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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Konkani Ekvott adopts strong anti-CLP stand

Adopting a very strong stand against the Congress Legislature Party (CLP)’s decision to accord equal status to Marathi and Konkani in Roman script,

Konkani Ekvott – an umbrella organization of various Konkani bodies – today said they would publicly oppose and defeat any politician or political party – Congress in the instant case- if they are a party to any amendment to the Goa Official Language Act.
If the Act is amended, the powers that be would have to face dire consequences including political opposition to their candidatures in the forthcoming assembly elections, warned KE Convenor Serafino Cota.
Stating that KE is disgusted with the CLP for the recent reported decision to rake up the long-resolved language controversy, spokesperson Shridar Kamat said they want to send a clear warning to the Congress party that no such attempts would be tolerated and would be opposed tooth and nail.
Arvind Bhatikar (Asmithai Pratisthan), Rev Fr Mousinho Ataide, Prof S M Borges, Jaime Couto and Fr Lino of Goan Catholics for Devnagri (GCD), Nityanand Naik (Konkani Bhasha Mandal), Nagesh Karmali (Konkani Parishad), Prashant Naik (Hitrakhan Manch), Dr Susrut Martins ((Vision India and ex-KBA president), Fernando Rego, Sanjay Talwadkar, Teotonio Costa were also present for the press conference.
Konkani is the only thread which binds together all the Goans irrespective of caste, creed and religion and that the social and secular fabric of Goa is already under tremendous threat owing to the myopic decision of CLP, Kamat said.
The CLP’s reported decision has only exposed the bankruptcy of the Congress for being ignorant of the history of the 1987 legislation which had come through following a sustained 555 days agitation.
Replying to queries as to how they react to some ministers saying they are not aware as they were not present for the CLP meeting, Shridar said as responsible CLP members they cannot shirk their responsibility on such important matters.
The disastrous effects of any amendment would have direct bearing on the very existence of Goa as a state and its identity, are for all wise and rational thinking people to know, the speakers said.
Couto suggested that the KE should write to Congress president Sonia Gandhi informing her of the strong opposition and the disastrous implications CLP decision would have for Goa.
KE, Kamat said, has decided to work towards the implementation of the Official Language Act so that the interests of Goans are safeguarded in jobs and employment opportunities and preservation of the unique identity of Goa.
Arvind Bhatikar said the use of Konkani in Devnagri script in education and administration which has already begun and has started taking roots, should continue unhindered. He said most of the debates in the assembly are held in Konkani and similarly court hearings in lower courts also in Konkani but the orders are in English. This needs to be changed, he emphasized.

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