Konknni Literature in Roman Script - A Brief History

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Panaji, 13 May 2010: To commemorate the 156th birth anniversary of Msgr Sebastiao Rudolfo Dalgado, the great son of Goa and a scholar of international repute, Dalgado Konkani Akademi (DKA) released the much awaited scholarly book, Konkani Literature in Roman Script - A Brief History written by eminent Konknni stalwart late Prof. Dr. Olivinho Gomes, at the hands of Vinayak Naik, editor of ‘Goa Today’ at a special function organized by DKA on 8th May, 2010 at Kala Academy’s Black Box, Panaji.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Vinayak Naik said that the late Prof. Dr. Olivinho Gomes was the extraordinary Konknni person. The profoundity of his knowledge of every aspect o Konknni language was simply incomparable. He was the ultimate in the field of Konknni language and literature, Mr. Vinayak commented.

Mrs. Eslinda Gomes, wife of late Prof. Dr. Gomes was the special invitee.

Mr. Vinayak did not hesitated to take a potshot at the script controversy of Konknni. He said that he is entirely in agreement with all those who suggest that one script and one language could be the norm, but in some cases like that of Konknni making an exception is a must. "By that I mean, more than one script should be unhesitatingly permitted. Those who think that if Konknni is allowed to write in multiple scripts will affect the language are all wrong. Konknni will not be a unique case of one language and multiple scripts. Because there are already so many other languages written in two or three scripts, and they are flourishing. Therefore, the argument of the Devnagari script votaries that Konknni will make way for partition if Romi script is given recognition has absolutely no foundation."

He further said that actually by refusing to give Romi script its rightful place under the sun, the Devnagari script adherer are unwittingly contributing eventually towards the doom of Konknni and that would be very tragic indeed.

A writer is a writer regardless in which script he writes. It does not make him inferior if he writes in Romi script. What is important is his thoughts and not the script, Mr. Vinayak said.

He further said that it pains to see that the advocates of Devnagari script talk about setting time frame to Romi script writers to change over to Devnagari script. This type of thinking is not very much different from the time bound resolution policy of Government of India for the dalits. If this view is accepted of Devnagari votaries then it will mean dalitising the Roman script of Konknni.

Mr. Vinayak Naik expressed the need for harmony between both the scripts of Konknni and also to officially accommodate the Roman script in Official Language Act.

President of Tiatr Academy and former Speaker of Legislative Assembly Mr. Tomazinho Cardozo spoke on the book and said that the book covers the literary works printed right from 1556, when the first printing press came to Goa.

The president of DKA, Mr. Premanand A. Lotlikar presided over the function. He said that the Konkani Literature in Roman Script - A Brief History written late Prof. Dr. Olivinho Gomes will be translated in Konknni and will be released next year on 8th May, 2011. He also announced that DKA’s another important publication, the history of Konknni Novels is underway.

DKA Secretary, Mr. Jose Salvador Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks. Mr. Walter Menezes welcomed the gathering and Mr. Daniel F. de Souza compered the function.


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