Thursday, April 28, 2011

The finer nuances of Theatre

The finer nuances of Theatre

BY CLARA A RODRIGUES

Theatre is a reflection of the ludicrous, insane and incongruous elements of our lives. It is a medium of expressive communication that is cathartic and gives a clearer vision of misty life.
Theatre in earlier times was a huge money spinner, but with the advent of other sources of mass communication, the loyalties of the audience for this medium steered away. In the West, theatre is still very popular. The scene in other places though is a bit different. However, especially formed repertory groups have managed to infuse life into this endearing genre.

Goa too has been a very receptive ground for theatre in terms of both, production as well as audience. The theatre performed in Goa can be categorised as contemporary theatre and traditional theatre. Traditional theatre implies the indigenous theatre in existence in Goa for centuries. The three most predominant of them are the ‘Zagor’, ‘Ranamalem’, and ‘Kalo’. There are three types of ‘Zagor’ says Vinayak Khedekar, “They are the ‘Perni zagor’, the ‘zagor’ performed by the Hindu Gaudas and the ‘zagor’ that is performed by the Christians.” He continues, “The Ranamalem is performed by the Kulvadi community who mostly reside in the Sattari taluka.”
These forms of theatre which are generally performed in villages are on the wane and are in need of sustained support. “Lifestyles have changed and this is reflected in theatre too. But these forms are practiced by Goans in a rich way,” says Khedekar.

Help in the form of various folk theatre festivals are constantly organised and promoted by the Department Art and Culture, Goa. They also take initiatives to take performing theatre troupes from Goa to different parts of India to perform.
Institutions like the Kala Academy (KA) too lend a hand to encouraging a culture of such performing arts in the form of holding theatre competitions. The KA itself has its own resident repertory named Rangmale which train those interested in theatre and also provides them with an opportunity to perform at various places in Goa and outside the state as well.
Perhaps the most popular form of theatre in Goa is the Khell tiatr and tiatr. The President of Tiatr Academy of Goa, Mr Tomazinho Cardozo and founder of a Kala Mogi, calls it the most economically viable form of theatre in Goa too.

Tiatr is self-sustaining and one can take it up as a daily job, adds Mr Cardozo.
A tiatr lover points out that with tiatr troupes going to perform in places outside Goa and India and the incidences of repeat shows increasing, tiatr has a bright future. “One thing that is amiss is that once a tiatr is performed many times, it’s replaced with anther one. The super hits are never restaged later and hence tiatrists miss out on the chance of earning royalties.”
“The standard of theatre in Goa though needs to improve. It has already seen improvement but a lot more has to be done,” states Mr Cardozo.

The Konkani nataks that are usually held at zatras (fairs held to celebrate a temple festival) and on other occasions too are crowd pullers agrees Avadhoot Sahakari, a theatre artiste. Plenty of nataks are staged at regular intervals. 
Religious occasions have encouraged the growth of theatre in Goa. The khell tiatrs, tiatrs, passion plays staged during lent, Konkani nataks staged during zatras etc are fine examples of how the love for theatre has been ingrained by religious activities.

Marathi dramas too get an audience but the numbers are much lesser. Despite there being quite a few Marathi drama productions, the audience generally show a bias and prefer watching dramas produced in Maharashtra. Says Avadhoot, “There is a difference between Marathi plays brought from outside Goa and those that are locally produced.” Pointing out to the proficiency in the language, Avadhoot says the local actors may be able to speak fluent Marathi but often end up faltering with the finer nuances of the language.
English theatre has seen a fair amount of development fairly recently but the numbers of English play production are still few in number.

Rudy Camara, who has over the past years been bringing in English drama troupes from outside Goa says it does not make economic sense bringing theatre from places like the metros to Goa. “Bringing a foreign play to Goa in a way does to an extent offset the costs as these plays travel all over India. English plays have a limited audience in Goa, but the market is growing,” he says.
Musicals have managed to elicit a sizeable audience in Goa. Says Camara, “nine out of ten per cent of the musicals brought to Goa are huge successes.

Camara points out to a trait that he calls as unfortunate present in the Goan audience. Referring to the English theatre scene he says, “Goans prefer plays from outside Goa. They are not appreciative of home productions as Goa is a small place and everyone knows everyone here.”
Theatre in Goa on the whole is full of potential and opportunity but the need to create a brand name for it so that it can become viable needs to be looked into. To achieve it, a lot of time and energy will have to be invested, but the efforts will definitely be worth it once achieved.

http://www.navhindtimes.in/

Feeling nostalgic about village tiatr

 Feeling nostalgic about village tiatr

BY CLARA A RODRIGUES


Tiatr has retained its vibrant nature with the nurturing of this form of theatre at a village level. The whacky tiatr writer, the melodious singer, an actress full of verve, have all known to have discovered yet another aspect to their personality when they that to the stage in front of a familiar audience.
Misha D’Souza from Calangute remembers that as recently as three years ago attending a tiatr written by a local and staged by the people of the village for the chapel feast in their ward. A face is all smiles as she recalls how the slips made by the actors always draws noisy whistles from the audience. And yes, the time when the boy dresses up as a girl for a scene is attracts whistles that mean to say, “O my, you could never have looked better”.  A village tiatr has all the ingredients to kindle the most classic feeling of congeniality.

The loud promptings sometimes leaves an actor into a tinge of embarrassment as he repeats the same. It’s these performances that make you the cynosure of villager’s eyes as they sometimes address you by the name of your character.
Cut to years ago, and the stalwarts of the tiatr stage will tell you how commercial viability was a concept unknown hitherto. With patromax lamps doing the present day task of stage lights, these un-ticketed shows had actors screaming their dialogues as there was no sound system.
The actor with a loud voice was an asset says Tomazinho Cardozo, a tiatr writer and the president of the Tiatr Academy of Goa. The people sitting on the on the ground and often fields was a thin dividing line between the actors on stage and the audiences whose stories were being told by different people.
But things have long changed. Tiatrs still run to packed shows in villages but the striking difference is that the tiatrs are performed by commercial troupes.  The tiatr at the village level is a place from which future stars grow informs Tomazinho terming the development as a sad trend that needs to be reversed. He says, “Since the last 25 years tiatrs at a village level has declined, as a result commercial performances reap huge income.
All most all the shining artistes of the tiatr stage are products of the tiatr at a village level. I myself began my journey into tiatr by writing tiatrs for the village”.
Prince Jacob’s latest tiatr ‘Aiz hanv, Faleam tu’ introduces lead actress Rosy Travasso, a talented lass whom Prince Jacob scouted during a performance at a khell tiatr during the Carnival.
Says tiatr writer, Roseferns who began his tryst with the tiatr world by writing scripts for school drams and tiatrs that were staged for the village Church feasts says that “the different reactions we get from the people you have grown along with is different from feedback you receive being part of a commercial troupe. We used to stage a lot of tiatrs with the boys and girls of the village eagerly lending their hand in making it a success. In those times tiatr troupes from Bombay used to come and perform in Goa. It was difficult to stage a tiatr in a village but we used to always pull off one which used to meet with tremendous success. We had problems of entertainment tax (which was later removed), licenses etc. We had no light effects; instead the two bulbs hanging from above served a similar purpose. Today, people do not have time to help in putting together a tiatr. Everyone is so busy”.

Tiatr has an effervescent presence till today. But the need to nurture it at a grass root level is important to get the best. Tiatrs whereby locals act are performed but that’s no enough. The tradition needs to be revived. The Tiatr Academy of Goa has offer schemes offering financial and technical assistance to those willing to organise a tiatr where the people of the village act in it. Besides, there are also offering schemes to schools and colleges to produce tiatrs.
http://www.navhindtimes.in/
Lucasinho Ribeiro’s staging of the first modern Konkani tiatr on April 17, 1892 marked the beginning an epoch in the history of tiatr. Today being Tiatr Day, ‘The Navhind Times' takes a look at one aspect of tiatr—the staging of tiatrs by locals of a village to be performed in the village itself, which is on the wane and highlighting steps being taken to reverse the trend. 

