Mangaluru: Jagotik Konknni Songhotton (JKS), the only global organisation for Konkani, convened a Conference on – ‘Equal Rights for all Scripts’, on Sun., March 13, 2016, at Kalaangann. 75 delegates from all over India actively participated in the deliberations.
Sidhanath Buyao, a renowned composer, singer and activist from Goa, the President of JKS, welcomed the gathering. Eric Ozario, the Secretary General of JKS, moderated the proceedings. Priyank K S representing the All-India Campaign of all Indian languages for equal rights – CLEAR (Campaign for Language Equality and Rights) – pointed out the similarities between the imposition of Hindi over other languages in India and the imposition of Devnagari over other scripts in Konkani, and suggested that both need to be fought with courage and determination. He also assured the support and solidarity of CLEAR to the fight of Konkanis in fighting this ‘lipi-apartheid’.
The Conference delved deep into 25 questions on the politics of imposition of Devnagari on Konkani and the damage done to Konkani literature, Konkani unity and Konkani language and its future, as a result of this unjust policy and practice.
At the end of a 3-hour discussion the following resolution was passed unanimously.
It was resolved that – “The concerted effort to impose Devnagari has heaped grave injustice over the other scripts of Konkani. As a result, Konkani has suffered grievous damages. We shall not tolerate this injustice anymore. We will gather together the practitioners of all the 5 scripts and fight. To obtain justice we shall take recourse to every means possible including the legal process. We shall liberate Konkani from this ‘lipi-oppression’. We shall foster Konkani literature. We shall preserve every variety in Konkani. We shall forge Konkani unity. We shall not rest until the Roman script obtains its rightful status in the Official Language Act of Goa and until the Kendra Sahitya Akademi recognises all 5 scripts of Konkani on equal footing”.
The Executive Committee of JKS, which met immediately thereafter, decided upon the following Plan of Action, to be initiated immediately –
1. To approach the Supreme Court (in the event that the Review Petition against the High Court judgement filed in the High Court of Karnataka, does not yield the required results) with these two prayers –
i) To direct the Kendra Sahitya Akademi to recognise all the 5 scripts of Konkani for Awards, Projects, Assignments, Grants etc.
ii) To reconstitute the Advisory Board for Konkani (which has been fully captured by the Devnagari lobby), to proportionately represent all scripts.
2. To launch a campaign to pressurize the Government of Goa to amend the biased Official Language Act, to include the Roman script.
3. To take-up all other measures required, such as – protests, boycott, exposure etc. – to put an end to this fascist ‘lipi policy’ of imposition and discrimination.
JKS has pledged to follow-up these decisions with a sense of urgency and utmost seriousness.
It requests you for support to redeem Konkani from the 75 years of oppression in the name of script.