**************DEVACHEA NAVAN ANI GOEMCARANCHEA MANNANK******************* This blog is an attempt to delve into the traditions, heritage, culture, lore and ambience that spawned an enigma. A state of mind. And to perchance perform a perfunctory probe into the psyche of the Goemcar. ************************************************************************************************* GOEMCAR: Any person anywhere in the world - Goemcar rogtacho!

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Konkani in Roman script Pride of Goa : Prince Jacob
It is learnt that Mr Uday Bhembre, the chairperson of Think Tank (Vichar Vibhag) of the Indian National Congress Party in Goa has circulated a letter to all the ministers of the ruling party. In that letter he has instructed the ministers to restrain from any effort to amend the Official Language Act 1987 to grant equal status to Konknni in Roman script.
For the last five hundred years, Goan Catholics in their cultural, social and religious activities used Roman script for Konknni. Due to this, a standard Konknni was evolved and became popular. This Konknni has a great acceptance among all sections of Goans. Prior to the liberation of Goa, there were only two dominant local languages, namely, Konknni and Marathi. In those days Konknni meant Konknni written in Roman script only. Konknni in Devanagari script was a non-entity then and it was considered a dialect of Marathi. It had no social status among the majority community. However, after the liberation of Goa, a handful coterie under the guise of nationalism and patriotism brainwashed a few and succeeded to convince them to introduce their Konknni in Devanagari script in minority schools. At the same time they continued to run Marathi medium schools and educate their children in these schools.
During the language agitation these few bamons used the Catholic community, to get the official status for Konknni as a state language. During the agitation there was no mention of any particular script for Konknni. However, while passing the Language Bill, Uday Bhembre and others managed to introduce the draconian clause “Konknni language means Konknni language in Devanagari script.” This discriminatory clause has negated the Herculean work done in Konknni by the Catholic community for centuries. These few individuals usurped all benefits and deprived the Catholics of their rightful due.
To get the long denied justice to Roman script, its users started a sustained campaign to get equal status to Konknni in Roman script. The coalition government has shown willingness to amend the Official Language Act 1987 to include Roman script. There is a general consensus in the Cabinet and within the government to accede to this demand.
Mr Uday Bhembre, instead of supporting Roman script users and the minority community, is working against the move of the government to amend the Official Language Act. It is evident from his devious actions that he is afraid that if due recognition is given to Roman script, the Devanagari script will certainly die a natural death. He is apprehensive that if the Roman script gains the official status, the Catholic community will get equal status and accrue benefits along with the Konknni in Devanagari. Therefore, he has launched a vicious and malicious campaign against Roman script and its activists.
We, the tiatrists and artistes of Konknni stage unequivocally condemn Uday Bhembre’s move which is harmful for, not only Konknni but also the age-old communal harmony of Goans which he seeks to destroy and disturb.
We earnestly appeal to the government not to fall a prey to the Vichar Vibhag’s divide and rule policy which is dangerous to peace-loving Goan community. Therefore, it is imperative that the Congress Party dismantles its Vichar Vibhag headed by Mr Uday Bhembre who is known to be anti-Roman script.
We sincerely hope that the long-pending demand of the Roman script users will be fulfilled by suitably amending the Official Language Act during the ensuing Monsoon session of the Goa State Assembly. By doing so, the government will meet our Constitutional right to give official recognition to our mother tongue, namely Konknni in Roman script which is pride and heritage of Goa and the Goans.