ESG approves proposal to draft Entertainment Policy of state

ESG approves proposal to draft Entertainment Policy of state

PANAJI: The general body of the Entertainment Society of Goa on Tuesday in principal approved the proposal to draft the Entertainment Policy of Goa, for which modalities would be worked out by the ESG.
The general body meeting, which was held at the Maquinez Palace auditorium to approve the annual budget of the ESG also decided to felicitate Mr Nilesh Naik from Dongrim, for finding an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for his Rangoli artwork.
The general body accepted the proposal moved by Mr Vishnu Wagh and seconded by Mr Vishal Pai Cacode of honouring Mr Naik at a special function, and presenting him with a cash prize of Rs one lakh for his achievement.  The general body meeting was chaired by the Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat, who is also the chairman of the ESG.

The general body approved the budget after carrying out a thorough debate on it and raising various queries as related to the same. The members of the general body also took the CEO of the ESG, Mr Manoj Srivastava to task for failing to provide them with the statements of accounts proposed in the budget, in advance. They maintained that the administration of the ESG needs to be improved.
The meeting also witnessed displeasure expressed by the members upon the unilateral decision taken by the CEO of the ESG as regards entrusting the Kala Academy with the responsibility of organising cultural programmes during the International Film Festival of India 2009.

Furthermore, the members felt that the CEO of the ESG had neither organised enough film-related workshops as well as film training courses during the year, nor held enough screenings of movies for the members of the Cinephile Movie Club of the ESG. They suggested that the film club should screen more of classic films and less of commercial movies.

It was finally decided to hold bi-monthly meetings of the governing body as well as general body of the ESG, under the chairmanship of the vice president of the ESG so as to periodically review the activities of the ESG.
The meeting also decided to revive the programme committee of the ESG under the chairmanship of Mr Tomazinho Cardozo so that activities pertaining to cultural events like concerts etc could be continued.
The meeting was attended by the governing council members of the ESG namely Mr Tomazinho Cardozo, Mr Manguirish Pai Raikar, Mr Vishal Pai Cacode, Ms Ranjana Salgaocar, Mr Francisco Martins, and Mr Raju Naik, and the general body members Mr Ramdas Phutane, Mr Vishnu Wagh, Mr Dnyanesh Moghe, Mr Sunil Azgaonkar, and Mr Dharmanand Vernekar.

A review of overall organisation of the IFFI 2009 was also taken at the meeting.

Konkani Cinema Day on April 24

Konkani Cinema Day on April 24

NT NETWORK

The Dalgado Konknni Akademi in collaboration with the Tiatr Academy of Goa will organise a special function on April 24 at 5 p.m. at the Conference Hall of the Tiatr Academy Goa, Campal Trade Centre, Panaji to commemorate the screening of the first Konkani film ‘Mogacho Anvddo’ on April 24, 1950 in Mumbai.

‘Mogacho Anvddo’ was written, produced and directed by A L Jerry Braganza from Mapusa, Bardez-Goa.
On this occasion an exhibition of photographs of the film ‘Mogacho Anvddo’ and ‘Sukhachem Sopon’, both films by A L Jerry Braganza, will he held. A newly released Konkani film ‘Nisha’ produced by Neville Pereira will be screened on the occasion.
Director of Information and Publicity, Mr Menino Pires will be the chief guest while film writer and director, Mr Dharmanand Vernekar will be the guest of honour. President of Dalgado Konknni Akademi, Mr Premanand Lotlikar and president of Tiatr Academy of Goa, Mr Tomazinho Cardozo will grace the occasion.

‘When the Curtains rise’—a book dedicated to tiatr

‘When the Curtains rise’—a book dedicated to tiatr

NT NETWORK


To celebrate the 118thyear of Tiatr day, the Goa Tiatr Academy (TAG) is planning a slew of events to mark the Tiatr day celebrations. Announcing this in a press conference, the president of the Tiatr Academy of Goa, Mr Tomazinho Cardozo, said that they will be releasing the book ‘When the Curtains rise’, a book written by Dr Andre Rafael Fernandes, Associate Professor at Goa University’s Department of English.
The book is an extensive documentation of the history and growth of tiatr. It also has interviews of senior tiatrists and speaks at length about the future of tiatr.

The book which took six years of research documents in a systematic way the roots of tiatr. It speaks of its music and analyses the tiatrs of veteran tiatrists. Dr Fernandes who was present said that the future of tiatr is bright but there was always room for improvement. Mr Cardozo said that the book will especially benefit those interested in earning more about tiatr.

To help the book which has been published by the TAG reach a wide audience, the book has been released under a Creative Common 3.0 format, whereby anyone can make copies of the book for non-commercial purposes and share its information through digital copies or through the Internet.

Mr Cardozo also announced schemes that the TAG has introduced to encourage tiatr. Schemes like documentation of tiatr, promotion of tiatr through educational institutions, preservation of tiatr literature, remembering veteran tiatr artistes, encouragement of production of tiatrs in villages, insurance of tiatr artistes, awards, orientation courses in dramatics, production of children’s tiatrs by schools and colleges, promotion of duets, duos, trios, quartets, promotion of Konkani songs with choreography etc are all available to people, said Mr Cardozo.

Mr Cardozo while speaking of the challenges faced by tiatr said that drama in all languages faces challenge, but we must find solutions to the same. He said that tiatr played a very important role in bringing people together during the Opinion Poll and the language agitation in Goa.

Vaskuchim Lharam

Vaskuchim Lharam

 
 
‘Vaskuchim Lharam’ a Konkani audio CD album produced by Rev Fr Jose Antonio Da Costa, parish priest of St Andrew’s Church-Vasco will be released at the hands of Mr Tomazinho Cardozo, president, Tiatr Academy of Goa, on April 25, at 10.30 a.m. at the church hall.

Mr Reginaldo Lourenco, MLA of Curtorim Constituency will grace the occasion as the guest of honour, while the Minister for Revenue and MLA of Vasco, mr Jose Philip D’Souza will preside over the function.
Vaskuchim Lharam is a unique Konkani audio album in the sense that it is a tribute to the Port Town of Vasco in song and music. The album has 11 dedicated tracks all composed by Rev Fr Jose Antonio Da Costa. The songs contained in the album focus on the issues of Vasco, its landmarks, its people and the town’s contribution to the game of football in Goa.
A special song ‘Vaskuche Mha-Monis is dedicated to the memory of Vasco’s industrialist, the late V M Salgaocar, former assembly speaker, the late Froilano Machado and sports administrator, and TV commentator, the late Noel da Lima Leitao. Among the other tracks on the audio CD, two are specifically dedicated to the Vasco Sports Club and Salgaocar Sports Club respectively.
Anthony San, Lulu Fortes, Fr Caetano Fernandes, Fr Jorge Fernandes both assistant parish priests of St Andrew’s Parish, Ethel and Lavina render their voices to the lyrics. The musical score is composed, arranged and orchestrated by Agostinho da Cruz while the album is digitally recorded

‘Konkani Literature in Roman Script – A Brief History’ released

‘Konkani Literature in Roman Script – A Brief History’ released

 
NT NETWORK
To commemorate the 156th birth anniversary of Msgr Sebastiao Rudolfo Dalgado, the great son of Goa and a scholar of international repute, the Dalgado Konkani Akademi (DKA) released the much awaited scholarly book, ‘Konkani Literature in Roman Script – A Brief History’ written by eminent Konknni stalwart
, the late Prof Dr Olivinho Gomes, at the hands of Mr Vinayak Naik, editor of Goa Today at a special function organised by DKA Saturday at Kala Academy’s Black Box, Panaji.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Vinayak Naik said that the late Prof. Dr. Olivinho Gomes was an extraordinary Konknni person. He said that the profundity of his knowledge of every aspect of the Konknni language was simply incomparable. He was the ultimate in the field of Konknni language and literature. Ms. Eslinda Gomes, wife of the late Prof Dr Gomes was the special invitee for the function.
Mr Vinayak did not hesitate to take a pot shot at the script controversy of Konknni. He said that he was in total 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 be written 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”, he argued. He maintained, “Therefore, the argument of the Devnagari script supporters that Konknni will make be divided 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 supporters were 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 are his thoughts and not the script, Mr Naik strongly said”.
He further said that it pains to see that the advocates of Devnagari script talk about setting a 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, said Mr Naik. If this view of the Devnagari supporters is accepted then it will mean the ‘dalitising’ of the Roman script of Konknni, he said.
Mr Naik expressed the need for harmony between both the scripts of Konknni and also to officially accommodate the Roman script in the Official Language Act.
The 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 ‘Konkani Literature in Roman Script – A Brief History’ written by the late Prof Dr Olivinho Gomes will be translated in Konknni  and will be released next year on May 8, 2011. He also announced that the important publication of yet another book of the DKA’s which is on the history of Konknni novels.  DKA Secretary, Jose Salvador Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks. Mr Walter Menezes welcomed the gathering and Mr Daniel F de Souza compered the function.

