Stating that his government has to strike a perfect balance between taking up development of Goa and maintaining harmony among the people of the state, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said that even though the language issue is not on the priority list of the government, the treasury benches have agreed to a private members’ resolution seeking official state language status for Marathi, during the recently concluded monsoon session of the state legislative assembly, since a legislator had raked up the issue, which has supporters in the state.
The Chief Minister, speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’ on Wednesday said that the House has passed the particular private members resolution, with an amendment that the Official Language Act 1987 could be changed after thorough consultation with the people. “Likewise, the government does intend to carry out some contemplation on this issue,” he added, without giving any details of the related exercise.
Speaking further, the Chief Minister stated that the government is fully aware of the place enjoyed by Marathi language in the state. “This is the precise reason why government has gone out of the way to establish another academy – Goa Marathi Academy – when there was some problem with the already existing academy, Gomantak Marathi Academy,” he stated, adding that the government will also ensure grants to Goa Marathi Academy from time to time.
“However, the way this private members’ resolution was introduced in the House indicates that it was nothing more than the politics of language,” Parsekar observed, adding that it would sow the seeds of divisiveness among peace-loving Goan people. He also stated that the government has never given step-motherly treatment to Marathi in Goa, whether it is in the field of education, culture or literature.
Incidentally, Minister for Official Language Milind Naik had informed through a written reply to the state legislative assembly, during its recently concluded monsoon session that the government does not intend to make any changes in the Official Language Act 1987, as this existing legislation is sufficient (for the state).