More scripts for Konkani will harm the language: Uday Bhembre

The Vichar Vibhag of the Goa pradesh Congress committee conveyed its view on Official language Act to all the members of the Congress legislative party as follows:
“We are given to understand that a private member’s bill is likely to be introduced in the forthcoming session of the legislative assembly. It is also learnt that the object of the bill is to introduce Roman script in addition to Devanagari script for Konkani in the Official Language Act.
“The members of the Vichar Vibhag deliberated on this subject and they felt that their view on this subject be communicated to you so as to enable you to avoid complications in the use of Konkani as official language.
The considered view of Vichar Vibhag is as follows:
“Nobody has ever said or even suggested that the use of Roman script for Konkani should be banned or stopped. The use of Roman script continues and it should continue without any impediment as long as people desire to use that script or they feel the need to use it.
“The two cultural institutions of the government, Kala Academy and Goa Konkani Akademi, have already revised their policies and programmes so that there are no obstacles in the use of Roman script or any impediments for writers and artistes who use Roman script.
“Writers in Roman script should be encouraged and they should get facilities on par with the others. This is being done and for that no change in the Official Language Act is required. The Official Language Act is applicable only to official work of the government. It has no bearing upon what people do in the social and cultural spheres of life.
In these circumstances it will not be wise to amend the Official Language Act. The reasons are:
1) Almost every state in our country has its Official Language Act. But there is no Official Language Act in which two or more scripts are prescribed for any language.
2) Unfortunately, in Goa, scripts are related to religious communities. Therefore, scripts isolate one community from the other in respect of literature, journalism etc. This is not conducive to communal harmony and unity.
3) Roman script for Konkani is used by a section of the Catholic community, which is a minority in the state. The script should not isolate it from others as such isolation is not in the interest of any minority community, especially when fundamentalists in the majority community are active.
4) Education in Konkani in Goa began in 1963. In 1990, the Diocesan Society of Education took a wise decision to introduce Konkani as a medium of instruction in their schools. All education in Konkani — from primary schools to the university — is in Devanagari script. Boys and girls from the Catholic community who have had this education are today working as teachers, journalists etc. Those who are studying in high schools today will be 40-45 years of age in 30 years’ time. Writers in Konkani, teachers, journalists, artistes will emerge from them. They will be fully equipped with Devanagari and will not need an additional script.
5) Multiplicity of scripts has created problems for the development of Konkani and for its standardisation. Therefore, in 1939, All-India Konkani Parishad, apex institution of Konkani-speaking people from Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala, appealed to the Konkani-speaking community to gradually adopt one script — Devanagari — to bring about better communication and propagation of literature. That process is on. Therefore, perpetuating more scripts for future will be harmful for Konkani.
6) The Official Language Act is enacted with the future requirements in mind. No amendment of this Act is required to give facilities for Roman script in the fields of literature, art and culture today. We should not impair our future by changing the law.
As you are aware, the Official Language Act has not been touched at all for amendment so far. Protagonists of Marathi are now and then demanding official status for Marathi. If the Act is amended now for Roman script, it will be easy for others now or in the future to amend it for inclusion of Marathi. For this reason it is best to leave it untouched.
The Vichar Vibhag requests you to ponder over these points seriously and to avoid any amendment of the Official Language Act so as to avoid complications for Konkani as official language.
I hope the full text of the communication will throw sufficient light on the distortions and falsehoods attempted by destructive elements with ulterior motives.
As regards Prince Jacob, I forgive him for various reasons. Firstly, because he is ignorant about the working of a political party in democracy. He is not aware that Vichar Vibhag members have as much right to express their views to the legislators of the party as Prince Jacob has.
Secondly, because he was too young when we toiled day and night under the banner of Konkani Porjecho Avaz (KPA) to prevail upon the then government to enact the Official Language Act making Konkani the official language. Prince Jacob is ignorant about the genesis and the significance of that movement.
Thirdly, Prince Jacob is ignorant about the purpose of an official language act and its limits. He is misled by elements who are desperately trying to divide the Goan community on the basis of religion and caste. As regard the allegation that I was involved in drafting the bill or I was its ‘architect’ as DKA (Dalgado Konkani Academi) puts it, it springs out of ignorance and malice. I was a member of the executive of KPA which was not at all involved in the drafting of the bill. We were in the opposite camp. As regards me, I was an Independent member of the House sitting in the opposition. I was not part of the then government or of the ruling party. Mr Luizinho Faleiro (he too was in the opposition) and I read the contents of the bill only when it was presented to the House. We opposed the reference to Marathi and walked out in protest. Neither I nor any other member of the KPA deserves the dubious credit for drafting the bill.
Prince Jacob, his Teatr Academy and DKA are entitled to their views. It will be proper for them to express their views without making false, baseless and wild allegations against others. The allegations against me, which I believe are expressions of communal and casteist minds, need no answers. I leave those allegations and those who make them 19 years after the Official Language Act was enacted to the judgement of the people of Goa. (The writer is the chairman of Congress’ Vichar Vibhag)