A book on Konkani Literature in Roman Script

A book on Konkani Literature in Roman Script

NT NETWORK


While briefing press about it on Friday, Mr Premanand Lotlikar, the president of DKA stated that this book would be released at a special function on May 8, 2010 at Kala Academy’s Black Box, Panaji at 4.30 p.m.
The function is organised to commemorate the 156th birth anniversary of Msgr Sebastiao Rudolfo Dalgado, the great son of Goa and a scholar of international repute. Mr Vinayak Naik, editor of ‘Goa Today’ will release the book.
‘Konkani Literature in Roman Script- A Brief History’ is a well-researched English book documenting the tireless efforts and contribution of various scholars, editors and writers who have enriched and strengthened Konkani in the Roman Script since 1556 when the first printing press was installed in Goa.
“This book is Dr Prof Olivinho Gomes’ last contribution to Konknni language. On behalf of DKA, I had requested Prof Gomes to write this book. Although he had other assignments at hand, he did not hesitate to take the responsibility of completing this enormous task and within a period of 14 months submitted the manuscript to DKA. However, Prof Dr Olivinho Gomes could not live to see the release of this book. He expired on July 31, 2009. Although he is not today, this book will remain a proof of his commitment and dedication to Konkani language, particularly Konkani in Roman script,” says Mr Tomazinho Cardozo, President of Tiatr Academy.

“This book not only gives us a glimpse of the invaluable contribution of Konkani writers in Roman script who have shaped our language through the years but it speaks volumes about the painstaking efforts made by Dr Prof Olivinho Gomes to gather information of immense value,” stated Mr Lotlikar.
DKA had decided to publish this book in English as it has academic and historical importance. A book of this nature will at once become accessible to non-Konkani readers, researchers, students and others to study know more about Konkani in Roman script.
“Segregation of language Konkani in Devnagari and Roman script should not occur. We should come together to preserve and propagate our Konkani language,” concludes Mr Cardozo.
This is the 14th publication by DKA and in near future, they will also publish this book in Konkani.
The Dalgado Konkani Akademi (DKA) is now all set to release the book by Prof Dr Olivinho Gomes titled, ‘Konkani Literature in Roman Script-A Brief History’.

TAG introduces new award category at Konkani Song and Music Awards 2009

TAG introduces new award category at Konkani Song and Music Awards 2009

NT NETWORK


Awards for Best Male Singer, Best Female Singer, Best Lyricist are regular features at award functions, however at the Konkani Song and Music Award 2009, for the first time, a Best Audio Album was declared.
Winners in each category were awarded prize money of Rs 10,000, a certificate and an award, with the exception of the Best Audio Album, which was given a special prize of Rs 20,000.
The Best Male Singer award, 2009 went to Anthony San for his song ‘Pai ani Put’ from the album ‘Nanv Vosto Tiatrist’ while the Best Female Singer, 2009 was Nephie Rod for the song ‘Mirchi’ from the album ‘Valley of Colorz’. Lawry Travasso won the award for Best Lyricist, 2009 for the song ‘Manngeachim Dukam’ from the album ‘Devak Donation Naka’. The Best Music Composer, 2009 was awarded to Sidhanath Buyao for the song ‘Chandrim Mama’ from the album ‘Valley of Colorz’. And the award in the newly introduced category of Best Audio Album, 2009 went to Neville Pereira for ‘Nisha’.
Chief Guest, Dr Colaco appreciated the efforts of the artists. He praised Mr Cardozo for his hard work that he felt would definitely account for the progress of the regional language. Commenting that it was nice to hear that research and documentations of the 100-year-old tiatr were on, Dr Colaco added that there was a need for the documentation Konkani songs too.
Every artist expressed his happiness and gratitude to the academy.

Recently the Tiatr Academy of Goa (TAG) had organised the Konkani Song and Music Award 2009. Speaking on the occasion the president of TAG, Mr Tomazinho Cardozo, Said that the aim behind organising the event was to promote Konkani songs. 

Lilting rhythms of Konkani classics revived

Lilting rhythms of Konkani classics revived

NT NETWORK


After releasing the album titled Konkani Classics Revisited the chief guest for the occasion, president of Tiatr Academy, Mr Tomazinho Cardozo said that he was happy to see an album with hits by Konkani stalwarts like Frank Fernand, Alfred Rose and M Alphonso. However, expressing his distaste for remixes because he felt that songs lost authenticity, Mr Cardozo made it a point to mention that he had clarified with Mr Felix Correia who recreated the music on whether he had retained the originality of the scores. Mr Correia had done his best to maintain originality. The album has given young Goan talent a platform. He requested Saregama to recognise young talent from Goa and thus prove to the world that Konkani music is not far
behind.
About the Album: Konkani Classics Revisited
Volume One rediscovers the great master Alfred Rose, and his evergreen hits like ‘Janet and Linet’, ‘Viva la Goa’, and ‘Ye Johnny Ye’. Sung by none other than his daughter, Alria Rose D’Souza, along with other talented singers, this is the first time these remixed songs are being released in the CD format. The original music score and lyrics are by Alfred Rose. Compilation of songs and music recreated by Felix Correia.
Volume Two brings us the music of three other great Goan music masters, Chris Perry, Frank Fernand and M Alphonso. Sung by Kyra Pais and others, this CD contains popular songs like ‘Ambeanche Pan’, ‘Mog Boom Boom’ and ‘Marialena’.
Goa’s beaches are not the only irresistible attraction the state has to offer - its music has always held a special charm. Liltingly melodious with catchy rhythms and a wonderful mix of west and east Konkani music is wins hearts everywhere. Saregama revisited the heritage collection of ageless classics of Konkani music and brought to life once again rare musical gems.

