Imposition of Devnagari to be Fought Tooth and Nail

Press Release

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.


  1. Before going after other causes, first of all please go after all those posey Konkani Catholics in Mangalore, who can speak perfect Konkani but choose to answer in English even if the other person is trying to strike a conversation in Konkani. These people think Konkani is below their dignity and is socially inferior. The same people have availed all the services offered by the Konkani minority institutions over the years – for example many of these pretentious Mangalorean Catholics have availed free seats in MIT Manipal under Konkani quota but avoid talking in Konkani like a plague. They don’t think twice before betraying their mother tongue. The same people also have bias against Kannada. They think Kannada medium schools or Kannada language subjects are for lepers (trust me, I have gone through all this in my life). This mindset has to change or soon we run the high risk of losing these languages.

    Ironically, English which is the standard business language of the world has brought about this misery. I am not here to suggest for even once that we should shun English. There is absolutely nothing wrong in being proficient in more than one languages. Languages, along with their idioms, proverbs, phrases, history help a human mind to expand. People can grow up to be multi-faceted, resourceful personalities. We can be a scholar in English which can help our career or profession, at the same time we can also attempt to learn to speak our mother tongue in social circles. Learn Kannada because it is one of the highly sophisticated languages. You can involve yourself in mainstream political activities in the state. Tulu is unfortunately another language which is bearing this brunt of so-called modernisation of our society. For example people in Kundapur (may not be everyone) call Tulu as language of the lower caste.

    At the same time I am also not in favour of the fanatical nature of some of these regional associations dedicated for language protection. We see them in every State. They want their language to survive at the expense of other regional languages. People who speak other state languages are seen as enemies. That attitude is plain wrong. Embrace multiculturalism and pick the best aspects from everything. It will make your life more colourful.

  2. Sir, I appreciate and fully agree with your concerns about Konkani language. I have one more point to add. In South Canara District Konkani is the mother tongue of Catholics and the GSB people. The Konkani spoken by the Catholics has not deviated from the Goan Konkani as much as the Konkani spoken by the GSB people has. But, the difference is so much that the Catholics and the GSB people would never talk inter alia in Konkani Language for obvious reasons.
    If the canara Konkani speaking communities mutually talk in Konkani as a matter of routine, Konkani would be more beautiful and much richer language, at the same integrating the departed fraternal communities more fully.
    So please try to make some concrete suggestions as to how best we can strive together to make every Konkani proud our language and common heritage. Thank you, Sir.

  3. What suggestions can I make that may potentially change grown-up people’s habits? It’s by choice. It’s wilful ignorance. You can not coerce anyone into speaking in their mother tongue. It has to come from within. If they are proud of their heritage they will do it regardless.

    These people are bringing up their children in such a way that Konkani is a foreign language in the household. But if there ever was another Konkani quota from MIT the same people would use that opportunity to gain free admissions. Our system is such that law permits a language certificate is issued just because someone up in your family tree used to speak that language. There is no requirement that the applicant has to speak that language before being issued the certificate. On top of that these institutions (MIT for example) have/had introduced Konkani quota because they want to foster Konkani language but I find it surprising why they can’t put in a requirement that the applicant has to demonstrate the ability to speak in that language before granting admission. It’s a farce.

  4. Trump will not be an automatic candidate of Republican party for general election, even if he wins 1237 delegates. The final decision lies with the party’s big wigs. However, Trump most probably will run independently, if he is not nominated which makes the entire process of primary election useless. Some day USA will follow the Indian election process of party nominated candidate without primary.

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