCs) within the OBCs Central Government introduced a concept called ‘Creamy Layer’ among the OBCs who would be given preference within the list of OBCs. In other words, the candidates belonging to SEBCs would be given preference compared to candidate belonging to ‘Creamy Layer OBCs’ in the appointment in Government jobs etc. The Central Government (Department of Personnel & Training) laid down criteria for creamy layer applicable to OBCs. vide O.M. No.36012/22/93 Estt (SCT) dated 8th September, 1993. Following the above criteria, Government of Karnataka (Social Welfare Department) vide its order No.SWD 150 BCA 94 dated 17th September, 1994 (Entry No.5(ac) recognized Mogaveera community as Category I OBC (S.E.B.Cs) and vide their further order No.SKE-125-CA-94 dated 31st January,1995 exempted Mogaveera community from the purview of creamy layer. This benefit is available in Government employment and educational institutions. Therefore, it is necessary to obtain OBC certificate stating that Mogaveera Community people are exempt from ‘Creamy Layer’.
OBC certificate for Migrated Mogaveeras
In principle, OBC certificate stating that they are also exempted from 'Creamy Layer' should be available to migrated Mogaveeras also in the state of Karnataka. However, it is learnt that authorities in State of Karnataka have laid down certain conditions. such as, necessity for the Birth Certificate and proof of residence (Ration Cards etc,) for granting such certificates, The OBC certificates issued are also not in proper form. Further, the migrated states (Maharashtra) etc, refuses to acknowledge the OBC status on several grounds. There were several Bombay High court decisions on this issue for and against the migrants. These issues need to be resolved.
Scheduled Tribe Status
All the fishermen communities have common origin and common features. They have all lived near water resources, say, near lakes, rivers, sea etc. Broadly there can be two categories. The fishermen living in sea shore in Uttara Kannada District (North Kenara) have similar background and fishermen living away from sea shore near lakes, rivers etc. have different life style. There are more than forty-seven such communities identified on the basis of Karnataka Government’s notifications and circulars. These are identified as “Brotherhood Communities”.
Madras Presidency Recommendation:
D.K. District was part of Madras Presidency and it had recognized Mogaveera Community in the year 1942 as backward community and allotted certain employment opportunities to uplift their living standard.
Government of Mysore Recommendation:
Government of Mysore before Government of Karnataka was formed in 1957, accepted that 34 fishermen communities known in different names, such as, “Bestha”, “Gangakula”, “Gangamath” etc. should be considered to belong to one community vide notification No.9192 – 248 dated 6th March, 1931.
Recommendations of various Commissions:
The Commissions appointed to look into this issue, such as, Shri Kaka Kalekar Committee (1955), Justice Chinnappa Reddy, Shri L.H.Havanoor Committee (1972), Mandal Commission (1980) etc. and several Parliamentary Committee headed by Shri Lokur, Shri Debar, Shri Chandan etc., have also recommended that fishermen communities known in different names in different parts of the state should be treated alike and considered for the benefits of Scheduled Tribes.
Judgments of Supreme Court:
Supreme Court Judgments in the cases reported in AIR 1980 Page 150 (Dadaji v/s Sukdev) and AIR 1985 page 1495 (Full Bench) also lays down similar principles supporting the claim of all the fishermen communities to be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes.
Government of Karnataka Recommendations:
Government of Karnataka vide their order No.SWL-66/TC/A-86 dated 13th October, 1986 accepted the recommendations of its predecessor Government of Mysore cited above. Government of Karnataka (Social Welfare Department), Bangalore vide their letter No.SWD/170/SAD/93 dated 10th November, 1996 addressed to Government of India (Ministry of Welfare, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi) has recommended that 39 fishermen communities (Mogaveera community included) to be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes on the ground that these fishermen communities are one community and were known in different names in different parts of the state. The 39 names are given above and are not repeated here again. The above issue is under active consideration of Central and State Governments.
Government of Karnataka’s circular letter:
Government of Karnataka (Social Welfare Department), Bangalore vide their letter No.SWD/170/SAD/93 dated 10th November, 1996 addressed to Government of India (Ministry of Welfare, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi) has recommended that 39 fishermen communities (Mogaveera community included) which are considered as one community but known in different names in different part of the state needs to be included in the list of Scheduled Tribe is given first. The additional names which are appearing in the list of 35 communities given in order dated 17th September, 1994 are incorporated in arriving at 47 names of the communities. For the purpose to differentiate the entries from Sr.No.40 to 47, are given in italics.
Mogaveera Brotherhood Communities
Even though all the fishermen communities listed above are similarly placed, the Government classifications are different. A few are classified as Scheduled Tribe (S.T), some are classified as Scheduled Caste (S.C.) and majority of them are classified as Other Backward Classes (OBC)
(i) The Scheduled Tribes list published by the Government of Karnataka show fishermen communities, such as, “Bhovi” (Sr.No.23) and “Moger” (Sr.No.78) are S.Ts.
