Wednesday, May 18, 2011

APRIL 24 - Konkani Cinema Day - Some Reflections

Konkani Cinema Day - Some Reflections

By Tomazinho Cardozo

No form of art can survive if the society to which it belongs to does not patronise it. People’s participation is of utmost importance, be it dance, drama, song or cinema. If the people of the soil, where this cultural form originated, do not love it then there is every possibility of losing that form permanently. I observe such an attitude among Goans as far as Konkani films are concerned. It is unfortunate indeed!

There were only two Konkani films released in 2010. They are “O Maria” by Rajendra Talak and “Tum Kitem Kortolo Aslo?” by Sharon Mazarello.

“O Maria” has completed 100 days of screening at INOX, Panaji with one show every day. “Tum Kitem Kortolo Aslo” will screen its 100th show on May 16 at the Ravindra Bhavan, Margao. Looking at the performance of Konkani films in Goa, few pertinent questions need to be answered by Goans, particularly the lover of Konkani language and Konkani culture.
Why are Konkani films screened only once a day? The simple answer is that Goans do not patronise Konkani films the way they do Bollywood and Hollywood films. If a Bollywood film can have 8 to 10 shows a day, why not have at least three shows for a Konkani film? This is an insult from Goans to their own culture. It’s high time that Goans realise the importance of Konkani cinema in preserving the cultural heritage of Goa.

Yet another important question that comes up is why, in some cases, are Konkani films are not given the opportunity of being screened at prestigious theatres in Goa?

 I am given to understand that the prestigious theatres, many a time, decline the requests of Goan producers to screen their films. If this is true, then it is another example of a grave insult to Konkani language, which is the Official language of Goa. The government must have a policy that will compel every theatre owner to screen Konkani films without any hesitation and that too at concessional rates. This is very important if we intend to give respectability to Konkani cinema.We must learn a lesson or two from Bhojpuri people and their films.

Today, Bhojpuri cinema is making waves at the national level only because of the whole-hearted support of the people. They are well aware of the fact that Bollywood films are better, yet they go to watch Bhojpuri movies because their only intention is to see that the Bhojpuri cinema attains greater heights in the world of cinema. And here in Goa we experience exactly the opposite. Yes, it is a fact that Konkani films are not comparable to Bollywood and Hollywood films. At the same time it does not mean that Konkani films do not have any standard. ‘Amchem Noxib’ and ‘Nirmonn’ achieved great success.

‘Nirmonn’ won the National Award in the 1960s. In recent years, we have come across Konkani films like ‘Alisha’, ‘Antarnad’, ‘Padri’ and ‘’ which display a lot of improvement in film making. They have won national awards too. Regrettably they were not commercial successes only because of our biased attitude towards Konkani films.

There is a feeling that Konkani films are not commercially viable and therefore Goan producers and directors today opt for making Marathi films as these films have a huge audience in the neighbouring state of Maharashtra. All Goans speak and understand Konkani. If we love the language we are bound to love all that is produced in that language, including films. Therefore our mindset towards Konkani films needs to change.

This is the time when Konkani cinema needs our support. If we have a positive outlook towards Konkani cinema then it will prosper in times to come. Mind you, any amount of financial support from the Government can only provide temporary relief. Only people’s support can make Konkani cinema self-sufficient and prosperous in times to

Today, Konkani Cinema completes 61 years. Considering the number of movies produced during this period vis-à-vis commercial success it appears that we are just beginners in the world of cinema.
April 24 is celebrated as “Konkani Cinema Day”. It was on this day that in 1950 the first Konkani Cinema, “Mogacho Anvddo” was released.