Governing council members irked over ESG not holding Konkani Film Festival

 Governing council members irked over ESG not holding Konkani Film Festival

PANAJI: Some of the members of the governing council of the Entertainment Society of Goa have taken serious objection to the step taken by the CEO of the ESG, Mr Manoj Srivastava, wherein he has sidelined the decision of the governing council to hold a Konkani Film Festival around April 24,
in commemoration of the screening of the first Konkani film, ‘Mogacho Aundo’ on this day and instead, organised the European Union Film Festival.
It may be recalled that at the 42nd governing council meeting of  the ESG held on June 15, 2009, under agenda item no 9, the calendar of events of the ESG were put up before the council members by the CEO of the ESG. During discussion on the same, one of the senior most members of the governing council, Mr Tomazinho Cardozo had proposed that the ESG should host a Konkani Film Festival to mark the release of the first Konkani film on April 24, 1950, at Mumbai.
The proposal was unanimously approved by the governing council and the CEO of the ESG was supposed to take necessary action on the same. However, after almost 10 months of this decision, it was conveniently forgotten and no step was taken to host the Konkani Film Festival. On the contrary, the European Union Film Festival was organised on April 24.
Mr Tomazinho Cardozo, who had mooted the idea to hold the Konkani Film Festival eventually had to organise a Konkani Cinema Day on April 24 under the auspices of Tiatr Academy of Goa, headed by him.
Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, Mr Cardozo said that the idea to hold a Konkani Film Festival, which would either start or end on April 24 was proposed and approved at the governing council meeting of the ESG with the Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat wholeheartedly supporting the concept. “However, some two weeks back, when I went to the office of the CEO of the ESG to find out about the preparations of the Konkani Film Festival, I was told that a European Union Film Festival was being held instead,” he added.
“I was really hurt by the response of the CEO as well as others holding responsible positions at the ESG, as they had dishonoured the decision of the governing council,” Mr Cardozo stated, further adding that he will not only follow up the matter and ensure that a Konkani Film Festival either begins or ends on April 24, from next year, but would also write a letter to the CEO of the ESG on April 26 in this matter. He further lamented that the ESG staff does not understand the emotions of Goans as attached to certain issues.
“The European Union Film Festival is a travelling film festival and could have been scheduled on some other dates so that Goans could have got best of both film festivals,” Mr Cardozo suggested. Mr Vishnu Wagh, another member of the governing council said that once a decision is taken by the council members, the ESG staff should take the same to its logical conclusion. “If the governing council decisions are just ignored, then why there should be a need for a governing council in the first place,” he questioned, stating that it is not the job of the governing council members to follow up their approved decisions.
“The general observation is that whenever benefits are to be given to Goans the priorities are changed in the negative direction, which is very bad,” Mr Wagh said, pointing out that his own approved proposal as regards honouring Mr Nilesh Naik, a rangoli artist for securing an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records by presenting him with Rs 1 lakh, was totally ignored. “It should be ensured that in the future any decision taken by the governing council of the ESG must be fully honoured and implemented, without any obstruction,” he concluded.
Yet another member of the governing council, Mr Vishal Pai Cacode when contacted  told this daily that if any European country was to hold festival of films by its filmmakers, the decision would not have been changed to make way for an Indian Film Festival in that country. Mr Cacode also stated that certain events need to be held on those particular days as those days spell significance just as April 24 is a Konkani Cinema Day. When asked as to whether he knew about the screening of a 7-minute film on Al Jerry Braganza, the first Goan filmmaker of Konkani film, during the inauguration of the European Union Film festival, Mr Cacode said that he came to know about it only through the newspapers.

              
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“Via Dolorosa” – A Great Effort

“Via Dolorosa” – A Great Effort

By Tomazinho Cardozo


The mega Passion play – Via Dolorosa – produced, directed and performed by the parishioners of Santa Cruz was indeed a satisfying experience and people enjoyed every bit of the 3-hour presentation.
The organisers need to be congratulated for their courage and the massive efforts put in to stage this mega show.

Being a passion play, Via Dolorosa effectively depicted the life of Jesus Christ. It also displayed the sorrowful experience of Mother Mary who chose to become a part of the agony of Jesus throughout his journey. The scenes of resurrection and the coronation of Mother Mary were beautifully presented. The play successfully conveyed the message of Jesus to humanity.

Modern drama does owe a lot to the activities of the Church throughout the world. In the past, mostly in Western countries, in Easter services bits of chanted dialogues were interpolated into the liturgy. Priests, impersonating biblical figures, acted minuscule scenes from incidents of the life of Jesus. Eventually these grew more elaborate and shifted from the inside of the church to the church steps and to the open spaces near the churches. Not only priests but laymen also started participating. Glorification of God and redemption of humanity remained the main concerns of these plays. These plays, which subsequently came to be called Passion plays, became regular feature in all churches during the Lent season. The presentation of these plays laid stress on rich costumes, d├ęcor and special effects. This history is being repeated in the Santa Cruz church, Santa Cruz, Goa.

The parishioners of Santa Cruz ventured into such mega productions way back in 2001 when they staged their first Passion play "Ecce Homo". The experience gained in the first play encouraged them to stage their second play "Soddvonnar Melo" in 2004. The play was well presented and won the hearts of the people. And now, after a gap of six years, they have produced yet another brilliant mega drama "Via Dolorosa" that leaves a lasting impression on the minds of the people.

The event is truly a mega event because it featured around 120 artistes from the parish besides another 50 to 60 artistes who contributed to music, singing, choreography, script, direction, stage setting, light effects, background music, costumes, etc. The show was presented on a huge stage, the length of which was about 50 meters and width about 10 meters, sprawled magnificently along the length of the edifice of the church. The mega stage covering about 500 square meters depicted five to six different stage sets on which different incidents in the life of Jesus Christ were presented. A huge screen placed nearby enhanced minute details like stage movements, facial expressions and reactions. The songs were sung by a group of 15 singers under the direction of music composer Fr Bernardo Cotta. Moreover the recorded background music by Saish Deshpande and the light effects by Assis made the presentation more meaningful. The costumes too were appropriate.

The hundred-odd artistes were all from the parish of Santa Cruz. The local MLA Ms Victoria Fernandes also participated. Most of the artistes were first timers. One has to evaluate the performance of the play after considering all these factors. Although there is always room for improvement, the performance was praiseworthy for which the joint directors namely Peter Barbosa, Dynisia Dias Juliao and Fr John Fernandes deserve a pat on their backs.

In the good old days, I remember, the late Souzalino, a pioneer of Passion plays in Konkani, used to stage one tiatr every year on the life of Jesus Christ. The drama was staged in the towns of Mapusa, Panaji and Margao, because it was not possible to stage these plays in the villages due to complex stage arrangements. People used to comment, "Souzalino’s tiatr is just like a cinema." This was because the late Souzalino used to make appropriate use of stage sets, background music, light effects and costumes besides experienced commercial artistes while staging biblical presentations.

In the present times, dozens of Passion plays are staged every year during Lent season by well known artistes of Konkani stage, including priests. Although today we have all the technological development at our disposal the standard of these plays cannot be compared to the standard of late Souzalino’s plays. Nevertheless "Via Dolorosa" presented by the parishioners of Santa Cruz displays the passion, spirit and dedication of late Souzalino and that too on a mega scale.

The parishioners of Santa Cruz and their local parish priest deserve appreciation for their interest, dedication and sacrificing attitude. Being a person from the field of drama I feel happy because there was appropriate use of stage sets, light effects, costumes, background music, which is missing in our tiatr presentations. "Via Dolorosa" no doubt immensely contributes in raising the standard of Konkani stage. Such presentation, we must not forget, become a part of our cultural history.

