**************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!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Goemche Dottorevoilo; Bab Ravindra Kelekar

A Herald Editorial:

For the greater glory of KonkaniThe Jnanpith Award is the highest literary award in the country.Ravindra Kelekar, a living legend of the Konkani movement, has brought honour and recognition to Konkani, taking it to an altogether new literary level by becoming its latest recipient. The octogenarian Kelekar is a multi-faceted personality; scholar, activist, linguist, and creative thinker. A Gandhian freedom fighter and a disciple of Kakasaheb Kalelkar, he fought in India’s as well as in Goa’s freedom struggle. Post Liberation, he dedicated his life to Konkani, and has worked tirelessly for its cause.Kelekar has seen Konkani through all its struggles and triumphs. It first got recognition as a modern literary language by the Sahitya Akademi despite strong protests from Marathi protagonists, as well as from the then MGP-led Goa government, which cited potential law and order disturbances in Goa as one of the reasons why it should not get recognition. But Konkani got recognition nonetheless, and Kelekar won the coveted Sahitya Akademi award for his Konkani book Himalayant, in 1976. In 1987, Konkani became the official language and gained statehood for Goa. Included in the Eighth Schedule in 1990, Konkani one of India’s official languages, making writers in the language eligible for the Jnanpith Award. But the award means much more than just Kelekar’s recognition as a writer par excellence. The Jnanpith elevates Konkani to its rightful place, recognising that it produces literature of a quality that is on par with any of the country’s leading regional languages.The last two years have been full of accolades for Ravindra-bab. He was made a Fellow of the Sahitya Akademi in 2007. Earlier this year, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan – the first Goan ever to be accorded the honour. Ever unassuming, Kelekar then said the Padma Bhushan should have been given to the late Konkani poet Manoharrai Sardessai before him.Apart from nearly 100 books in Konkani – fiction, non-fiction, as well as literary criticism – he has also translated the epic ‘Mahabharata’ into Konkani, in two volumes. But his literary felicity goes much beyond. He has written books in Marathi and Hindi. His books have been translated into other Indian languages, and even form a part of university curricula elsewhere in the country.He also edited the Konkani literary magazine ‘Jaag’ for more than two decades, to showcase the works of other Konkani writers. Prior to ‘Jaag’, he edited Konkani periodicals ‘Mirg’ and ‘Gomant Bharati’.Born in 1925, Kelekar lives in his native village of Priol. When the Konkani movement was picking up steam, he was instrumental in persuading Goa’s Konkani writers – most of whom were equally adept at writing in Marathi – to agree to write only in their mother tongue till all the goals of the Konkani movement were achieved. It is a moment of enormous pride for Goa, and for Konkani, that this great son of the soil has gained rightful recognition as one of India’s finest litterateurs. Now that a new door has opened, let us hope there will be more writers who will bring this great honour to Goa’s official language in the years to come.


Fitting recognition for a true son of Goem. Goemche dottorevoilo; bab Ravindra Kelekar


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