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