Saving of Language absurdities, Konkani Films

by Kishoo, Barkur


Mangaluru Oct 4: Two back-to-back Konkani films are the talk of the town these days. There are self proclaimed soothsayers predicting the “acche dins” and the critiques talking about the doomsdays of Konkani cinema.

With two supposed hits, some in the pipeline, and some more being set to launch, Konkani cinema is undergoing a transition, never foreseen. Unfortunately, I did not watch any of them so far, but was forced to read all the kudos and brickbats thrown at these films on various portals and social media.

A question then arises as to why any venture in Konkani is seen as a saviour of the language. At any gathering for the launching of a CD, or the releasing of a book, or a drama or musical nite, the guests are all praise for the person undertaking this venture, for her/his selfless love for Konkani and endless sacrifice for putting the product together. Thus, canvassing all Konkani-folks to support these noble acts by buying the product to save the language from the brink of extinction.

So much so, that recently a Konkani activist friend of mine went to the extent of saying that it is the 'duty' of the Konkani People to support Konkani movies that are being screened and pat the back of the producers.

The question still being - Who asked them to venture into this? Are they witless to pool in their hard earned money for the sake of language?

It's about the money, honey

Films in any other languages are purely commercial ventures - be it main stream or off beat. Naturally, the producers and the directors with right business acumen or those who know the pulse of the audience, are only able to bundle-up a product with the right ingredients and smile all the way to the banks.

No amount of critical acclaims or brickbats alter the commercial status of a film. Films like Golmaal, Happy New year and Grand Masti, which were battered ruthlessly by the critiques, successfully ventured into 100 Crores clubs.

Some low budget offbeat movies in Tamil catapulted yesteryears' small screen actor like Shivakarthikeyan into a Super star of today. Even a Thithi in Kannada for that matter, shattered all the box office predictions.

Bottom line

That, exactly is my point here. Konkani cinema has just started crawling. Leave the producers and directors alone. Mind you, they are not Konkani activists. Hault your criticisms and suggestions. Stop overwhelming promotions too. And for heaven's sake, stop 'aangavnyos' for the films' success.

Let them fall, let them pick themselves back up. Let them experiment, learn the business. No amount of love for a language can guarantee the success of a film, nor can a film resurrect a dying language, that is- if at all the language is dying.

For it is a purely commercial activity and only right business acumen can pack a viable film, and Konkani People are smart enough to choose to welcome or reject the product.

Also see:

Konkani movies yesterday, Today and Tomorrow...


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Comment on this article

  • James Fernandes, Barkur Chicago

    Mon, Oct 10 2016

    It was not the neglect to konkany but 75 years ago the priority was to earn pez and neese at least for me or to quite many. Ask anyone who was titled kamanche chedun or kamancho chedo. Maslow's heirarchy applies here.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vinod, Mangalore

    Mon, Oct 10 2016

    I believe each one has a view point so do you Mr. Kishoo. Accepted.
    For years movies have been a medium of connecting the people. Good or bad they teach.
    Preserving a language may not be the only motive of the Konkani movie but if the movie is doing its bit for the language of the region why not support it.
    Any business is money driven, no running away from that fact.
    But look at the state of konkani language today. Its getting replaced by Konglish or plain English. How many Konkani families encourage talking Konkani at home? I remember my friend telling me he has enforced "only konkani" at home. Other languages people will learn anyway but the native languages need to be preserved.
    I hear in churches.. mentioning konkani as "KONKINI" yes "KONKINI" in a strong english accent. That sounds strange.

    I know 50% konkani but I love this language.. and I enjoy this song..
    Konkani Amchi Mai Bhas...Kitle sobith Goad bhas...

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Mon, Oct 10 2016


    Continuation of Konkani usage is just how a business is managed. For example due to some bad policies the popularity of a product decreases but promotions / advertisements lift the spirit up.

    Similarly, when the first sibling's children err away from the language, the second notices it and does the mending. The second one ensures that her/his children have Konkani as their first word. One thing is for sure - if one generation distances from the dialect, the couple can't do the repairs but its their children who do it. For example a couple settled in Mumbai/Bangaluru or other cities give-in to local languages hence Konkani takes back-seat. Their children don't speak fluently in Konkani. For a change, send them back to Mangaluru for some studies or stay with their grand parents for vacation, returning children will put their own parents to shame with their flawless speech.

