Mysuru, Nov 24: Karnataka home minister K J George inaugurated ‘Konkan Bhavan’, the multi-purpose convention hall at Vijayanagara in a splendid ceremony held on Sunday November 23. The Bishop of Mysuru Dr Thomas A Vazahapilly blessed the premises and conducted prayer session.

The convention hall has been built by Konkani Christian Association, Mysuru on a 12,000 sq ft area at an estimated cost of Rs 3 crore.

Speaking after the inauguration, K J George said, “Although Christians lack majority in any electoral constituency in India, the community has a graceful presence due to their social, cultural and educational contribution to the country.”

He further said, “Although I am a Christian from minority community, people of all faiths have reposed faith in me, by electing me four times to the assembly. It is because of their support I am a minister today in a prominent ministry.”

He also said although BJP is baying for his blood by targeting him on trivial issues, he has nothing to fear as he has done no wrong in his political career. “I have lived my life as a good Christian and never ever dreamt that I would be a minister someday,” he added.

He recalled the contributions of Konkani Christian leaders like Michael Fernandes, Oscar Fernandes, Margaret Alva and Blasius D’Souza to politics and the society. George assured that the government would release a grant of Rs 50 lac to Konkani Christian Association, Mysuru.

Mangaluru City MLA J R Lobo stressed on the need for protecting Konkani language and culture and pass it to the next generation. He urged the parents to teach Konkani to their children.

M Jagannath Shenoi, managing partner of Ganesh Beedi works, Valerian D’Souza, former chairman of FKCA, Hemacharya, editor-in-chief of Daijiworld Weekly, Adrian D’Souza, MD, Deccan Group of Companies, Edward D’Souza, chairman, FKCA, Leonila Crasto, former municipal president, Kundapur were present as guests of honour.

In a unique display of solidarity, persons from three Konkani speaking communities, J R Lobo (Christian Konkani), M Jagannath Shenoi (GSB Konkani) and Jidda Mohammed Ali, representing Murudeshwer Navayath Konkani Association, cut the ribbon.

Hemacharya made a strong appeal to the home minster and the state government to exert pressure on the Sahitya Akademi to recognise the Konkani literature written in the state language, Kannada. He also made a particular mention about ‘Konkani Language Planning’ initiated by Jagotik Konkani Sanghotan and appealed to the Konkani speaking people to submit the questionnaire made available in different forums including on

“Only when we display our unity, can we be sure about our victory,” he said.

Prior to the inaugural ceremony, all the members concelebrated a thanksgiving holy Mass at the hall. Fr Desmond Rebello was the main celebrant accompanied by 8 other priests from different congregations. Karnataka Carmelite Provincial now based in Goa, Fr Archibald Gonsalves presented a graceful homily interlinking one’s life, Konkani language and the grace of Christ the King, making a special reference to the feast celebrated by the church on the day.

The Youth Band Group, YTD from Mangalore entertained the gathering with Konkani songs and Baila. More than one thousand members took part in the ceremony and the solidarity lunch arranged at the hall.

Courtesy : Daijiworld