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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Caste domination on Konkani programmes cause for concern

“The very fact that people belonging to only two castes are dominating all the Konkani programmes is a cause for concern,” opined Karnataka Konkani Sahithya Academy President Eric Ozario.

Listing out the programmes the Konkani Academy has planned for this year at a programme organised to gather the opinion of the members of the public at the Academy premises here on Monday, he said though there are 18 to 20 castes among the Konkani speaking people, only Christians and GSBs are dominating.

“The Kudumbis, Kharvis, Siddis, Gabiths and Navayaths among others rarely get a chance,” he said.

Some of the programmes planned for this year include “Konkani Lokotsav,” “Burgyancho Utsav,” “Sangeethotsav,” “Stories and poems of the century” and implementing projects sanctioned under Suvarna Karnataka scheme. It includes bringing out a book on the life and history of Konkani people who lived in the 20th century.


Plans are also on the anvil to organise a documentary contest of 3 or 5 minute duration, Mr Ozario said and added that the documentary may be made in any language but it should be related to Konkani. For example: “Globalisation: Will Konkani survive?” etc...

However, Mr Vittla Mangesh Bhat, one of the Konkani lovers, opined that the Academy can plan a 90 minute documentary instead of a 3 or 5 minute documentary as not much can be covered in a short documentary.

Fr Santhosh, another member, opined that the Mangalorean Konkani is being imposed on the people of North Karnataka. “Since Konkani has not been standardised, who has given the power to certain people to say only a particular language is right?” he sought to know.


The Academy gives a honourarium of Rs 1,000 for every book published in Konkani but not many people are availing the facility, Mr Ozario said and added that only 34 persons (25 books and 9 cassettes/CDs) have availed the facilty, though more than 100 books have been published in Konkani.

The Academy has increased the sum of honourarium from the present Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 from this year, he said and appealed to the members of the public to avail the facility.

The Academy has received a sum of Rs 20 lakh for the year 2006-07 besides Rs 15 lakh under Suvarna Karnataka celebrations. Out of which, the Academy has spent Rs 33,69,000.

Works done

Listing out the works done by the Konkani Academy in the past two years, Mr Ozario said till date the Academy had organised 47 programmes and brought out three publications besides publishing three news clippings.

Mangalore University Chair in Christianity Head Rev Dr John Fernandes presided while Academy Members Victor, Charan Kumar and Deepa Kambadakone among others were present.

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