Romi protagonists threaten stir for status in Lang Act

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 24 September 2013 21:22 IST

The controversy over Kala Academy declaring separate literary award for a book in Romi Konkani has taken a different turn with protagonists of Romi Konkani now demanding inclusion of Romi script in the Official Language Act as well as in education.

In a press conference held to counter opposition by the Goa Konkani Academy to Kala Academy’s decision, Tomazinho Cardoz, on behalf of four organizations, warned that they would not leave any stone unturned not to change the decision.

The press conference was organized by Dalgado Konknni Akademi, Jagotik Konknni Songhotton (Global Konknni Organisation), Romi Lipi Action Front and Tiatr Academy.

“The opposition of Konkani Academy only proves the selfish attitude of promoting Devnagari script by destroying the Romi script in Goa”, stated Cardoz.

Leaders of these four organizations now also plan to meet chief minister Manohar Parrikar demanding not to change Kala Academy’s decision.

Referring to GKA stand, Cardoz claimed that they fear that literature in Romi Konkani may flourish and it would hamper the prospects of literature in Devnagari script.

A similar thing happened in education, said Cardoz, claiming that the plight of Konkani in education would have been averted if Romi script was also allowed.

When asked, the tiatrist and columnist said they would definitely demand once again Romi script in the Official Language Act as well as in education.

Cardoz also lamented GKA president Pundalik Naik for telling half truth, when in reality Kala Academy was giving literary awards for both Romi and Devnagari scripts right from the time the awards were instituted.

The practice was stopped after the Official Language Act was passed in 1987, which stated that Devnagari is the official script.

The Konkani Academy started providing funds to promote Romi Konkani only after the Assembly passed a resolution in this regard in 2005, almost 18 years after the Academy was formed, he said.

Even on  the advisory committee of Sahitya Academy, he said, the Devnagari lobby has always kept the protagonists of Romi script out but have given representation only Devnagari-supporting Christians.

When Kala Academy had finally agreed and had even declared an award for Romi script book “Kunkolle Ek Mahan Ganv” by Fr Planton Faria, Cardoz recalled how the decision was reverted at the pressure of some veteran supporters of Devnagari Konkani.

While thanking Kala Academy chairman Vishnu Wagh for reinstating the award in Romi script, Cardoz also hailed its decision to announce awards in other Indian languages and in English, written by Goans.

The press conference was also attended by Dalgado Konkani Academy president Premanand Lotlikar, Tiatr Academy president Prince Jacob,  Romi Lipi Action Front convenor and tiatrist Wilson Mazarello, Dalgado Konkani Academy secretary Jose Salvador Fernandes and Walter Menezes. 


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If Marathi is forced on Goa, then Goa’s existence is in risk because every state has its own language like Gujarati for Gujarat, Marathi for Maharashtra, Bengali for West Bengal, Tamil for Tamil Nadu, Malayalam for Kerala, etc. If Goa does not have Konkani then Goa’s existence is gone. Konkani and only Konkani must be Goa’s Official Language with both Scripts (Roman & Devnagri).

- John Ferns, Goa | 24 th September 2013 21:49

 

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