It's sad my 'friends' are communalising MoI issue: Couto

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 17 October 2015 22:21 IST

While writers in Goa are up in arms over increasing communalism at national level, a national level Goan writer has expressed grief over her own writer friends involved in spreading communalism in Goa.

Maria Aurora Couto, a Padmashree recipient in 2010, has spoken out against the involvement of writers in a communalized issue of Medium of Instruction in the tourist state.

“I am deeply saddened by the spiralling descent into communalism in Goa among my friends who have valiantly fought for secularism and liberal values all their lives,” she said in a press note issued today.

Obviously she is referring to her writer friends like Uday Bhembre, Aravind Bhatikar, Nagesh Karmali, Pundalik Naik etc, who she always shared a platform with in a Konkani movement.

The Church-backed Forum for Rights of Children for Education (FORCE) and RSS-backed Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM) are presently on loggerheads in Goa over the MoI issue.

The BBSM has been opposing the government policy of giving grants to English medium primary schools run by the Church-backed schools run by Diocesan Society of Education.

“I pray they do not get derailed into converting their stated position on MOI into an ugly polarization between Goa’s two major communities,” said Couto.

Goa’s 60 per cent students learn in English medium while Christian community comprises only 25 per cent of Goa’s population.

However, the BBSM blames only the Church for imparting primary education in English medium and calls only the Christian community de-culturised, de-nationalised and even becoming ‘westernised.’

The BBSM was opposing the Congress policy of giving government grants only to the Church-run English medium primary schools in 2011 and is now also opposing the BJP government for continuing the same policy.

During 2012 Assembly election, the BJP had made MoI a poll issue while assuring the people to withdraw grants to Church-run English schools if voted to power.


The state otherwise has a policy decision not to give grants to any English medium primary schools, which is relaxed in case of 130 Church-run schools.

Goa otherwise has 258 English medium schools, but the rest 128 schools are not demanding government grants.

“It is imperative that we address our protest directly to ruling leaders who are either silent or deflect the issue and have allowed the fringe to occupy centre stage,” Couto stated in her statement.

While the BBSM initially went soft on the BJP government for the last three years in spite of continuing the Congress policy of making Church-run English medium schools an exception to its policy, the Konkani writers in the BBSM continued blaming only the Christian community for studying in English.

“Debate and dissent by all means but do not vilify an entire community and its leaders,” said Couto, obviously referring to the BBSM stand to hold only Church and the Christian minorities responsible for English medium education dominating the state today.

The issue was raised during a press conference held by Goa’s Sahitya Academy winner Konkani writers, along with English writer Couto, to condemn the increasing intolerance in the country, which has led to the brutal killing of three rationalist writers in India.

When asked about writers themselves involving in spreading communal virus in Goa, Couto had said she would speak about it, but little later without mixing up the issue with the national issue.

“Intolerance, which is vitiating the air nationally, will do irreparable damage to Goa’s legendary secular ethos. The communal virus, if allowed to infiltrate the Goan psyche, will not leave a Goa we wish our children to inherit,” she said. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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Shocking that those who fought for Konkani.have now become tools of the cimmunal RSS to accuse the minority community whose second to none of being deculturised. Why dont see the fact.that.almost every one wants their.children to for their future well being? Hope Bhembre, Batikar and Pundalik Naik waje up.and.stip being puppets of communal forces.

- Albert Colaco, Goa | 02 nd December 2015 19:41


I can see the impact of Konkani learning on young people who come to uk. They get the worse jobs and are unable to progress due to lack of English language skills

- Mushtaque , Leicester, UK | 23 rd October 2015 23:50


"Instead of working intelligently to make Konkani a गिन्यान भास, these so called Konkani writers and activists with their limited knowledge and narrow outlook only produce loads of रद्दी"

You hit the nail on the head here Rajan-bab. These Konkani protagonist, writers, and supporters are very blind and ignorant to the intrinsic problems associated with Konkani. They somehow have a feeling that it is the most complete, superior, and greatest language on the planet earth. And are under the illusion that the 'रद्दी' they dish out day in and day out is the most supreme literature masterpieces on the planet earth--although read by none.

Some of these awardees were extinct and are using this issue of Sahitya Academy to make them relevant in the public eye once again. What a joke.

- N. Sardessai, Mumbai | 20 th October 2015 19:07


We hv been learning english for last over one century. Today's graduate learns many subjects in english. But how many of them can write leave application? Why pepole have to pay for petty applications and correspondence? They get education in world language but cannot converse with local panchasat/municipality etc in this international language.

- Madhav Bastodker, Ponda | 20 th October 2015 09:37


Damodar Ghanekar must organize England Visa for the grandchildren and children of BBSM leaders first. His utterances are fascist and are similar to RSS diktat of Hindi, Hindu Hindustan.

Konkani was kept alive by Portuguese missionaries before Shenoi Goenbaab advocated it. He too initially wrote in Romi script.

Ghanekar himself must 'learn' to write proper konkani. ' तांच्यांनी' is a wrong usage; it should be 'ताणी' according to the Antruzi parameter.

Instead of working intelligently to make Konkani a गिन्यान भास, these so called Konkani writers and activists with their limited knowledge and narrow outlook only produce loads of रद्दी. Their writing has no appeal and substance. Trash literature produced by them with an eye on government awards has no value in the modern world.

- Rajan Kamat, Mapusa | 20 th October 2015 08:51


why did the grand children of this bbsm study in english medium schools? why did arvind bhatikar run an english medium school?English is a universal language.And parents are responsible for their children not this narrrow minded fanatic fools.Its parents choice.

- santosh, goa | 18 th October 2015 23:21


हो विशय फोर्स हे संघटणेन कसल्या कारणाक लागून मुखार काडलो तें कळना. जांकां कोंकणी नाका तांच्यांनी गोंय सोडून इंग्लंडाक वचूं येता.

- दामोदर घाणेकार, पणजी | 18 th October 2015 19:51


I feel there should be no discrimination against churches imparting education in English,churches are doing yomen job in field of education and there not only Christians but Hindus too take admission in the church school. Also what about private schools? They too impart education in earnest request to our Goa brothers and sisters pl forget such unwanted and in unrealistic issues and work together for betterment of Goa in Education And all other related field. Our young generation should be educated to became responsible citizens of Goa to lead the state in future.And give due credit to churches for making efforts to educate our younger generation.

- Guru Dhume, 76,Gomantak,Vile ParleMumbai 400057 | 18 th October 2015 11:04


The kokani writers are blaming christians over d moi issue because it is christian leaders who are misguiding n mobilising d people n especially d parents to press for d demand for d grants to the english medium.

- baban vinayak bhagat, fatorda | 17 th October 2015 23:30


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