Recognition to Roman script must: Alemao

Margao, July 8: A meeting of the now defunct Konkani Porjecho Avaz (KPA) will be summoned shortly to discuss the issue of official recognition to Konkani Roman script, besides forcing the government to pass a bill in the Goa Legislative Assembly, disclosed the South Goa Member of Parliament, Mr Churchill Alemao at the meeting convened on behalf of the All Goa Tiatrists Association, at a city hotel, yesterday evening.
Addressing the presspersons, Mr Alemao and ex-MLA, Mr Radharao Gracias along with some of the famous tiatrists exuded confidence that the bill bestowing official status to Roman script will be passed in this session of the Legislative Assembly.
“If the government fails to do it now, it will crumble under pressure from the Roman-script lovers, who had the patience of tolerate its opponents for past nineteen years,” they added.
Stating that some vested interests had played a role to give special status to Devnagri script when the Official Language Bill was passed, Mr Alemao said that at that time he had pleaded that at least for 50 years, Roman script should continue to get equal status with that of Devnagri, which sadly, the government had rejected then.
“Today, the scenario has changed and Roman script has prospered and progressed and continues to enrich with majority of people in Goa opting for it,” said Mr Alemao, adding that the Roman script is an international script.
“Why is then a step-motherly treatment given to Konkani Roman script,” questioned Mr Alemao.
He also stated that newspapers like Vauradeacho Ixt and Gulab were written and printed in Roman script and that 99 per cent of people from Goa today are at ease with the script and as such there should be no reason for the government to deny official status to Roman script.
Mr Gracias stated that he had brought in a bill in the Goa Assembly in March 1993 and that he and Mr Alemao had pleaded the then government to pass it, but the same was rejected due to lack of support from the government. He added that the same people like Chief Minister, Mr Pratapsing Rane, Mr Dayanand Narvekar and Mr Ravi Naik are opposing the official status to Konkani Roman script and that this time around, if they try their old pranks, they will be taught an appropriate lesson at the time of elections.
Mr Radharao further said that the Roman script will facilitate the good of everybody, adding that even computers are geared for Roman script, it being an international script. He stated that it is difficult to understand the logic of the government in denying official status to Konkani Roman script,given the fact that Devnagri Konkani script enjoys special status. “Why is this discrimination when it is so important for majority of the Goan people?” he asked, adding that if Marathi lovers are satisfied by the government, why deny the same facilities for the lovers of Konkani Roman script.
He also added that Roman script is 400-years old and that Thomas Stephen had been its great writer who wrote its grammar and other ingredients then and went a step further saying that no language is born with a script and that Konkani at first was written in Pali language, the language of the masses then. He said today Roman script occupies the position as being the language of the masses and that therefore it should get all the facilities and benefits as accrued by Devnagri script.
Mr Prabhakar Tendulkar belonging to Tiatrists Association disclosed that they will carve out a suitable strategy to force the government in giving official status to Konkani Roman script,while Wilson Mazarello said that if the government fails to pass the bill,this will be the election issue and that Congress government or any other party will have to face the music.
Presidents of Tiatrists Association sought to know whether anyone at lose, if Konkani Roman script is provided with official status. “No more we can tolerate injustice meeted out to Roman Konkani script,” they said in unison.
Other tiatr stalwarts who addressed the press briefing were Mario Menezes, Oswy Viegas, Menino de Bandar, Fr Pratap, John K and C D’Silva

Church is above controversy of scripts: Fr Loiola

Mapusa, July 8: The Church in Goa has refused to be drawn into the controversy over the latest demand to accord equal status to Konkani in the Roman script. The demand has come from the South Goa Member of Parliament, Mr Churchill Alemao who has revived the Konkani Porjecho Avaz for the same purpose.
The Town and Country Planning Minister in the Pratapsing Rane government, Mr Atanasio Monserrate and others have also reiterated the demand. When asked whether the Church supports that demand, the spokesman for the Archbishop of Goa, Fr Loiola Pereira said that “the Church is all for the advancement of Konkani, but it is above the controversy of scripts.”
Fr Loiola said that Konkani is the official language of the state of Goa and also the official language of the Church of Goa. It is the language of our ministry. All our churches have Konkani masses. All our books are in Konkani. But the Church is above the controversy of scripts, Fr Loiola said.



Blogger konkanimoggi said...

For communal harmony as well to remain in touch with the vast population of other Indian States using DEVANAGARI script it is in the interest of ALL KONKANI SPEAKING people to accept and use Devanagari script.However,one may continue to use other scripts such as Romi,Kannada, Malyalam and Urdu in literature in case one does not have to worry about readership.

10:21 pm  

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