DALGADO KONKNNI AKADEMI - Pratap Naik, S.J.
Dalgado Konknni Akademi (DKA) was established in 1988. This Akademi is
named after Mgr. Sebastião Dalgado, for his various contributions to
enrich Konknni Language. Mgr. Sebastião Dalgado was a scholar of
Konknni as well as many other languages. Dalgado was born in Asagao, a
village in Bardes, on May 8, 1855. Mgr. Dalgado devoted himself to the
study of Konknni in scientific and systematic manner. He was the first
person in Goa to use Devanagari script for Konknni and to print the
first Konknni book in it. He compiled two dictionaries
Konknni-Portuguese and Portuguese-Konknni; Konknni was then written as
well as spoken in various dialects. Mgr. Dalgado found his own
Bardeshi dialect the most suitable to standardize Konknni. Mgr.
Dalgado's aim was to show that Konknni was a full-fledged independent
language. Considering the various contributions Mgr. Dalgado made to
Konknni language, Dalgado Konknni Akademi was established so that the
Konknni writers of Roman script may
bring out standard literature and to initiate activities in its various fields.
The first and foremost objective of DKA is to promote Konknni language
in Roman script, which is neglected, side tracked and given step
motherly treatment for two decades in official fields. Konknni written
in Roman script goes back to 1560. Without its Roman script history,
Konknni would not have got the recognition by Sahitya Akademi, New
Delhi in 1975. It has the rich cultural heritage and it has become
integral and unavoidable part of Goan culture, specifically of
Christians. The vast majority of Goan Christians read Konknni written
in Roman script. Hence it has to be preserved fostered and developed.
DKA has taken upon itself this as its mission. DKA will unite those
Goans who are reading and writing Konknni in Roman script. It will
work untiringly to obtain for them their just and lawful demands, dues
and rights. DKA recognizes those institutions which are working for
the promotion and development of Konknni Language, literature and
culture in Roman script. It has initiated various activities in
literary, cultural and social fields. It will provide financial
assistance, and scholarships to writers, dramatists, talented
important people, scholars and students to carry out research and
other undertakings in the field of Konknni. The other objectives are:
Holding and organizing seminars, conferences, workshops, exhibitions,
lectures, competitions of different types; undertaking and editing
Konknni folk songs, music, folk literature, stage performances and
other expressions of Konknni culture; Library and documentation centre
facilities to the students, writers, teachers, producers and
actors/actresses of Konknni; collecting and preserving Konknni
documents, records, books and objects scattered with individuals and
families which are related to the cultural and literary development of
Goa's Konknni community is divided into two groups, namely those who
read and write Konknni in Devanagari script, and those who read and
write Konknni in Roman script. Therefore, DKA has a number of demands:
Goa Government should give equal and official status to Konknni
written in Devanagari and Roman scripts. For this the Govt. should
modify the Language Act accordingly. The present Language Act,1987 2.
(c) reads "Konknni language" means Konknni language in Devanagari
script. DKA proposes the following amendment to 2. (c): "Konknni
language" means Konknni language in Devanagari and Roman scripts.
Goa Government recognizes Marathi Akademi as the official Akademi for
Marathi in Goa and gives grants through the Directorate of Official
Language. In the same way, Goa Government must recognize Dalgado
Konknni Akademi as the official NGO of Konknni in Roman script, and
give the same amount of grants directly to DKA.
So far, Goa Govt. has not appointed the president of GKA from the
Roman script group. Hence this time Govt. must appoint the president
of GKA from the Roman script group. In the future, Govt. could appoint
the president by turns from Devanagari script and Roman script
GKA is a Govt. institution. At present a nominee of the All India
Konknni Parishad is the ex-officio member of GKA. GKA Constitution
must be amended to include a nominee of Dalgado Konknni Akademi as the
ex-officio member of GKA. Goa Govt. appoints three persons eminent in
the field of Konknni language, literature or culture as ex-officio
members of GKA. While nominating these three persons Govt. should give
equal representation to Devanagari and Roman script.
In the past Kala Akademi (KA) used to give annual prizes for books
published in Devanagari and Roman scripts. For the last many years it
has stopped giving awards to books written in Roman script. KA should
be ordered to give awards to Roman script Konknni writers, and extend
to them all other projects and schemes which are available to Konknni
in Devanagari script.
Kala Akademi gives Gomantak Sharada Puroskar to Konknni writers in
Devanagari script and Marathi writers. In future KA must consider and
give this prestigious award to Roman script writers and artists as
Kala Akademi is established to promote the culture of Goa. Hence it
should be asked to hold competitions and to promote non-stop Konknni
drama, one-act plays in Konknni in Roman script, Mandos, Dekhnnis,
Christmas carols, Church hymns, Motets, Intruz khells, Kantaram, Kunbi
songs and dances, and other folk arts.
Govt. must name its new theatre for the performing arts in Margão, in
honour of Late Joao Agostinho Fernandes, who is popularly known as
"Pai Tiatrist". By doing this Govt. will honour a great Goan tiatrist
and his minority community.
Goa govt. has the Advisory Board for Directorate of Official Language.
In this advisory Board the govt. must give equal representation to
Konknni in Roman and Devanagari scripts and Marathi.
Tiatr is the most popular form of theatre in Goa. To promote this
local art form, Goa Govt. should make available its theatres in
Panaji, Ponda, Margao and elsewhere at subsidized rates for tiatrs.
This generous gesture of the Govt. will boost the tiatr industry.
Goa Konknni Akdemi, Kala Akademi, Directorate of Art and Culture, and
other Govt. departments while publishing Konknni books, should publish
them in both Devanagari script and Roman script.
Konknni has two representatives in Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. Goa
Govt. sends three names to Sahitya Akademi as its nominees. Let the
Goa Govt. send names of both Devanagari writers and Roman script
To promote Konknni films the Govt. must establish a separate board of
films consisting of writers, artists and experts in filmmaking. This
board too must have equal representation of Roman script experts as
demanded in all other cases
Devanagari and Roman scripts could be compared to two wheels of a
cart. Both the wheels are equal, important and necessary. Konknni in
Devanagari script is highly Marathicized and Sanskritized. To
neutralize this non-Konknni influence and to maintain its Konknni
identity, Konknni in Roman script is essential. Konknni will loose its
Konknni-ness without Bardeshi Konknni dialect written in Roman script.
The history of written Konknni began with Franciscan and Jesuit
scholars who began writing Konknni in the Roman script in the 16th
century. It was developed and nurtured by Roman script writers. It is
only after the Liberation of Goa the proponents of Devanagari script
with the support of some from the minority community gained the upper
hand in the field of Konknni and reap all the benefits. These tried to
suppress Konknni in Roman script under the guise of promoting
patriotism or nationalism. This has created a sort of fear and
inferiority complex among the community using the Roman script. Now
that this community is enlightened and emboldened by DKA and other
organizations, is asserting itself.
Therefore, DKA demands justice to Roman script and not mere charity or
alms. DKA will not accept anything less than equal status to Konknni
in Roman script in the Official Language Act