Mangalore: St Aloysius Konkani Institute to Operate from New Office
Mangalore, Jun 23: From the Sunday June 24, the Institute of Konkani, St Aloysius (Autonomous) College, Mangalore will be operating from a new office on first floor of the Red Building on the High School Premises.
One of the prestigious institutions of SAC, the Konkani Institute, stands out for its unique history and the track record it has registered in the development of Konkani language and literature, a Indo-Aryan language spoken by over 5 million people in India and written in five difference scripts namely, Romi, Devnagari, Kannada, Perso-Arabic and Malayalam.
Fr Anjelo Savario Maffei
The Krista Puran
The Institute of Konkani, St Aloysius College
A section of the library
Having and nurturing the Konkani Institute is like a second nature to this great College (now autonomous), the seeds of this language being sown by Fr Anjelo Savario Maffei way back in 1878 when the first batch of Jesuits landed in Mangalore and started the St Aloysius College in 1880.
Fr Maffei was no linguist. Leave alone the local lingo, even English language was alien to him. Perhaps, he did not consider learning to read and write English was a challenge by any standards but he took up the study of the language of the locals, very seriously.
And that language was Konkani!
Within a short span of time Fr Maffei not only learnt to speak Konkani but in 1882 he prepared a Konkani grammar handbook and got it printed too. Further he prepared a lexicon Konkani-English, English Konkani. So valuable was this work that the Government of erstwhile Madras got it printed at its own cost and in the year 1892, the revised edition of Konkani grammar was printed and published by the Codialbail Press.
Eventually, Fr Maffei became the Rector and Principal of St Aloysius College and kept the love of Konkani aflame.
In the Centenary Year of the College, 1980, a unique gift was given to the Konkanis of Mangalore – The Konkani Institute of St Aloysius College, thus giving a new lease of life to Konkani. Fr Herbert Noronha was the first Director of the Institute. As the first step towards the propagation, development and preservation of the language an exclusive Konkani library was established which has now grown to a strength of nine thousand books plus one thousand bound volumes of various Konkani periodicals.
The proud possession of the Library is a handwritten copy of Krista Puran of Fr Thomas Stevens written in the year 1614.
“Amar Konkani” a bi-annual Konkani research journal was started in the year 1981 under the editorship of (late) VJP Saldanha (Khadaap). The journal has published 57 issues to date in two scripts of Konkani, that is, Kannada and Devnagari. Presently Konkani litterateur Edwin JF DSouza, who is also the Executive Director of the Konkani Institute, is the editor.
Fr Joseph Rodrigues, is the Patron of the Institute with Fr Swebert D’Silva, as the Director.
Post Graduate Diploma Studies in Konkani
What started off as a one-year, four-module diploma course in study of Konkani language, literature and culture culminated within a span of three years, into a full fledged, nine subject two-year Post Graduate Diploma Course which is thrown open to all Konkani enthusiasts, who have completed their Pre-University studies, in India and overseas by nature of it being a ‘distant education’ (postal-correspondence) course. This was in the year 1997. Till now over 500 students have obtained the Diploma, the first Convocation being held on 2 September 2000.
The Konkani Institute is now in the renovated Office in the “Red Building” on the SAC High School Grounds and could be contacted on:
0824-2449700/1 Extn: 112
or Edwin JF DSouza, Executive Director: 09845083148