“Post liberation the population in Goa was six lakhs, today the population is about 16 lakhs out of which 45 per cent comprises of non-Goans. Presently 45 per cent of the population in Goa comprises of non-Goans and in the next few years the percentage is likely to touch 50 to 55 per cent,” said president of Dalgado Konknni Akademi (DKA), Tomazinho Cardozo. He was speaking at the celebration of Goa Statehood Day organised by the Akademi on Wednesday in Panaji. Goans requested for statehood as they wanted Goa to be as it is. “The need for statehood came up in order to preserve Goan identity – Konkani, the cultural traditions and literature,” said Cardozo.
Cardozo said that Konkani was made the official language in Devanagari script which was not acceptable to all the people of Goa. “If Konkani was made an official language giving an option of Roman script as well, the fate of Konkani today would have been different,” said Cardozo. Cardozo said that Konkani is our identity and we must protect it at all costs. “You will be able to identify a Goan if he talks Konkani, similarly you will be identify a non-Goan by the language he speaks,” says Cardozo. He points out that today the biggest threat to Konkani is that its native speakers are using other regional languages like to communicate with outsiders in Goa in social setups. “Instead of non-Goans learning Konkani and speaking to Goans in our language we speak in Hindi to them,” said Cardozo.
Cardozo said that efforts should be made to preserve whatever is left of Goa for future generations. “We need to start now if we wish to preserve what little is left of Goa,” she said.
The function was followed by a poetry recitation on the topic ‘Goa’s Statehood’. Konkani poets and writers such as Narayan Khurjuvenkar, Sandhya Fernandes, Anthony Miranda, Rackson Fernandes, Anthony Correia, Silvestrina Pereira, Saynex Souza, Menino Almeida, Joaquim Fernandes, Seby Braganza, Joseph Pinto, Rena D’Souza, Annie de Colvale, Maria Monteiro and Meena Naik presented their compositions.