Mass Promotions up to Standard VIII

Mass Promotions up to Standard VIII

By Tomazinho Cardozo

There is yet another furore in the educational circles these days. It appears that all of a sudden the Department of Education (DoE) has asked the school authorities to promote all students to higher classes up to Std VIII.
The press has reported about the circular of the DoE directing the school authorities to comply with its contents. Reactions of many educationists too have appeared in the press. The said circular has not been received by the schools as yet ie at the time of writing this article. The heads of educational institutions as well as teachers are furious because such a directive from DoE has come after the academic year was over. If such a circular has been issued in reality, I feel, the DoE has committed a blunder and hence the Circular needs to be withdrawn.
The academic year started in June 2010. As per the prevailing system every class from Std I to Std VIII has a certain syllabus according to which the teachers carry on the teaching-learning process. As per the prevailing system there are tests and examinations to evaluate the performance of the child in every class. Accordingly the school authorities have evaluated the performances of all the students after the final examination took place in the month of March 2011. The recently implemented grading system, which helps even the weaker students, progress to the higher classes, has been applied and the students are promoted to the higher classes or detained in the same class. The results were declared in the last week of April 2011. When the process of promotion has been done by strictly following the existing DoE approved norms then what right has the DoE to direct the school authorities to promote all students and that too after the declaration of the results?
I cannot understand the idea behind hurriedly implementing only one section ie Section 16 of the Right to Education (RTE) Act which states, "No child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education." Is it educationally appropriate to implement only one section of RTE which fully depends on so many Sections of the same act? No! Some of the provisions of the Act which will make the implementation of Section 16 effective and meaningful is Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) and the strength of a class should not exceed 25 students. Is the strength of a class restricted to 25 students? Has CCE been implemented in the schools? The answer to these questions is in the negative. If so the DoE has no right whatsoever to direct the school authorities to promote all students up to Std.VIII. This amounts to mockery of our educational system.
The existing norms of admissions in schools in Goa allows up to 59 students in each class ie from Std V to Std VII and 63 students in each class from Std VIII to X. Accordingly the enrolment of students have been done by the managements of schools in June 2010 for the academic year 2010 – 2011. No CCE has been implemented. It is also not possible at all to implement CCE in a class of 60 students. Also are the teachers oriented to have CCE effectively? If the teachers are not trained properly there is bound to be an educational disaster in times to come. As far as my knowledge goes, no teachers are trained in CCE. Without doing any preparation how can we implement Section 16 of RTE and that too after the results are declared?
The Department of Education has not so far cleared the confusion of whether primary education ends at Std IV, as it stands today as per the prevailing system in Goa, or if it goes up to Std VIII, as proposed by the RTE. Until and unless this issue is solved, even the thought of implementing RTE is a crime. Has the Department of Education found out a solution to this very serious problem? Has this issue been discussed with the persons related to educational activities in Goa? Have the Heads of educational institutions and Parent Teachers Associations been taken into confidence to arrive at a certain solution? I am not aware of any such exercise being done by the DoE. I am also not aware if the DoE has a solution to this issue. Whatever may be the state of affairs, the circumstances demand that the issue needs to be debated and all stake holders must be taken into confidence before arriving at a solution. The issue is very serious because it directly affects the future of our children.
Under these circumstances the DoE has no right to impose their directives on school authorities. The RTE Act needs to be discussed minutely with people involved in education. It appears that the government has failed in implementing the RTE Act on time. It may also be under the pressure of the Centre to implement the same. This does not mean that the DoE can take decisions arbitrarily and impose them on school authorities. Hence it will be in the interest of education if the DoE withdraws the circular immediately.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

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“Together for the Seminary”- Impressive

“Together for the Seminary”- Impressive

“Together for the Seminary’ a three days festival of Goan Music and Cuisine got underway on 13th instant when the traditional lamp was lighted by the MLA of Calangute Constituency,  Agnelo Fernandes in the presence of  Tomazinho Cardozo, president of TAG, Alexyz, the popular cartoonist, Fermino Fernandes, Sarpanch of Candolim and Fr. Tony Salema, Rector of  Seminary at the grounds of the Seminary, Saligao. The three day festival is organized in order to raise funds for the renovation of the seminary. Agnelo Fernandes,  MLA of Calangute constituency donated Rs. 10 lacs for the renovation work of the Seminary.
On this occasion a Konkani musical programme “Svadik Konkani Git” directed by Tomazinho Cardozo was presented. Anthony San, Clarissa, Sonia Fernandes, Maria Cardozo, Irence Cardozo, Joycelyn Misquita, Anthony Carvalho, Nanesh Morajkar, Zico and Shivanand Naik participated in the lively programme of Konkani songs and skits. The music was provided by Nolvert Cota.

This was followed by numerous cultural items from different parishes which included songs and dances including folk dances. After the performances from different villages the musical band – Band wagon – entertained the people. Seminarians also presented few items which were appreciated by the people.

Tomorrow – 15th May – is the last day of the festival. Lulu Fortes and Troupe will presents a musical programme on the occasion. The audience will be treated with  Konkani and English songs. This will be followed by the Band – Ventures. Seminarians too will present more cultural items on the last day.

