Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (DV)
Mangaluru, Mar 4: The Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy on Friday March 4 decried efforts by some individuals to portray Devanagari script as superior to other scripts in which Konkani is written, following the dismissal of a plea over the issue of scripts by the Karnataka high court.
Addressing a press meet here, Academy president Roy Castelino said, "The Central Sahitya Akademi considers only Konkani works written in Devanagari script for its annual awards. A PIL was filed by an individual in the high court of Karnataka against this, urging the court to direct the Akademi to consider Konkani works in all the five scripts. The high court dismissed the PIL stating that as per the Akademi's bylaws, importance is given only to works in Devanagiri and that the court could not interfere as the Akademi is an independent body.
"This verdict was restricted only to Central Sahitya Akademi, but using this verdict, some individuals are claiming that only Devanagari script is superior and other scripts are not important. This will lead to confusion in Konkani language and education. It will also lead to decline in the language. This has also disappointed institutions which support Konkani language in Kannada script," he said.
"Konkani Sahitya Academy is an independent body under the government, and from the past 22 years it has been serving the language. In Karnataka, the official language is Kannada, and Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy has supported students, teachers, artistes, theatre actors and literatteurs who have used Kannada script for Konkani. In coastal districts, Konkani is being taught in 76 primary and high schools to 1,089 students. The Konkani Acadmy has never discriminated among the scripts, be it Devanagiri, Romi or Kannada, and also provided grants for workshops in these languages. These types of statements will mislead the people of the Konkani speaking community," he added.
"Everyone should support the growth and development of Konkani language. If we fight over different scripts, it will divide the language and will also hinder its growth.
"Students in DK district have been learning Konkani for the past eight years. In the year 2011-12, students wrote Konkani SSLC exam in Kannada. Even this year, 77 students of 12 high schools will write Konkani exam on April 13. We have also reccommended to the government to include Konkani in PUC. Under Mangalore University, Padua, Rosario and Pompei colleges have started Konkani language course at the degree level. In the coming years some more colleges will join the list. St Aloysius College, which is autonomous, has been teaching Konkani language from the past 20 years. Last year, Konkani Sahitya Academy set up Konkani study chair in Mangalore University. The university vice-chancellor has shown interest in starting MA course in Konkani.
"All 41 communities in Konkani language, five scripts and three religions should unite for the development of Konkani language," Roy Castelino stressed.
Dr Devadas Pai, registrar of Konkani Sahitya Academy, members Shekar Gowda, member, Lawrence D'Souza and K Devdas Pai were present.