Third Konkani (Romi Lipi) Sammelan held in a packed hall of Kala Akademy in Goa

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By Ancy DSouza, Paladka
Bellevision Media Network

Panaji, 20 February 2011: The Third Konkani (Romi Lipi) Literary and Cultural festival held here yesterday at Prof. Dr. Olivino Gomes Xar, B. E. Mendes Machi, D. M. K. Vosro, Kala Akademy. Enthusiastic Konkani (Romi Lipi) people enthralled in large numbers and almost filled the 1000 capacity Kala Akademy hall. The programme was organised by Dalgado Konkani Akademy (DKA). Chief guest Most Rev Fr. Allwyn Baretto, the Bishop of Sindhudurg, said that Roman script is an universal script, Everyone in the world knows it, Thus it is easy Konkani to spread among all if we make use of the script. Citing many example he said that the european priests celebrated a Konkani mass without knowing even little bit of Konkani using the Roman script missal. They were also able to read the boards written in Konkani. He also said that the Konkani is not the language of Goans alone but it is the language of the entire Konkan region. "I have four mothers, First mother who gave birth. Second heavenly mother Mary. Third mother nation. Fourth mother Konkani. I love all my mothers very much" he said.


The only lady member of Goa assembly from St. Cruz constituency, Mrs Victoria Fernandes who is popularly known as ’Mami’ said that we love our mothers in whatever her condition. In the same manner we need to love our mother language Konkani in whatever her status. The Goenkar who does not know to speak Konkani will lose his identity. Thus we all need to unite. In unity we can achieve anything. There is nothing as strong as peoples will is. It is not enough if we start asking equal status to Konkani in Roman script but we need to fight for it.


The welcome committee president Fr. Conceicao D’Silva said that the feathers of new hope have come out strongly for the Konkani people writing in Roman script. They have now come forward with much zeal to read, write and teach Konkani. Our elders did not get any financial backing for their Konkani works in Roman script, Still they worked hard. Now the Government has given us the butter milk. DKA will not rest by taking this butter milk but distribute this to every Konkani person in his effort in popularising Konkani in Roman script. We will struggle to get equal status in the state language act. We will fight and get justice. Portuguese banned speaking Konkani. They banned our marriage cultural activities like Voviyo, Vers. The acakedmies did not give award to the Konkani written in Roman script. Now the Govt has started giving grant to DKA. It has ordered the Goa Konkani Akademy to work for Konkani written in Roman script also. The Govt has now given us a separte Tiatr Akademy. The Kala Akademy has now re-started giving awards to Konkani written in Roman script also.


Mr. Tomazinho Cardozo, the president of Tiatr Akademy delivered the key note address. He explained why one needs to give importance to his mother tongue. "If we stop speaking in Konkani then we will not remain as Goenkar" he said. "We faught to make Konkani state language. We won the opinion poll held on 16 Jan 1967. But the people manipulated the later processes and when the official language act was written, it was written as "Konkani is the Official Language and Marathi will be used for all official purposes." This means Goa has at present two official languages. 1. Konkani 2. Marathi. The lobbiest defined Konkani as "Konkani means Konkani as written in Devnagiri script and closed all the doors for the much prevailing Konkani as written Roman script.


This is the greatest betrayal of 20th century." he said. "During the agitations 90% of the Konkani work was done by the Konkani people of Roman script, All of them were cheated. Since last 24 years Devnagiri is forcefully imposed on the people. Due to this the Konkani people have gone away from their mother tongue. Konkani is taught only in 133 of which 130 are managed by the church. Children refuse to study in Konkani as they do not have the option to study it in Roman script. It is very strange that only in Goa a student can pass ssc without learning his state language Konkani." he lamented. "Thus it is the need of the hour to get equal respect, love and recognition to Roman script along with the Devnagiri. Provision need to be made to teach Konkani in Roman script." he urged.


Working president, Mr Bonaventure D’Pietro, said that "Some half baked people blow their own trumphet demanding one language, one script and one literature. Their days are over. Konkani people in different regions of India use different scripts to write Konkani. By doing this every Konkani person dress his Konkani mother with the sari of his own choice. How nice it is to see our mother in different colourful sari’s?"


The DKA president Mr Premnand A Lotlikar said that outsiders, having come to Goa, learn Konkani language and try to impress the locals. But in reply we speak with them in Hindi. He also said that DKA got lots of stones in form of uncalled for criticism in the last three years. Having humbly collected those stones, DKA tried to strengthen its building. Thus the foundation has now become very strong. We have not stopped our fight to get equal recognition to Konkani in Roman script. We fight for it everyday. But it is the matter of fact that we have changed our methodology of fight from open confrontation to tactical and intellectuall warfare." he explained.



Mr. Custodio Manuel Estibeiro, Bro. Eusebio Vincent Miranda and Mr Benicio Vitorino Pereira were honoured for their yeoman service to Konkani in Roman script during the occasion by His Excellency the Bishop of Sindhudurg.


The programme begin with different cultural presentations by Rose Ferns and troupe. The cheif guests were taken procession. Brass band, Damaskachi Sotri (traditional umbrella) were the part of the procession. The Chief guest  alsong with other guests visited book stalls which were large in numbers. He also inaugurated the Fr. Fredddy J D’Costa Konkani News Papers and old books exhibition in Roman script put up by Mr Brazinho Soares. The DKA secretary Jose Salvador Fernandes gave explanation about the doyens of Roman script Konkani whose names are used to denote the differnt dais. Walter Menezes and Brenda Menezes beautifully compered the programme. Mr Pio Esteves, the secretary of the organing committee gave vote of thanks. The programme ended with the staging of tiatr "Tujea Moga Pasot" by Mr Rose Ferns.


Programme Today (20 Feb.): The first session (10am)  Fr. Mathew Almeida Manchi - Black Box, Kala Akademy. Mr Vincy Quadros will preside over the session with the theme "Konkani in our daily life". Mr Ashok Chodankar will present a paper  "Greatness of Konkani as Mother Tongue". Mr Wilfred Goes will present a paper on "Door to door Konkani." Mr Tarkeshwar Naik will moderate the session.


A poetry session will be held at 12 noon moderated by renowned poet Yusuf A Sheikh. Poets from Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka participated.


The second session will start at 2.30pm Mr Simon Deniz will presied over the session with the theme "The spread of Konkani Language". Mr Ave Maria Afonso will present a paper on  "The tool to spread the Konkani Literature.". Mr. Daniel F D’Souza will present a paper on "The spreading the language by promoting Konkani reading". Mrs Maria Liberata will moderate the session.


The valedictory will start at 5pm at Brotton Manchi, Ugto Vosro at Kala Akademy. Fr. Conceicao D’Silva will give welcome address. Mr Walter Menezes will read out the resolution. Mr Churchil Alemao, Minister Govt of Goa will be the chief guest. Fr. Walter D’Sa will be the guest of honour. Working president Mr Bonaventure D’Pietro, DKA President Mr Premanand A Lotlikar will present at the dais and speak.


DKA secretary Mr JOse Salvador Fernandes will give vote of thanks. Mrs Irene Cardozo will moderate the session. A musical concert titled "Rosal Git - Sangitachi Sanz" will be presented by  Lawry Travasso and his group to showcase the richness of Romi script Konkani poetry.



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Comments on this Article
gaspar almeida, kuwait Mon, February-21-2011, 5:45
Excellent photography and coverage of this important annual event to save romi script Konkani in Amchem Goa. Gaspar Almeida, Moderator, Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994),
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