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Sunday, 17 December 2017

Mathanda Appachu (Part 2)

The Headman

by Mookonda Kushalappa

A letter from Chief Commissioner Mark Cubbon to the Superintendent of Coorg mentioned the name of 'Subadar Appachoo'adversely. Appachu, like others of his times, had shown his extreme displeasure to the conversion of one Almanda Somaiah and his family into Christianity. This was despite the British Government's assurances to Somaiah. Yet, years later, Appachu was promoted to Head-Sheristadar, the highest native judicial position.

Although Appachu strongly resisted Western religion, he was an active promoter of Western education. In a letter related to an endowment for the Mercara Central School (Madikeri Government School) dated 17th October 1863 in Madikeri, among the 13 signatories, the third was 'Madanda Appachoo, Head-Sheristadar'. Thus he was one of the founders of the School Endowment Plantation Fund which later became the Coorg Education Fund.

In his 1870 Gazetteer of Coorg, Richter notes that though Coorg was jealously guarded by the antagonism of its conservative headmen, it had to yield to the onward march of civilization. 

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