India’s Switzerland, where Everyone has a Right to Arms

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-–In a district of about a half million people in southwest India, not far from the West coast, the residents have the right to keep and bear arms.  Kodagu (earlier Coorg) is about 20% larger than the smallest American state, Rhode Island, with about half as many residents.

The Kodavas have a longstanding martial tradition similar to Switzerland. From the quint.com:

“When it comes to the issue of kovi (gun), in Kodagu, it is an integral part of the identity of a Coorg. It has become a part of our culture. The right to own guns came in the 1800s from the British Raj, when they gave this right not just to the Kodavas, but also those with ancestral land living in Kodagu.” Harry Thammaiah, Resident, Kodagu

According to Colonel (Retd) CP Muthanna, the Kodavas have been keeping weapons from the time of the Lingayat Rajas, who ruled the lands way before the British or the Muslim rulers.

“The Kodavas and certain other communities were keeping weapons and ammunition in their house. And as and when the king called them to battle, they would take their weapons and go to battle at the behest fo the king. It is similar to what is being practiced in Israel by the reserves. Then came British rule. When the Disarming Act came, they exempted the Kodavas by race and Jumma holders from this regulation under the Disarming act,” he said.

The disarming act is what the British rulers used to impose gun control on the peoples of India after the Mutiny/uprising which occurred in 1857. Much the same philosophy was extended to England and Wales in the 1920’s after World War I. The Kodavas were loyal to the British regime. The British rewarded them by allowing them to keep their weapons.

In current India, the federal government has caused much hardship in Kodagu by indiscriminately outlawing all hunting in India in 1972.

Kodava youth are taught, at a young age, to handle firearms. Marksmanship contests are common. Most Kodava households send at least one member to join the military, continuing their martial tradition.

In 2015, a petition was filed in the Karnataka Supreme Court. The petition challenged the exemption of the residents of Kodagu from the 1959 Arms Act, which codified the British imposed gun control after independence. Karnataka is the larger Indian state of which Kodagu is a part. 

In September of 2021, the Karnataka High Court upheld the exemption for Kodagu.  From indiaexpress.com

The Centre had decided to continue the British-era rule of exempting Kodavas and Jamma land holders in the hill district of Kodagu from obtaining licence for firearms such as pistols, revolvers and double-barrelled shotguns.

LiveLaw.in confirms the residents in Kodagu have the right to keep and bear arms without obtaining a license from the government.

From livelaw.in:

 The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday upheld the constitutional validity of the notification issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs granting exemption to every person of Coorg by race, and Jumma tenure landholders in Coorg (Kodagu district), from the requirement to obtain a license to carry and possess firearms.

As might be expected, the crime rate in Kodagu is about half of what it is in India as a whole. While the India statistics only give the overall crime rate, in Kogadu it is 233.18 per 100,000. In India, as a whole, it is 445.9 per 100,000.

In a small part of India, the Kogadu and Jamma land owners have a right to keep and bear arms similar to the American right to keep and bear arms. It comes from the same place, the right and duty of residents to rally to defend their lives and their state. The Kogadu have managed to keep this right from before the Muslim invasion, through Muslim rulers, through the rule of the British Raj, and through the independent Indian rule to this day, a history which exceeds the history of personal firearms.

It remains to be seen if the Kodavas will retain their rights. The Supreme Court of India has agreed to hear an appeal to the Karnataka High Court decision, on March 29, 2022.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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musicman44mag

Lets play this out. You have a country all your own. Invaders come and take it from you. Then they have buddies that are enforcement from another country that is going to dictate to you what you cannot do because the thieves and conquerors have jurisdiction over you?

How can America support this? Oh ya, we buy good from countries that enslave their people, what was I thinking.

FJB

musicman44mag

Lol, are the Aztecs still around. Maybe they can get it back from the mexican drug cartels that run the country. These people never lost the ability to keep their weapons. Are you supporting big bullies coming in taking over and denying people their rights Dean? Perhaps you can explain further. I don’t understand why you would not support their second amendment. We shouldn’t support countries stealing and killing people in the name of power and wealth especially just because they are weak and the aggressor is strong. I sure as hell don’t support what Putin is doing. If he… Read more »

swmft

some parts of mexico have been taken back by natives and they are armed, keep out both government and cartels

musicman44mag

Ya, I think they have the same thing in Brittan and in the state where the Muslim bitch married her brother and is a representative in congress, OMAR, I think it is Minnesota where the Muslims are in both cases running their own sections of town. The cops are afraid to go in.

hippybiker

Yeah, right! Bring back the Aztecs. So they can cut the hearts from children to sacrifice and them make a stew from said hearts!
By the way. That was Montezuma’s favorite meal!

Last edited 1 month ago by hippybiker
Wass

Kodavas do not have a right to keep and bare arms, they have a PRIVILEGE, as opposed to other Indian citizens, for such. Big difference between Americans and them, and most any other nation/culture. Here, in America, there’s a RIGHT for all citizens, inscribed in our constitution for arms keeping and baring. If a stronger Indian government decides suddenly to deny Kodavas their privilege, they have no legal recourse.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wass
musicman44mag

Everyone has a God given right to protect themselves I don’t care what country you live in and if you have arms then you should get to keep them regardless of if it is a privilege or a constitutional right. No one and no government should have the right to dictate how people can and cannot protect themselves.

loveaduck

March 29, 2022 or 2023?