    If any of us have distanced from the language, do the repairs and nourish the dialect. Mai-bhas is sweeter than anything in this world. Teach your children to say koko-meme (not rice/fish) - it may sound old-fashioned but in the long run you will understand its value.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jovi Rolphy, Magaluru

    Sat, Oct 08 2016

    A proverb "Tiny crow does not understand the pain of bulky buffalo while it pinches its back". If at all we produce one film, we would perhaps understand its pain. No one spends huge money just to earn some name and fame but mainly for the purpose of entertainment for the Konkani people. Although, pre-conceived losses are overboard yet people attempt to produce films for the love of Konkani. While producing a film perhaps its by-products could be while society showers praises on him, earning him a name and fame for his bold investment. It is mandatory. What is wrong in it? I do not understand. This piece of article has lot of positive points yet a bit confusing and suffering from wrong assumptions.

    DisAgree Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Remy DSouza, Doha

    Sat, Oct 08 2016

    What is the burning issue here ? Just trying to understand. 2 Konkani producers invest their hard earned money (upto the extent of Rs.50 lakh if my guess is correct), go through the back breaking process of producing a movie, knowing very well they cannot even recover one third of their investment. Then they go around the country and gulf promoting their movie and urging people to watch it.

    What else is this other than love of language and art ? Why is everyone suddenly condemning them and the people who praised their effort ? Why are people calling it greed for name, fame and money ? Yes, some people might have gone overboard with their praises, but where does it hurt I am wondering. If only people could understand the pain behind producing a movie.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Antony Cony, Karkala / Qatar

    Fri, Oct 07 2016

    Kishoo, you look very good and so your acting abilities. These qualities are more than sufficient to become a hero of any future Konkani films. Great ! you did act in one of the Konkani film released recently. Brilliant !

    Generally, any film producers will have multi purposes – a name for the huge money they spend. It is quite natural, nothing wrong in it. Secondly, to get some affordable profit, if that can be done. But history of Konkani films shows that profit is hardly affordable. Apart from this, almost all producers also contend that their intentions are also to contribute towards the development of their mother tongue. It can be true. I have no contentions on that part. They take lot of risk even to earn a name, to earn some money which they can do it outside Konkani too. Yet they take risk for Konkani.

    Kishoo, we being best friends, I will produce a new Konkani film. You will be the Hero of this film. By this let us encourage our Konkani Film audience to watch more and more Konkani films just like other films i.e., Tulu. On the lighter side, whether our film succeed or not in a nut shell, I will get a Name and you become Fame. :) However, I will keep away🙂my nephews or kumapadri as part of team just because they are my 'miwnno' 'saddu' etc.,It will be a professional unit. I hope you will be encouraged by my this producer's philosophy.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Frank, Tulunadu

    Fri, Oct 07 2016

    Yes you can say films are about money. That's correct. However, look at the hindi kannada and Tamil film industries. These languages have a Govt backing. Did any of our ancestors know hindi or Kannada? They didn't. Respective Govts ( Central Govt and Kannad Govt in Karnatak) have made their language mandatory for children studying in school. Although we are not the native speakers of these languages we need to mandatorily study these languages. However, Konkani is not promoted by any Govt. except a little bit by Goa Govt. Konkani speaking people are also spread across many states due to which Konkani learning as a state language has not happened. I disagree with the writer and feel it is correct to support our language and art. As far as money making, in this world everything is about money making. Nobody can do anything for free. Do you know priest perform prayers and pujas not for free they do make money there. To make money, a producer need not make films in Konkani, he can produce movies in those languages where there is wider viewership.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • peter, Brahmavar

    Wed, Oct 05 2016

    One thing is sure movies cannot make charity business or cannot survive only on sympathy of the people. More than the language these film came for name and fame and earn little. I strongly oppose using religious for promoting this movies.

    DisAgree Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Tue, Oct 04 2016

    Kishoo, Barkur, you are absolutely right. Konkany, as a dialect, has already sustained that blow and survived. The blow was about fifteen-twenty years back when Konkany speakers got trendy and started to speak English with their toddlers. The humiliating inability to speak in the language properly during Konkany gatherings made the next age-group to amend this mistake.

    Today there are quite a few youngsters coming forward to represent during Konkany programs/mass and acknowledgment of the talent is certainly a matter of pride to them. One popular display of this talent is the Nativity Feast celebration conducted by Konkany groups in the Gulf.

    Its wrong to sell your product by branding it as a service to the dialect. When you jump into a project, be strong enough to sustain either/or profit/loss, don't feign to be doing charity for Konkany.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • Maddy, Global Citizen

    Wed, Oct 05 2016

    Well said.

    PS: Is it a trend you are starting to spell the language as "Konkany" ?

    DisAgree Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

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