Mangalore, Aug 21: ‘Konkani Manyata Divas,’ an event meant to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of recognition accorded to Konkani by including it in the eighth schedule of the constitution, was organized at Town Hall here on Wednesday August 20. The event was able to bring together all the 41 Konkani-speaking groups of the state which belong to three religions.

Karnataka health minister, U T Khadar, inaugurated the programme by striking a few beats on the traditional musical instrument of Kudubis, ‘Gumat.’

Khadar, in his inaugural address, appreciated the contribution made by Konkani-speaking people to the region. He said, “Konkani-speaking people have not only contributed to the development of coastal Karnataka, but have also made everyone proud of their rich culture. Right from tile factories to hospitals, Konkanis have left a indelible impression through exalted contributions. Their contribution for the development of this region is appreciable. One needs to give importance to the linguistics in school curriculum.”

“Language helps a person to mingle with others in the society. Since this is a land of many languages, we should put in efforts to learn languages of other communities, in order to know more about their culture,” he noted.

President of Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy, Roy Castelino, listed out unique features of Konakni language in his inaugural address. He said, “Konkani happens to be the mother tongue of 41 different groups of people belonging to three major religions in Karnataka. It is the only language with five different scripts and above all it holds high the ideals of ‘unity in diversity’ that happens to be the unique feature of our country.”

Later, associate professor of University College, Dr Jayavanth Nayak, delivered a lecture on inclusion of Konkani in the eighth schedule of the constitution.

MLC, Ivan D’souza, speaking on the occasion, said, “The activities of Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy have considerably increased and henceforth, a need to enhance government grants released to it every year, has been felt. Along with this, facilities and allowances of the president and the members should be improved in recognition of their tireless efforts in organizing these activities.”

He promised to speak in Konkani at the Legislative Council of Karnataka during the next session.

MLA of Mangalore (south constituency), J R Lobo, in his presidential address, said, “For the success of any organization, dedication of the members of the community is the key factor. Even though there are many organizations, the ones relating to Tuulu and Konkani are the only ones to organize multifarious activities. We have the responsibility to carry forward the legacy of rich Konkani culture to the next generation.”

A book named ‘Konkani Kastoori’ authored by Steven Quadras was released on the occasion.

30 different organizations involved with rendering their service to the Konkani language were honoured by the organizers.

A prize distribution ceremony was also held for the winners of cultural competitions. The team of Rosario college bagged the first prize in college category while group ‘Aata’ bagged first prize in the associations category.

Fellowships worth Rs 1 lac were distributed to three scholars of Konkani who submitted the thesis on selected subjects in Konkani.

Former presidents of Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy, Eric Ozario and Basti Vaman Shenoy, registrar of the academy, Devdas Pai and president of Konkani Prachar Sanchalan Stany Alvares, were present on the occasion.

Prior to the formal ceremony, eight cultural teams of Konkani from eight directions of the city met at Hampankatta circle and marched towards town hall.

Venkatesh Baliga and Irene Rebello compered the programme.

Courtesy : Daijiworld