All the benefits need to be also given to Konkani written in Roman Script , urges Edwardo Faleiro

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Times of India, Goa Edition

Panaji: NRI Commissioner Eduardo Faleiro said that all incentives given to writers in Devanagiri script, including Sahitya Academy awards, representations on literary bodies and financial assistance should also be given to writers in the Roman script.

Faleiro was speaking as chief guest at the Official Language Day celebrations organized by the Goa Konkani Akademi, Panaji, on Thursday, Feb 4, 2010.

It was on February 4, 1987, that Konkani was declared the official language of the state.

Faleiro also called for the development and preservation of Konkani, warning that Goans would lose their identity if they lost touch of the language. Faleiro further called for parity between Devanagri and Romi script writers stating that "a neccessary prerequisite for the survival of the Konkani language is harmony among Konkani writers in different scripts."

Faleiro said, "Konkani is a fundamental element of Goan identity and it unites all Goans, irrespective of religion and lifestyle. The survival of Konkani is essential for the preservation of Goan identity now and in future."

The official language day function was marked by most speakers lamenting that though Konkani was declared the official language of Goa, there has been no development of the language in the last 23 years. Journalist Prakash Kamat said that the government has issued only two notifications regarding the Official Language Act in all of these 23 years. He charged that the use of Konkani is deliberately kept out of government offices so that citizens have to struggle with English and bureaucrats retain their hold over the citizens.

He said that the government has still not framed rules for the Official Language Act and that it took the government 17 years to constitute the directorate of official language. "The government has always been creating vacancies for all government departments, but no interest has been shown towards the development of the directorate of official languages," he said.

Kamat said that since Goa lacks strong political leadership to promote Konkani, it is up to the citizens to actively pursue the cause of the language and ensure that it is used in the administration of the state.

The guest of honour, Fr Feroze Fernandes, who is the editor of ’Vavradeancho Ixtt’, said that Konkani should not be mixed with political, religious or caste-based tenets and that it should be developed since it is a "vivid sign of our identity."

Tomazinho Cardozo, president of the Goa Tiatr Akademi, also released a book of the scripts of two tiatrs by renowned Konkani playwright Prem Kumar. The scripts were of the tiatrs ’Fullam ani Kantte’ and ’Jawan’.

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