“Together for the Seminary” – the Festival of three days of Music and Cuisine is an opportunity for the people to be a part of the renovation of the Seminary.

1. Fr. Tony Salema adressing the gathering in the prtesence of Agnelo Fernandes, Tomazinho Cardozo and Alexyz.
2. A Scene from Tomazinho Cardozo's "Svadik Konkani Git".

13 May 2011
[as forwarded by the Director to gaspar almeida,]

Monday, May 9, 2011

Digambar Kamat’s Contribution to Goan Tiatr

Digambar Kamat’s Contribution to Goan Tiatr

He opened the doors of the Art and Culture Department to all artistes and forms of cultural and literary activities. Tiatr artistes started benefiting the Department’s schemes.  The Department started giving financial assistance to organisers to promote mando and dulpods and other folk songs. Today there are at least five mando festivals that take place. A scheme for publishing books in the Roman scripts was started. Mr Kamat was instrumental in naming the main auditorium of the prestigious cultural complex at Margao after the Father of Tiatr – late Joao Agostinho Fernandes. By doing this he not only recognised the importance of Goan Tiatr but also brought honour to the whole Tiatr fraternity. To preserve and promote literature in Konkani in the Roman script he made budgetary provision to the Dalgado Konknni Academy thereby giving much needed support and encouragement those who wrote in the Roman script. As assured, he formed the Tiatr Academy of Goa (TAG) for the promotion, preservation and development of the most popular dramatic form of Goa - the Tiatr. He provided the TAG with adequate finances for a modern office, a conference hall and library. A praiseworthy act indeed! 
By Tomazinho CardozoDigambar Kamat completed three years as the Chief Minister of Goa recently. Considering Goa’s political scene, continuing in the office of Chief Minister for three full years is an achievement.
Different people have different opinions about him depending on the issues they have been directly or indirectly involved. Accordingly, protagonists of Konkani in the Roman script have a success story to tell.
Konkani became the Official Language of Goa in 1987 after a bloody agitation. Throughout the agitation the script issue was never allowed to surface because it would split the movement. However, most unfortunate was the introduction of the definition of the Konkani language in the Goa Official Language Act, which states: “Konkani language means Konkani written in Devnagori script.”
For me it was the greatest betrayal of the protagonists of Konkani in Roman script. With this one sentence, the hopes and aspirations of the majority of Goans were shattered.
Konkani in the Roman script was side-tracked at every level thereafter. The supporters of Roman script had no alternative but to fight back. Thus the Dalgado Konknni Academy put forth 13 demands before the government for the preservation, promotion and development of Konkani in the Roman script.
As the president of DKA then, along with other office bearers of DKA, I approached chief ministers, ministers and MLAs from the ruling as well as opposition requesting them to help us preserve, promote and develop Konkani in the Roman script along with Devnagori script. After listening to our grievances, some of them assured us of their support while some were reluctant to give any assurances.
At this juncture, we met Mr Digambar Kamat. He was the minister of art and culture besides power then. We submitted the memorandum of our demands and brought to his notice the injustice meted to Konkani in the Roman script. After listening to us patiently his brief assurance to us was, “I do understand your problem. I shall do whatever I can through the Department Of Art and Culture to help fulfil some of your demands.” He is the only politician, then as a minister of art and culture and now as Chief Minister, who tried his best to fulfil the assurances given to us.
The formation of the Tiatr Academy of Goa has helped tiatr, tiatr artistes and tiatr appreciators to work towards the development of the art form.
 The Tiatr Academy Goa has initiated various schemes to raise the level of tiatrs. Some of the important schemes are: Oral documentation of history of tiatr, documentation of tiatr through research work, preservation of tiatr literature, promotion of tiatr, its song and music academically, promotion of tiatr music, promotion of award winning tiatrs, remembering tiatr artistes of yesteryears, financial assistance to troupes going to Mumbai/Poona and other parts of the country, encouragement to production of tiatr in villages, preservation of tiatr material, Popular Tiatr Festival/Competition, Konkani song and music awards, Lifetime Achievement Awards to senior tiatr artistes, encouragement to tiatr related activities, yearly production of a ‘model tiatr’, encouragement for the production of tiatrs/programmes on patriotism and communal harmony, regular orientation in dramatics, children’s tiatrs, promotion of Konkani songs like duets/trios/quartets, promotion of Konkani songs through choreography.
The impact of these schemes will have on tiatr will be seen within the next five years.