(ii) The list of Scheduled Castes (S.Cs.) include fishermen communities, such as, Gamit, Gamata, Gavit, Machi etc.and “Koli Dhor”, “Tokre Dhor” etc. (Sr.No.22) are S.Cs.
(iii) In the OBCs list, fishermen communities, such as, “Besthar” & “Gunde Besthar” (Sr.No.8), “Gabit”, “Gabbit”, “Gapit”, Gaabit” etc. (Sr.No.86).The fishermen communities, such as “Gangakula”, “Gangamakkalu”, “Gangamatha”, “Gangaputra”, “Gowrimatha”, “Ambig”, “Ambiga”, “Bestha”, “Kabbaliga”, Kabbili”, “Kabber”, “Kabbera”, “Kharvi”, “Bhoi”, “Bhoyi”, “Boyi”, “Thoreya”,”Harikantra”, “Harakantra”, “Kahar”, “Meenagar”, “Mogaveera”, “Kharia”, “Sunnagar”, “Siviyar”, “Parivara”, Galada Konkani” etc. (Sr.No.87) are OBCs.
Similar castes identified differently:
A glance at the above list show that many communities belong to one and the same community. But, because of geographical location or due to manner of presentation, different spellings were used. For exemple, Gangamath, Gangamastha, Gangakula, Ganga Makkalu, Gangaputa etc. belong to the same community. Similarly, Bhoyi, Bhoi, Boyi, Bhovi etc. belong to the same community. Further, Gabbit, Goabit, Machhi Gabit etc. appear to belong to the same community. In the same way, Bestha, Bunde Bestha, Besthar, Gunde Bestha etc. belong to the same community. A detailed study to collect all relevant data about all the brotherhood communities is necessary.
Two groups of Mogaveera Brotherhood Communities:
As already stated earlier, there can be two distinct groups of marine fishing communities and inland fishing communities. Mogaveeras, residing at Mangalore Taluka (D.K. District), Udupi and Kundapura Talukas (Udupi District) and Karvi, Konkan Kharvi, Harikantra/Harakandthra, Gabit, Ambiga and Mogers residing at Bhatkal, Honnavar, Kumpta, Ankola and Karwar Talukas of Uthara Kannada District can be grouped as marine fishing group. The other Mogaveera/Gangamatha Brotherhood Communities residing in interior districts of State of Karnatka can be grouped as inland fishing communities. The information about Mogaveera/Gangamatha Brotherhood communities are not readily available now, the same will be incorporated later. However, some details of marine fishing group residing at Uthara Kannada Distgrtict is available and given below. But, the information given below needs to be elaborated later after getting all the data required.
Marine Mogaveera Brotherhood Communities:
To begin with, it may be stated here that some Karvi and Konkan Kharvi communities' members reside in Kundapur Taluka of Udupi District and Harikanthra/Harakanthra, Gabit, Ambiga and Moger reside mainly in Uthara Kannada District. As already stated above, tabular presentation is given as the full information is not yet available.
| Sr.No || Name of the community || Predominent Residing locations || No.of families/No.of people || Main occupations || Maain Organisations |
| 1 || Karvi community || "Northern part of Kundapur Taluka (Maravanthe northward), Bhatkal, Honnavara & Kumpta." || 1200/6000 || Traditional fishing || "Karvi Mahajana Sangha,Byandur" |
| 2 || Konkan Kharvi community || Northern part of Kundapur Taluka (Maravanthe northward) & all the five coastal Talukas of Uthara Kannada District. || 3600/18000 || Traditional fishing and Boat building. || Konkan Kharvi Mahajana Sangha |
| 3 || Moger community || "Batkla,Honnavara & Kumta Talukas of Uthara Kannada" || 3500/17000 || Traditional fishing & agriculture || Not available. |
| 4 || Harikanthra/Harakantra community || All the five coastal Talukas of Uthara Kannada District. || 6600/35000 || Traditional fishing. || Harikanthra Mahajan Sangha & Harikanthra "Seeme" |
| 5 || Gobit community || "Honnavar, Kumta, Ankola & Karwar Talukas of Uthara Kannada" || 3000/14000 || Traditional fishing & Navigators of transport ships. || "Gobit Mahajana Sangha, Karwar." |
| 6 || Ambig community || "Honnavar, Kumta, Ankola & Karwar Talukas of Uthara Kannada" || 4000/18000 || Traditional fishing || "Ambig Vidya Vardhaka Sangha, Kumta" |
(Acknowlegement: Shri Sadananda Harikanthra, Kumpta)
Request for Information of Brotherhood Communities
To begin with, relevant basic details can be collected on the following format:
As already stated above, these basic details will take care of any further study in respect of these communities. All are requested to furnish the details which will be tabulated and published.
||Please record answsers/information.
||Name of the Community
||Original area where they resided
||The present location (with names of the places)
||Address of the place of residence wth PIN Code (Post Office)/Panchayat Boards etc. to which they belong.
||Approximate No. of families in the community.
||Approximate No. of people in the community
||Names and address of their Institutions
||Special features of the community and any other information
||Name & Address and Telephone No. of the person furnishing information