SUPPORT (183 Members) . GROW (7 Association). PROMOTE (Visitors from 14 Countries). (Check The Site's Statistics)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

CLP move stirs protests

The Congress Legislature Party’s pre-election move to include Romi Konkani (Konkani in the Roman script) and Marathi as Goa’s official languages has stirred a wave of protests.

In trying to please all segments of voters, the party has ended up pleasing no one, least of all its alliance partner the NCP which said it would oppose any move to elevate Marathi to official language status in Goa.

Konkani in the Devnagari script has been Goa’s sole official language from 1987. In the past months the Congress has been trying to quell fresh dispute over Goa’s official language after the Romi Lipiechi Chollvoll (RLC) led by a group of Catholic priests and Konkani drama artistes insisted that Konkani in the Roman script get equal recognition.

The RLC now sees the CLP decision as a “conspiracy” to give Marathi a backdoor entry to official status. The Goa Konkani Academi (GKA) is not pleased either. Differences over the script could be easily sorted out within the Konkani community, says GKA president Pundalik Naik. Marathi has already been given too many benefits in Goa. Granting it equal status is out of the question, he says.

For the Congress and the NCP the language issue could turn into a serious political challenge in the election due in May. While half the Congress MLAs want Marathi accorded official status to please some of their North Goa constituents, MLAs from the Christian areas in south Goa could face a backlash from the anti-Marathi sentiment.

Goa’s Opposition parties the MGP, United Goans Democratic Party (UGDP) and the BJP are likely to cash in on the Congress’ discomfiture. The BJP which was in power here for over four years made no attempt to tinker with Goa’s Official Language Act, even though it claims publicly to favour equal status for Marathi.

The Church runs over 100 Konkani medium schools in Goa which began to use the Devnagari script after 1987. It is unlikely any script changes would be made on the education front. Within the Congress, any concessions to Marathi would be resisted by the intellectual cell, party sources said.

No comments: