A book on the Paniya janjati community of Kerala was presented to Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram president Shri Jagdevram Oraon recently. The book, Nanka IPI Malena Makka, is in Malayalam.
Paniya is the largest community among the janjati communities of Kerala. About 70,000 Paniyas live in around 1,200 localities of the State and are spread in Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of the state. They are still being deprived of the basic amenities.
The book throws light on the whereabouts of the Paniya community in detail. It has been prepared by the Paniya community members itself. That’s why it is authoritative and provides information about the cross-sections of the community.
The objective of writing the book is to show the reality of the community-their condition in the past and also now. All the studies and researches published till date are incomplete due to the peripheral view of the Paniya community. The overall development of Wayanad is closely related to the Paniya tribe. They are the backbone of the economy of Wayanad. Apart from all these, the way to Wayanad from the outside world is the contribution of Shri Kaninthandan, the guiding light of the Paniya community, whose name has been completely wiped out from the modern history but not from the thoughts of the people of Wayanad.
All the write-ups in the book sequentially interpret the ways and means of the Paniya community. The culture, food habits, treatments, music, education, language, costumes and their contribution to the overall development of Wayanad have been illustrated in the book. The book has given in detail about the traditional language of the community and their festivals. It also gives in detail about those traditional festivals of the community which people have forgotten and has furnished some of the festivals in their own words, with folk songs. The herculean effort to know the community with a naked eye is the base of the book. The lifestyle and whereabouts have been picturised by the community members itself. So, the book is a treasure for the researchers.
Through the book an initiative is being taken up to rename the Hill Pass as Kaninthandan Pass.
The book was released by Shri Kalpetta Narayanan and he handed over a copy of it to Shri Jagdevram Oraon, in the presence of the Human Rights Commission member Smt Rukmini Bhaskaran who inaugurated the function. (FOC)