The Neglect of the Mother Tongue

The Neglect of the Mother Tongue

By Tomazinho Cardozo   

In every society the culture, conduct and values are very strongly related to the language spoken. Literature is the mirror of culture in society and literature is based on language which plays a main part in man’s socialisation.
The credit for the complex order of human society must go to man’s linguistic superiority over other animals and the language one picks up in the family. The first contact the child has is the mother. Thus, for the growth of the child, the mother becomes the focus in the family.
As per the numerous studies made in the past, children brought up by animals in forests are seen completely ignorant in matters of language. They communicated their wishes by signs in animal’s language, use hands and legs for walking, eat raw meat and exhibit the least signs of humanity. A child brought up by animals grows like an animal, while a child brought up by human beings grows into a human being. To go even further, a child developing in a cultured family is cultured, while one brought up in menial circumstances is coarse. The child is first taught language in his thoughts. If a Goan child is brought up in an English family, English will become his mother tongue. Thus, the major element in the child’s socialisation in the form of language comes to him in his mother’s lap.
Besides the above mentioned elements, an individual receives a number of other things from his family. Not unusually, even the person’s occupation in society is decided by his family. Even in the modern age many people carry on the paternal business and occupation for which they are trained in the family from childhood. It is not an uncommon occurrence that a jeweller’s child shows interest in the same business from his infancy and becomes able very soon.
In brief, the family educates the individual in culture, conduct, behaviour, custom, tradition, religion, laws of thinking, ideals, values, occupations, obedience, performance of duties and proper use of authority, etc. In other words the family is the most important institution in man’s moral development. And in all this, the mother tongue plays the most crucial role in shaping the destiny of the child.
The mother tongue, no doubt, is absolutely essential for the growth of the child. Nevertheless the treatment given to the mother tongue in the present times by the present generation, particularly in Goa, is not only disturbing but highly objectionable because such a treatment can destroy Goan culture, Goan ethos and Goan identity in times to come. I have closely observed different types of approaches from different Goans to this issue due to whose actions the so called “Goykarponn” or Goan identity is deteriorating among Goans day-by-day.
Let us take the example of elite Goans. Most of them are highly educated. They often come from rich families. In the past they used make use of Portuguese among themselves and the Konkani language with the servants. After the Liberation of Goa they have replaced Portuguese with English and continue to use Konkani or Hindi with the servants. They are involved in numerous agitations such as ‘anti-SEZs’, ‘Regional Plan 2010’, and all other protests which were organised in the interest of Goa. In brief, they participate in all movements and agitations in order to ‘save Goa’. However, I do not see any activity from them to save the mother tongue, Konkani, the influence of which on Goans is declining very fast. Is it possible to save Goa, meaning Goa’s culture and identity without saving the mother tongue?
There is another huge section of Goans whose mother tongue is Konkani but takes pride in the Marathi language. There are valid reasons to this fact and I do not wish to deal with them at this time. But the end result of this attitude is that the mother tongue suffers on all fields such as education, literature, social, etc. When the mother tongue of any society suffers it indicates that its culture and identity is at risk.
The other section of Goans, who swear by Goa and Goan identity, are those who are all out to ape the West. They are fluent in Konkani yet they will try to converse in broken English. They try to make use of English while compeering their family functions like weddings, anniversary celebrations, etc. They have money and because of that they intend to acquire higher status in the society by displaying a ‘Western’ external appearance. Once again the mother tongue is given a back seat.
The fourth type of Goans, are our politicians and policy makers. Today many of them have become strong leaders in the political field of Goa only because they espoused the cause of the mother tongue. Due to people’s agitation, the mother tongue of Goans – Konkani – was finally made the Official Language of Goa in 1987. But unfortunately the Official Language Act of Goa does not make the use of the Official Language – Konkani – compulsory in any field. It is also not possible because Marathi language has been given almost equal status along with Konkani in the Act. The disastrous effect of this legislation is that, Goa has become the only state in the country where you can complete your whole education without learning the Konkani language – the mother tongue of the state of Goa.
All these incidents only prove that we give importance to numerous factors but not to the mother tongue in our efforts to ‘save’ Goa. And Goa - its culture and identity – cannot be saved without saving its mother tongue – the Konkani language.

The Present Day Political Challenges

The Present Day Political Challenges

By Tomazinho Cardozo   


Mankind faces threat to its very existence. Life has become insecure. Terrorism is the greatest menace which goes uncontrolled. We have not succeeded in eliminating illiteracy and unemployment.
Thus poverty prevails and health problems increase in spite of modern medical advances. Population too grows at a fast pace. Environmental destruction continues unabated. All these factors have contributed to the existence of hunger and disease. Even the mightiest regimes – the super powers - are not in a position to tackle these issues successfully.

Most countries of the world today have a democratic system of governance. These are the governments which are elected by the people. Yet people’s troubles and tribulations have not come to an end. Has the democratic governance, which is considered the best form of governance, failed? What sort of political system would best meet the challenges of the present times? History is a witness to the fact that there were revolutions and bloodshed in order to wipe out dictatorial regimes and make way for democratic governances. It happened but expectations of the people have not been fulfilled.
If one analyses the issue in depth and observes what has been achieved during the last 50 years under the care of ‘democracy’, one thought that disturbs one’s mind is that the democratic form of governance has not been able to solve the problems of the people. On the contrary people’s miseries have increased many folds. The most important factor for such a state of affairs is that the democratic system of governance depend on continued industrial growth and when it comes to industrial growth one cannot avoid environmental destruction to some extent. Developed nations become important players of industrial growth particularly in the poor countries where there are a lot of resources along with extreme poverty and hunger. Many times, in the present set up, the voice of the poor and downtrodden is not at all heard in the corridors of power of this democratic system. And such acts of the powers-that-be have given rise to insurgency and terrorism. Unfortunate indeed! Democracy - a system of governance that is directly elected by the people - has failed to protect the interest of the people.
No one denies the fact that industrial growth is the backbone of a growing society. But at what cost? Industries are being set up throughout the world in large numbers. Environment is being destroyed day in and day out. Has all these so-called development helped in decreasing unemployment and poverty? Has the situation of hunger and disease among the weaker sections of the society shown any signs of improvement? Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are negative because it has led to severe destruction of the ecology of the area, increase of pollution, disease, global warming, etc. Thus is it advisable to expand industrial technology at the pace that is currently being done throughout the world? I am afraid, if it does, the human population might be the greatest looser.
Thus there is urgent need to limit industrial growth. It has to happen as soon as possible. Rich nations may not be able to maintain their economic supremacy in times to come. This is evident from the fact that many third world countries have started asserting in their dealings with the developed countries. It’s a good sign indeed.

On the other side, whenever and wherever the process of discussion and understanding has failed, the disadvantaged people have tried to assert themselves through blackmail and extortion. Hijackings, kidnappings and numerous dreaded acts of terrorism are concrete example of this attitude. There is good reason to expect a more serious form of blackmail – nuclear threats. As of now, many nations, including third world countries, have acquired nuclear weapons. When their people are starving it will not be surprising to see that they turn to nuclear black-mail and extract the required benefits to their suffering people.
The alternatives to these grim prospects are hardly more desirable. What kind of government would be able to force birth control on an unwilling population or put down the protests of hungry mobs? What kind of government would be in a position to pursue industrial growth in order to create employment opportunities without destroying the environment? What kind of government will be effective to curb hijacking, kidnappings and acts of terrorism so that the lives of citizens are secure? What kind of government will consider qualitative education to all citizens irrespective of caste, creed and religion as the foundation of the growth of the society? We need a government which is strong, determined and ready to act firmly not only in the interest of the rich and powerful but in the interest of the poor and downtrodden in the true sense of the word. Can a democratically elected government achieve this goal? Probably not! The problems that lie ahead may be so serious that the only government able to solve them, I am sorry to say, would be an oppressive regime. A benevolent dictator is the need of the hour.
This is an indeed an unhappy manner to end this article. But we must never forget that politics is never a happy topic because it deals with the domination of the majority of the poor people by the few mighty and powerful ones.

The Rich – Poor Divide

The Rich – Poor Divide

By Tomazinho Cardozo


Mankind has always discriminated. History is a witness to the fact that man has harassed woman, whites have hated blacks, higher castes have humiliated the lower castes, the rich controlled the poor, so on and so forth. Although all are the creations of God yet discrimination persists.

Poverty is a driving factor when it comes to discrimination. If we observe carefully blacks and the people belonging to lower castes  have suffered the most. They were not given any opportunities to educate themselves. Even today, illiteracy is the highest among these people. The adverse effect of illiteracy is unemployment. Unemployment worsens the economic condition. Thus poverty continues from generation to generation. Women also suffered and their growth was suppressed. Even rich families, particularly in India, did not give the girl child all the facilities provided to the boy child. They were not exposed to education and to individual freedom as in the case of boys. Child marriages further suppressed the growth of the girl child. Thus we see that women of high caste families too experienced discrimination.
Beginning with individuals, the virus of discrimination spreads to families, communities, states and nations. Hence we find rich and poor families, communities, states and nations. Just like the rich dominate the lives of the poor in communities and the rich states dictate terms to poor states, in the same manner rich nations today make all efforts to control poor nations.
People are interdependent, even though we live on different continents within different political and economic systems. You may be wondering how you can affect the people of the Third World. There are several areas in which individual decisions of the so called developed nations can influence the relationship between rich and poor nations.
Take for example the process of land reforms in different parts of the world. Land reforms could minimise the hunger of the people in poor countries. More than once the so called developed and rich nations have supported reactionary regimes in the less developed countries, even giving them military aid, in order to prevent land reforms. In recent times we have seen how rich nations, in the guise of protecting democracy and destruction of nuclear devices of mass destruction, have destroyed lives, properties and  regimes of other developing nations. The hidden agenda of these developed nations ultimately is the protection and promotion of their own selfish interests in a particular region in the guise of ‘big brotherly’ attitude.
Another issue to consider is international trade. Rich nations can exploit poor nations; they have all the power and can set the terms of trade. Rich nations, for example, can set such high tariffs that poor nations cannot sell their products abroad. Such a policy protects the rich at the expense of the poor. On the other hand, when rich nations want certain goods their demands can upset the poor economies. For example, many Third World nations produce almost entirely for export. Their economies depend on export alone. Since exports are usually controlled by giant foreign corporations the interest of these giant corporations and not that of developing nations, plays an important role in this trade.  In recent years, some developing nations have taken courageous steps  to protect themselves against the control of multinational corporations by nationalising industries owned by outsiders.

