Honor Konkani by teaching children to speak and love the language, experts urge
August 20 marks the 30th anniversary of Konkani’s inclusion in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution; researchers ask native speakers to work on translation projects at institutes like the National Book Trust and the Central Institute of Indian Languages, which do not have Konkani publishers
MARGAO: Even as Konkani speakers in Goa and along the western coastal belt celebrated World Konkani Day on August 20, writers and scholars of the ancient language are calling for a revival of the mother tongue of Goa, in particularly within the diaspora, which they fear is losing contact. with their Konkani roots. As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the language’s inclusion in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India, which lists 22 official languages, Konkani experts are calling on the state’s youth to embrace Konkani as a medium communication on a daily basis. day by day, to ensure that the language is enriched, with more literature and art representing it on a global level.
“We celebrate World Konkani Day every year, with loud song and dance, but unless we speak the language and encourage our children to speak and write in Konkani on a daily basis, we do nothing to promote language,” said tiatra and playwright Konkani Tomazinho Cardozo. “If parents don’t speak Konkani and show their love for the language, how can we expect future generations to advance the language outward, into the world,” asked Cardozo, who was also president. of the Goa Assembly.
Lamenting that the Konkani people have not been able to take advantage of central government incentives and programs to promote their native language, Anwesha Singbal, chairwoman of Konkani Bhasha Mandal, said there were not enough people who dedicate their time to completing translation projects and other ongoing work at the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL).
“There were many Konkani who went from Goa to CIIL but could not stay there long and came back and did not continue the work there,” she said. “Many Konkani books have been translated, and many books in other languages have been translated into Konkani at the National Book Trust (NBT). We at Konkani Bhasha Mandal (KBM) have tried to contact them and have translated many books into Konkani. However, they were never published,” Singbal lamented. “They don’t have an independent publisher for the Konkani language. The person who takes care of Marathi and other languages takes care of Konkani, which delays important work. We have successfully brought Konkani into Google and many core projects happening today around the world. It is our responsibility, the Konkani people, to get these things done,” Singbal added.
“So many opportunities have been created, but the Konkani-speaking people have failed to take advantage of them. Just having the language in the Eighth Schedule was certainly not the goal of our rulers,” said Anant Agni, Headmaster of Konkani Bhasha Mandal School, emphasizing that language lovers should take the make the most of the opportunities to help it flourish.
Konkani writer Guadalupe Dias told the Herald that the mere inclusion of Konkani in the 8th schedule does not absolve the people of Goa from their responsibilities to grow the language. “For 30 years Goa government has been bound to take action for the growth of Konkani and it has done so admirably so far. Let us pledge today to work hard to make Konkani the bedrock of our identity,” Dias said.