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Give Romi Konkani its due, urges Lotlikar

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“Only a grant equivalent of the Sahitya Akademi grant recognition is given to Konkani in Roman script just as Devnagri gets and that the Goa State government grant official status, then not only our Konkani language will move ahead but this will also unite the Goan society,” said Premanand Lotlikar, well known tiatrist and ex-president, Dalgado Konknni Academy. He was speaking at the programme, ‘Meet the Konknni Lover’ organised by DKA on Sunday, October 28, 2018 at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao.

In response to a questions posed by the interviewer Vincy Quadros, the Konknni lover Lotlikar said that every Goan should use the language to the maximum extent possible and most importantly, all Goans must be proud of Konkani. Only then our mother tongue will have bright days ahead.

Among the two main communities in Goa, Hindus use Marathi and the Christian use English in the ir daily discourse. Konkani is being used very little now-a-days. It is, therefore, vital that the Goan or the Konkani society to use the language to a greater degree. He further said that according to the Indian Constitution, government offices are obliged to accept correspondence in any language and in any script. He thus questioned the use of very little Konkani in our official correspondence. In this regard he appealed to DKA to prepare a book containing sample letters for various official purposes. He added that DKA has been organising Konkani awareness programmes since his tenure and the current team continues to do good work by visiting various villages reaching every nook and corner of the state.

While expressing his gratitude to ex-CM, Digamber Kamat, for making budgetary provision towards ex-gratia to DKA and the current CM, Manohar Parrikar, for donating an office and a conference hall to DKA in the capital city, he said that the work of DKA has gone a long way today.

Lotlikar however, expressed unhappiness with the lack of recognition from the Sahitya Akademi with regards to Konkani in Roman script and not acknowledging the work of DKA despite their great efforts. He suggested therefore, it is necessary that we make them aware by staging a peaceful protest whenever Sahitya Akademi is organising any activities in Goa. “We don’t know what will happen to our language in the next 50 years, hence it is important that we save our Konkani in all scripts. If Konkani is preserved to this day, it is because of the Roman script, hence the Goa government must accord equal status to the Roman script in the official capacity”, he concluded.

When he became the DKA president, Lotlikar found it hard to organise activities due to paucity of funds but was successful in building up the DKA. While expressing gratitude to the members and Konkani lovers, he said that he is neither against any language nor any script. He has proven this fact by arranging programmes and including professional and writers from the Devanagari script. Today everyone looks at DKA as a unifying organisation for Konkani language.

Lotlikar shared quite a few anecdotes from his life. When the floor was kept open for interaction with audiences, Camilson Fernandes, Natividade de Sa, Tomazinho Cardozo, Fausto V. Da Costa Evaristo Fernandes, Oswi Viegas and Harishchandra Nagvenkar parried their questions to the Konknni lover.

At the onset, vice president of DKA Fr Conceicao D’Silva, welcomed the guests. A booklet ‘Jivit ani Kar’ya’ {Life and Achievements) edited by Vincy Quadros was released on the occasion. Tomazinho Cardozo, President DKA addressed the gathering while the Treasurer, Celso Fernandes propped a vote of thanks.

Member of DKA Working Committee Daniel F D’Souza compered the function. The celebrations ended with the singing of the National Anthem.

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