Who divided Konkani?

By Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)
04 October 2014 09:52 IST

The highlight of the 52nd anniversary of Konkani Bhasha Mandal was two positive gestures of Fausto D’Costa, Editor of Konkani monthly Gulab and recipient of this year’s Konkani Journalism Award. Demoralised with the divisive activities within the Konkani movement, he had decided to take voluntary retirement from Konkani movement by December, but decided otherwise after receiving this award. It came not as an honour for him but recognition of the good work he is trying to do of uniting the Konkani community. The second gesture was the hope he deposed in today’s youth (and not the elderly veterans) in demolishing the divisive walls in Konkani movement and uniting the WHOLE community once again.

Hope it happens.

But how got the Konkani movement divided? Who divided it? Why? What was the benefit?

To analyse this, we need to look at Konkani movement not as a mere linguistic, literary or cultural movement; but political. Yes, Konkani has been a strong political movement. It has a wide spectrum of uniting the whole Konkani community, living within and outside Goa (even abroad), under one common banner – WE ARE KONKANI. The spectrum also widens to its historical roots and embraces our long-left brothers and sisters, now settled in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. And within Goa, the spirit behind Opinion Poll of 1967 is the spirit of Konkani movement.

In electoral politics, those who played politics of Hindu-Christian-Muslim unity, benefited from Konkani movement. The Hindu Bahujan Samaj, which was with the Marathi-protagonist Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party in ‘60s and ‘70s, got naturally drifted towards the spirit of Unity of Konkani movement. The Congress benefited from it largely but other regional parties like Gomant Lok Pokx or United Goans Democratic Party etc were not averse to it. Today, the ruling BJP is benefiting from it. Thus, it is playing Konkani tune, forgetting the fact that the same party had once moved a bill in the Assembly to make Marathi the official language.

But Goans should not forget the history of who brought back divisive politics in Goa. Who started dividing communities in the name of religion? Who rode on the horses of caste politics to come to power? Who kept on raking up died out language controversy? Who supported and promoted the controversy of scripts? Who made all the efforts to divide the unity of Hindus and Christians through language politics? And who fell prey from the Konkani movement to the divisive strategies played by the shrewd politicians?

Because Konkani movement is not, and should not be, a tool in the hands of politicians. It is a political movement much larger than the electoral politics. Lies within this political movement the communal harmony of Goa. Lies within this political movement the cultural assimilation of multi-cultural Goa. Lies within this political movement the spirit of tolerance and peace. Lies within this political movement the literary creativity of ‘cultural Goans.’ Lies within this political movement the bright future of intelligent Goans, the youth and the generations to come.

Thus, we need to identify real friends and hidden enemies of Konkani movement and keep them all away from it, to bring back the Uniting Spirit of Konkani!!!

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

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Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)

Sandesh Prabhudesai is a journalist, presently the Editor of goanews.com, Goa's oldest exclusive news website since 1996. He has earlier worked as the Editor-in-Chief of Prudent & Goa365, Goa's TV channels and Editor of Sunaparant, besides working as a reporter for Goan and national dailies & weeklies in English and Marathi since 1987. He also reports for the BBC. He is also actively involved in literary and cultural activities. After retirement from day-to-day journalism in 2020, he is into Re-Search Journalism (पुनर्सोद पत्रकारिता), focusing on analytical articles, Video programs & Books.

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Previous Comments

Konkani would have been progressed if both Scripts would have been declare as the official script of Konkani. This one side community script has divided the other side of the community. Devnagri script has made half of the Goans happy and other half Goans sad. Discrimination has been made for other half. To bring that half back and make it full, let us make Roman & Devnagri Scripts as the official scripts of Konkani.

- Mathew Dias, Goa | 07 th October 2014 14:18


Sandesh bab, I share your concerns. Every goan and his/her socio-political alignment is based on self centred motivation. We do not have a real Konkani man/woman in Goa in its real meaning and spirit. Such people fall easy prey to cunning businessmen attitude of politcians. So long as Konkani Goenkar think on "what I/we will get?" line Konkani movement will stand divided. Konkanis will unite on the day forgetting religion caste script etc when they will be reduced to 5% in Goa. Replication of Marathi Manoos style unity with Goan flavour of Konkani Manees. Till then Vogo rao."

- Madhav Bastodke, Ponda, Goa | 05 th October 2014 05:58


Sandesh, I was really happy while reading your entire article. But the last line is the real essence of the konkani movement in Goa. People were and are left aside based on the false presumptions that the those are left aside are hidden enemies and not real friends. This very attitude is bad for the spirit of the language.

But I am happy by the new developments taking place outside the purview of the age old and established institutions, which I am sure has already started uniting the community irrespective of the caste, creed & script. A team which does not involve individual vested interests may emerge from it. And the developing atmosphere is a real soothing one.

- Vivek Mordekar, Margao | 04 th October 2014 14:09


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