Developing nations will have to prepare themselves for some major changes. For a long time the rich countries have been able to grow richer at the cost of poor countries. Take the example of oil. Rich nations make all the efforts to buy oil from other countries at low prices. Technology and development is based on oil. Thus rich nations would like to preserve the oil reserves of their countries for future use and at present make use of the oil from other developing countries by using all tactics that suit them well. This is exactly what’s happening in the world today.
But all this is changing now. Oil won’t be cheap again. Oil prices are bound to escalate. Oil producing countries have the potential to be the world powers. So also there are many other nations, including India, with vast natural resources, which have the capability of become world powers. Thus the equation of rich and poor nations is bound to change in times to come.

Educational Quality in Jeopardy

Educational Quality in Jeopardy

By Tomazinho Cardozo 
The future of man does not depend only on education but on the direction in which we take our education forward. In any illiterate society, the main concern of the authorities is to make the people literate.
At this stage the quality of education takes back seat. Number of literates is the only goal. As time passes, and the people acquire reading and writing skills, the question of giving them better education comes to the mind of policy makers. So more complicated teaching-learning process becomes a necessity. Accordingly, the educational policy makers introduce an appropriate curriculum that tries to fulfil the needs of the people. Goa has crossed both these stages.

Educationally, Goa is almost 90 per cent literate and this fact has been recognised nationally and internationally. At this crucial stage, our efforts should have been only to improve the quality of education. Unfortunately, I regret to say, we are introducing fresh measures in our examination system which are bound to arrest the qualitative growth of education in the state of Goa.
The fresh proposal of the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (GBSHSE) is to facilitate the passing standard ten and twelve students by allowing them to keep terms (ATKT) even if they fail in two subjects. As per the report in the local papers, this will be implemented from the academic year 2009-2010. This means that the students who appeared for GBSHSE’s March 2010 examinations for standard ten and twelve will be promoted even if they fail in two subjects. However, the concerned student will have to clear the subjects either in the supplementary examination or in the next Board examination.
In what way this measure is going to help the students is a big question. No doubt, if they pass these subjects in the supplementary or next board examination they will save one year, but at what cost? Soon after standard ten results there is a rush for admission to all streams of standard eleven. I have seen higher secondary schools hesitating to admit students with one ATKT. Such students had to run from pillar to post to get admission. Under no circumstances are they admitted in the science stream. Very rarely are they admitted in the commerce stream. It is mostly for arts or vocational courses that they have to opt for. Even when there were seats, these students were formally admitted at the last moment, when the school authorities realised that they were not going to get any more students without ATKTs.
If such a situation arises for one ATKT then what will be the fate of the students with two ATKTs? The mark sheet issued by the GBSHSE will have the remark “Needs Improvement”.  In other words the mark sheet will not say that the students with two ATKTs have passed. Thus the opportunity taking up a job post standard ten is eliminated. Students are normally stressed before the examination. However, I feel now that with this measure the post-result pressure on students will be more severe.
Second, is making passing standard ten and twelve examinations easy beneficial for growth of education in Goa? I am afraid not! Today our efforts should have been to improve the quality of teaching by imparting training to teachers and equipping them with modern teaching methodology. Our efforts should have been to identify weak students, not only in standard ten and twelve but right from standard five. They should have been handled accordingly so that their weaknesses were constantly taken care off till they acquire the required skills in that subject. Our efforts should have been to provide the required infrastructure to each and every school so that students did not only grow intellectually but also physically, emotionally and spiritually with the same dynamism. Such efforts on the part of concerned authorities would have, possibly, wiped out the trend of ATKTs and definitely would have helped in improving the quality of education in Goa.
Prior to this move of introducing two ATKTs, GBSHSE introduced a grading system for promoting students to higher classes in standards V, VI, VII, VIII and IX.  I was a member of the Board at that time. I had objected to the implementation of the system in all schools simultaneously because I felt that it will not improve the quality of education rather it would only help weaker students get promoted easily. My main contention was that teachers were not trained to evaluate internal assessments and hence it would lower the standard of education. I had proposed that the said grading system might be implemented in few ‘good’ schools as a test case and after observing its success or failure, the Board could then decide to introduce it in all other schools. As most of the Board members wanted that fewer students fail it decided otherwise. Today the heads of the schools and teachers complain that even very weak students pass in the examination because of the grading system.
First, the introduction of grading system and now the benefits of two ATKTs. This will only help increase the number of students getting promoted, and, regrettably, adversely affect the quality of education in this ‘educationally advanced’ state of Goa.

The Malaise of Defections

The Malaise of Defections

By Tomazinho Cardozo 

In a democratic form of Government the incidence of defection is not uncommon unless the citizens have developed a high degree of political and party integrity. Even in the developed country like United Kingdom men like William Gladstone, Winston Churchill, etc, had crossed the floor.
In our country too there were many incidents of defections engineered by prominent political leaders.
The history of parliamentary democracy in India points at the Congress party for engineering defection of important leaders to its fold in the pre-1967 elections. However, the opposition parties took advantage of the same concept after 1967, in the changed political situation of the country. The defectors were taken in as chief guests; they were purchased at a price they demanded. A new nomenclature of ‘Aya Ram’ and ‘Gaya Ram’ became the common catch word to denote the shameful situation of Indian politics having its direct bearing on the formation, reformation and deformation of Governments in several states. The trend of politics reflected as an arrangement based on alliances in which the defectors played their conspicuous part. Horse trading became the order of the day and defections were secured by dubious means.

The high drama of political defection was again enacted after 1971 Lok Sabha polls and the states Assembly Polls of 1972. Although the incidents of defection went on decreasing at the national level, subsequently the rate of defection went on escalating in different states of this country. Goa, a tiny but a literate state too became the victim of multiple defections. Even today the ghost of defection does hunt the Kamat-led ministry in Goa.

Defections are the product of various socio-political complexes under which we operate and have to be accepted as a hard sociological reality. Condemnation is not going to lead us anywhere. The real cause for wide spread spectacle of defections and counter-defections are historical, institutional and motivational and often a combination of all the three of them.
The root cause perhaps lies in the history and nature of our political parties. The political leaders as well as the voters too are equally responsible for the political mess that we are in today. Some of the important reasons due to which defections happen can be enlisted as follows: Lack of ideological orientation among the political parties; Lack of discipline and cadre base in political parties; Low level popular involvement in the membership and in the activities of the party; Virtual indifference of the people to the acts of defection by their representative; Infighting and factionalism in parties leading to group defections; Denial of Party tickets in the elections; Lack of commitment and sincerity in the programmes of the party; Attitude of independent members in legislatures to trade their position particularly whenever there is unstable majority in the legislature; Clash of personalities among the legislators and their party leaders; Allurement of office, money, status or the denial of the same in their own parties; Disparities in emoluments and status between legislators and Ministers; Operation of powerful lobbies and pressure groups that command the loyalties from legislators; Unwillingness of the ruling parties to share power or to maintain themselves in power at all costs instead of entering into workable coalitions with like-minded parties; Hypocrisy in Indian politics with gullible people and deceitful leaders who preach one thing and practice other; Dismal poverty and illiteracy among the voters particularly in rural villages; Lack of political vision and blurred political ideas among the voters as well as the leaders, etc. Do we observe any change in the functioning of political parties, politicians and voters in this 21st century?
The factor of personal gain has had an effective part in most of defections, which resulted in forming new party allegiances at the cost of values and integrity in politics and public life.
A common man, who sincerely believes in democracy and in the good of his state and the country asks a simple question; Why can’t defection be eliminated from the political scene by enacting a very strict law? Unfortunately, such a measure was strongly opposed in the past by describing it as a fascist measure violative of the basic principles of the constitution and particularly of the freedom of legislators and his right to dissent.

