Osmitai Vors in Shenoi's memory

| 24 June 2002 23:26 IST

Perhaps for the first time in the liberated Goa the state government is celebrating the whole year in the memory of any Goan personality. It is Shenoi Goembab.

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar has announced that on the occasion of his 125th birth anniversary, the year will be celebrated as Osmitai Vors (Self-identity Year).

"We will try and reach his great work to the nook and corner of Goa, including each and every primary school in the state", Parrikar announced at a function organised jointly by the Goa Konkani Academy and Konkani Bhasha Mandal to begin the year-long celebration.

While both these premier institutions have already chalked out a detailed programme and a special committee for the purpose, the state government now plans to add its own flavour to it by forming a state-level committee to carry out several programmes.

In addition, the Institute Menezes Braganza is also planning to release a collection of Shenoi Goembab's writings which, according to celebration committee working president Arvind Bhatikar, are still relevant enough to inspire the Goan youth.

Waman Raghunath Varde Valavlikar, born on 23 June 1877 in Bicholim, is still remembered not only because of his contribution towards rejuvenating the Konkani language but also as a great historian.

"The celebration will be an attempt to go back to our roots and inspire the youngsters with his writings so that Goans could once again march forward confidently in different fields including art, music, theatre and literature", says Parrikar.

According to him, Goans have already excelled in all kind of fields by attaining even international reputation and the celebration will be once again used to inspire the Goan community further in this direction.

Uday Bhembre, the GKA president, feels that Shenoi Goembab needs to be remembered not merely because his most valuable contribution to the Konkani movement but mainly because he gave birth to the cultural renaissance.

"He made us realise that Goa has a different identity of its own and compiled the whole geography, history and culture which was lost due to several historical accident the small state faced for centuries together", added Bhembre.

Several luminaries including power minister Digambar Kamat, Cortalim MLA Mathany Saldhana, writers like Pundalik Naik and Tanaji Halarnkar also threw light on Shenoi Goembab's contribution and the need to remember his works.

The daylong function was held at the Menezes Braganza hall in Panaji on Sunday and the hall was overpacked with people coming from all over the state.

Earlier in the morning, Congress leader Shantaram Naik inaugurated a symposium. Principal Narayan Desai, on the occasion, spoke on political and social aspects of Shenoi's life, Prof Madhavi Sardesai spoke on the linguistic aspects while Dr Tanaji Halarnkar spoke on his contribution to the Konkani movement.

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