Kodagu people demand to rename Rajeev Gandhi National Park after Field Marshal Cariappa

Buoyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modis decision to rename Rajeev Gandhi Khel Ratna award after Hockey legend Major Dhynachnd, an online petition has been initiated by the residents of Kodagu demanding change of the name of Nagarahole National Park (Tiger Reserve) also known as Rajeev Gandhi National Park.

Kodagu based activists Naveen Madappa and Vinay Kayapanda have launched the campaign on Change.org. on August 7 with an aim to sign around 7,500 people but it had reached 6,404 signatories at 22:45 on Sunday and it was still counting.

Mandappa and Kayapanda who have initiated the social media campaign to rename present Rajiv Gandhi National Park (Nagarahole National Park) as Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa.

Cariappa was the first Indian Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Indian Army and most decorated son of the soil and Kodavas revere him to this date like a demigod.

Both activists have tagged this to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and the Prime Minister.

The name Nagarahole has been derived from two Kannada words, ‘Nagara’ means snake and ‘hole’ means river. The name strikes the true meaning to this National Park where a few serpentine streams fork through the rich tropical forests.

In 1974, some other reserve forests were added to bring the area as Nagarahole Game Reserve and then it was classified as a National Park by extending the area by 643.39 sq kms in 1988. It was declared as a Tiger Reserve in 1999 and now, it extends up to 853 sq kms.

As per the petition, Nagarahole National Park was renamed after former PM Rajiv Gandhi only to impress a particular political family and a political party. “Hence, the petition has been pitched to give credit to Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa and if not at least to restore its previous name as Nagarahole National Park/Tiger Reserve,” the petitioners had said while launching their campaign.

Reaching upon 6,000 signatures on Sunday evening, the petitioners have also thanked the signatories said that Indian citizens needs to be recognised and just not few politicians.

“India is a democratic country which is by the people, for the people and from the people, all deserving citizens should be recognised, not just few dynastic people,” the petitioners argued.

Both petitioners asserted on Change.org that lets break the curse let India be truly liberal and let India develop more than any.