Democratically the argument holds good and thus the menace of defections continue.
Some political leaders in the past have justified their action of defection as adherence to the principles and even claimed the desertion of the party was not defection as they were compelled to break away for ideological reasons. Many a time the defecting leaders have proudly claimed that they had to defect for the good of his constituents in particular and for the good of the state in general. Whatever may be the reasons given by our leaders to support their acts of defection, the fact is that it is not difficult at all to distinguish between defections motivated by a desire to get a share of power or office and a change of sides on the ground of principles.
Defections do disturb democratic functioning of any state or the country. It does slow down the pace of development. Existence of defections is a sign of unhealthy functioning of democracy. Hence if defections cannot be eliminated from the political scene, all out efforts must be made to prevent it from happening wherever possible.

Challenges to Traditional Gender Roles

Challenges to Traditional Gender Roles

By Tomazinho Cardozo

Parents have traditionally played very different roles, and until recently, the obligations and rights of each were backed by social sanctions. The female was expected to look after the young, and society protected her claim for support in this task.
It is for these reasons that many a time in the past a girl-child was not encouraged to go to the school and the daughters in the family were rarely included in the decision making process. Even in present times, mostly in the rural villages, the same treatment is given to girls and women. The evil of dowry system became a part and parcel of our society because the daughters in the family were never trained to be economically independent. They were considered as ‘burden’ and in order to take care of that ‘burden’ in the family of the husband, the dowry became more important than the girl at the time of marriage.
On the other hand, the male was expected to support and defend his wife and children, and society protected his claim to a job that would permit him to meet these obligations. Obviously the birth of a son in the family was celebrated with much fanfare and the son in the family was always considered superior to the daughter in the family. At the time of marriage the family of the son always called the shots and made exorbitant demands. Even today in some families such an attitude does exist. Two distinct roles and two distinct treatments for a boy and a girl in the same family!
Perhaps there were good reasons in the olden times that men were better suited for work outside the home and women at home. In earlier days the fact that the female could provide milk to her child was a good reason for the mother to stay near the baby and take care of the baby throughout the day. But this is no longer a major issue today because milk from other sources has been extensively used in the growth of children. The baby-sitters syndrome too does not require the mother’s presence with the child throughout the day. Thus the concept of traditional sex roles has undergone a drastic change.
In the modern context, the old concept of distinct roles to husbands and wives has almost been eliminated in the educated families while it is on the decline in the rural communities too. Education of women has played a major role in bringing this change. Numerous movements for the empowerment of women too have contributed immensely in creating awareness among women. The advent of technological inventions like radio, television, telephones, etc, has exposed the woman from rural as well as urban India to all the happenings including the empowerment of women taking place in any part of the world. As a consequence of this, we observe that the women living in the urban areas have no different roles as such compared to men. However similar status has not been acquired by women in the rural areas. And the main block on the road to empowerment of women in the rural areas is the man himself. His mind-set is completely closed to the fact that a woman can become the decision maker in the family.
Society is undergoing drastic changes at a very fast pace. Some years back, the women’s movement had demanded that women and men be given equal employment opportunities. Today it has not remained a demand at all on the contrary it has become a reality. Today not only men but women too are the bread-winners of the families. Many a time wives earn more than the husbands. This is the truth of the modern age. Thus the concept of distinct roles to husband and wives is out-dated. Accordingly men and women of today should have an equal obligation not only to support their families financially but also equal right in the decision making.
Furthermore, if a woman is to meet her obligations she must have a good deal of authority over the family. For example if she finds it necessary to move across the country to find a job, her dependents must not object to it and if possible be willing to go with her as we did with the man in the past. If she is to pay the bills, she must be able to determine the family budget as the man used to do earlier. If she is to perform well on the job, her dependents must protect her mood, her rest, and her health by providing her good food and other requirements, as we behave with the man performing similar duties. When the man was the sole bread-winner of the family in the past, the wives did take care of them with great respect. As the roles are undergoing changes, the mind-set of man too must undergo changes.

The head of the household is one who is responsible for the economic welfare of the family. He or she must be given enough authority and privileges to carry out this obligation. The requirements of modern living demand that both husband and wife should work. Hence both parents opt for employment in order to be financially sound. It is obvious that the two should share all the rights equally too.
However, it should be recognised that many women are still in an economically dependent situation while they look after the children at home. They too make a vital contribution to society in this role and have good reasons for preferring it to a career in this world of business. Moreover, many mothers are working because they have no option but to work. Thus any movement for true “liberation” will therefore demand the right to choose the opportunity to work and the opportunity to remain at home, depending on the situation.

Goan Christians and their Identity

Goan Christians and their Identity

By Tomazinho Cardozo  

Although identity means uniqueness, personality, individuality, distinctiveness, etc, the phrase ‘Goan identity’ means different things to different persons. Conceptualisation depends on the background of the person trying to interpret it. For example, a person who feels that his mother tongue is Konkani will have a different explanation for the term compared to the person who believes that his mother tongue is Marathi.  And there will be the third version from a person who considers English or any language other than Konkani or Marathi as his mother tongue.

However, in recent times I have come across articles, views and opinions from certain quarters that have sometimes left me disturbed. According to these views (a) The Christian community in Goa is drifting towards westernisation, (b) They prefer learning English to Konkani. (c) They feel shy to make use of Konkani in public.  I do not wish to dismiss these statements outright, but I would like to clarify some misunderstandings created by these statements.
First, all Goans, irrespective of their religion are showing an increased inclination towards western culture. The lifestyle of the present day youth is proof of this. Second, majority of students from the Christian community learn Konkani in Devnagri script at the primary level and as third language at secondary level. All schools, primary numbering about 126 and secondary and higher secondary numbering about 150, of the Archdiocesan Board of Education offer Konkani at primary level and as third language at secondary and higher secondary levels. There are hardly any schools other than Archdiocesan schools doing this great service to the cause of promotion of Konkani language. Third, although it is a universal craze to feel superior by conversing in English, it is observed that many Christian families in Goa, particularly those from coastal areas, do try to speak in English with their children at home.  I feel that there are economic compulsions for such behaviour from certain families living in places where there is an influx of foreign tourists. Otherwise, all their daily activities, including religious activities, are carried on in Konkani only, written in the Roman script.
Having said that not only Christians, but all communities in Goa, have been bitten by the bug of westernisation, one cannot brush aside this trend, which can finally make a ‘Goykar’ feel out of place in his own land in the future. Konkani is the most important element of Goan identity. A mother tongue is always loved by its followers. The Christian community in Goa was the greatest supporter of Konkani language. All Christians in Goa displayed their wholehearted dedication to Konkani during the successful language agitation. However, their love towards Konkani has shown a decline over the last 20 years. The reason being the Goa Official Language Act of 1987; Konkani became the official language of Goa, but, unfortunately, Devnagri script chosen as the official script.
Roman script has been used to write Konkani right from the 16th century when a printing press was brought to Goa in 1556 by the then Portuguese government. Since then writing and printing books in Konkani continued in the Roman script. The Catholic Church of Goa made and still makes an extensive use of Konkani in Roman script for religious activities and hence Konkani in the Roman script has become a part and parcel of the life of Goan Christians. At present it is only the activities in Goan churches that keeps Goan Christians close to Konkani and consequently the Goan culture.
The language and culture of the Christian community in Goa has developed through Konkani in the Roman script over the last four-and-a-half-centuries. Elimination of Roman script has only adversely affected Goan Christians. During the last 22 years the number of Konkani-medium primary schools has not increased. On the contrary it has decreased.  The majority of Hindu managed schools in Goa opt for Marathi medium education in primary schools as well as for the third subject in secondary and higher secondary schools. The impression given by Devnagri protagonists is that Konkani in the Devnagri script will unite Goans irrespective of caste, creed and religion has remained a myth.
In the recent times it has been observed that the number of students in primary schools belonging to the Diocesan Board of Education has been on the decline. On the other hand the number of English medium primary schools has increased ten fold over the last 22 years. Many students from Christian community have been compelled to move away from a Konkani education. This means they are drifting away from the Goan culture because the Goan culture cannot be preserved and promoted without learning and using Konkani.
The need of the hour is to bring Christians of Goa closer to Konkani language. And this can be achieved, even though it is very late, only through the use of the Roman script. The Government and the so called leaders of Konkani will definitely oppose the teaching of Konkani in Roman script in schools because they know that if an opportunity to learn Konkani in Roman script is given then a majority of the students will prefer to learn Konkani in the Roman script, which might well be the end of teaching Konkani in Devnagri script.  Hence, I am of the opinion that the church must start classes to teach the correct method of reading and writing Konkani in the Roman script. Such an act will keep Goan Christians attached to the Konkani language. If the church authorities do not act now, the church activities in Konkani will go on dwindling and we will be responsible for driving Goan Christians away from Konkani language, the Goan culture and Goan identity.

The Politics of “Aam Aadmi”

 

The Politics of “Aam Aadmi”

By Tomazinho Cardozo 
Today, the term “aam aadmi” is popular. Its English equivalence is “common man” or “average man”. The daily wage workers, all taxpayers, traders and retailers, salaried people, women and retired people are supposed to be the different segments of “aam aadmi”.

The inspiration for the term is based on three essentials - food, clothing and shelter.
If food, clothing and shelter – the basic needs – are the requirements of an “aam aadmi” then some people such as taxpayers, traders and retailers, salaried persons, the retired, cannot be categorised under this term without there being any limit to their payment of tax, their overall yearly turnover, their monthly salary, their bank deposits, etc. If all of them come under the purview of the term then what happens to the daily wage workers and the people coming from weaker sections of the society? Do we need another nomenclature for such citizens of the country?
The idea of using the term in politics was started by Congress led UPA coalition government for the first time in 2004. In fact it was an apt answer to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Hindutva policy. After the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992, BJP used the idea of Hindutva to garner votes in the elections. With careful planning BJP managed to influence people in every nook and corner of the country with the help of Hindutva. This idea helped BJP grow stronger politically.
BJP realised that Hindutva was as a winning political idea and with minor modifications and adjustments here and there they captured political power at the Centre. Hindutva was considered an all powerful idea to win elections. However, in spite of the BJP’s ‘India Shining’ campaign, it lost elections and hence political power at the Centre in 2004. The Congress led UPA government came to power. And it is then that the concept of “aam aadmi” took birth; to play a major role in strengthening the political base of the Congress and its allies.
The concept definitely helped the Congress led UPA coalition to muster political support throughout the country. The concrete proof of its effectiveness lies in the resounding victory of the UPA coalition in the last general elections and the formation of UPA coalition government for the second time. The “aam aadmi” idea clicked because besides the common man’s aspirations of food, clothing and shelter it attempted to empower him in other aspects of life. The Congress led UPA coalition strengthened the Right to Information Act, National Rural Employment Guaranteed Scheme, National Food Security Act and Bharat Nirman Yojana.

These schemes were aimed at improving the economic status of every underprivileged citizen of the society.
It also helped create political awareness among the masses, particularly due to effective implementation of the Right to Information Act. Thus “aam aadmi” has become the focus of political life in the country. Every political party in the country today sings praises of “aam aadmi” only because, as it stands today, it is the most effective formula for winning elections.
Nevertheless is the “aam aadmi” satisfied? There are various reasons for his discontentment. The most damaging effect to the “aam aadmi” has come from rising prices. The true “aam aadmi” – the poor person from the weaker sections of the society – is the real target. The prices of essential commodities have soared and this has made his living very difficult. The factor of unemployment has compounded his difficulties. The education of the “aam aadmi” has been neglected totally. At some places there are no schools at all and if there are schools sometimes there are no teachers in them. A qualitative education to “aam aadmi” remains only a dream. The condition of the Primary Health Centres, particularly in rural India, is pathetic. The health care system provided to him is outdated. The senior “aam aadmi” also complains of the reducing interest rates on their deposits, which is his only income.  In short, the day-to-day life of the “aam aadmi” under the prevailing conditions has become increasingly miserable.
Will the slogan “The common man is marching ahead, every step of his makes India stronger” hold good in times to come? The Congress led UPA government will have to take effective measures to improve this gloomy picture. The “aam aadmi” is burdened to such an extent that he cannot take a single step forward to make the country stronger.  If he is not taken care of with sincerity then the formula may be rendered useless in the next general elections for the Congress and UPA coalition.
Hence, opposition parties including BJP, SP, RJD, BSP and communist parties also fight for the benefits of “aam aadmi”. These parties do not loose any opportunity to embarrass the government, in and out of Parliament, if found to be neglectful of the “aam aadmi’s” interest. After all the concept of economic, educational and social development of “aam aadmi” is a powerful weapon to wrest political power at the Centre. This idea is going to control the politics of this country for a long time to come.

Konkani Cinema Day should be given preference over other film festivals

Konkani Cinema Day should be given preference over other film festivals: Tomazinho Cardozo

NT NETWORK
 http://www.navhindtimes.in/

The first Konkani Cinema ‘Mogacho Anvddo’ produced by A L Jerry Braganza was screened on April 24, 1950 and hence April 24 is celebrated as Konkani Cinema Day.

The Dalgado Konknni Academy in collaboration with the Tiatr Academy of Goa celebrated Konkani Cinema Day on April 24 at the conference hall of Tiatr Academy of Goa.

Chief Guest for the function, director of Information and Publicity, Mr Menino Pires said that Konkani Cinema Day should be celebrated in a grand manner. He further said that Mr Tomazinho Cardozo had appealed to the government for a bigger venue, however, due things did not work out because another film festival suddenly came up. “Next year we promise that this day will be celebrated in a big way like other film festivals,” Mr Pires said.
Speaking further, Mr Pires said, “Cinema is a medium of entertainment and education for through cinema it is easier to convey social messages to children. It’s been a happy moment celebrating the completion of 60 years of Konkani cinema. Earlier, there was no financial support from the government and yet movies like ‘Nirmonn’, ‘Mogacho Anvddo’ became popular.”

The government will implement schemes for Konkani film producers Mr Pires informed, adding that Goa has produced some good films and has producers and scripts. The only hurdle is organising equipments, which is very expensive, he stated and so the government will provide 50 per cent grant to film producers. The scheme will be launched at a function that will be held at the Maquinez palace.
The president of the Tiatr Academy of Goa, Mr Tomazinho Cardozo said that he had appealed to the government to celebrate the Konkani Cinema Day at the ESG. Unfortunately, due to some other film festivals plans had to be dropped. “I firmly say that Konkani cinema should be given first preference. Such occasions need to be celebrated in a big way as Goans like to watch Konkani movies,” Mr Cardozo stated emphatically.
Film writer and director, Mr Darmanand Vernekar speaking on the occasion said, “Generally in Bollywood you will notice that Goa is associated with drug mafias, hippies, etc. It is a challenge to young filmmakers to change peoples’ mindset towards Goa. Try to write some good scripts in regional languages. Good cinemas can be dubbed in any other languages.”
On this occasion an exhibition of photographs of the first film ‘Mogacho Anvddo’ was held. Newly released Konkani film ‘Nisha’ produced by Neville Pereira was also screened.