Mangaluru: Campaign for Language Equality and Rights (CLEAR), headed by Senthil Nathan, with a view to change India’s Language Policy, had invited representatives of Indian languages to assemble in on the International Mother Language Day held at Delhi, on February 21.
Accordingly, representatives of 40 Indian languages addressed a Press Conference and released the ‘Delhi Demands for Language Rights’, at 1:00 PM, at the Press Club of India and at 5:00 PM, they gathered at Jantar Mantar and held a ‘Candle-Light Vigil’, to initiate the campaign to change India’s Language Policy.
The major demands were:
1. To declare all languages included in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution (including Konkani), as Official Languages of the Union Government.
2. To include all languages recommended by the Mahapatra Committee in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
3. The Central and State Governments to protect and preserve tribal and lesser languages threatened with extinction.
4. Fight against the imposition of one language over the others, undertaken by the Central Government, specially Hindi.
5. Allow each language the right to choose their own script/scripts for literature in their language.
Given the atmosphere of intolerance and imposition in India that we live in and especially in view of the fight for equal rights for all scripts of Konkani, which we are fighting against the Kendra Sahitya Akademi, in the courts of law, this campaign for Language Rights has a great significance for the future of Konkani.
“I entreat every Konkani organisation to join this campaign enthusiastically. The developments in this regard will be informed from time-to-time,” said Secretary General of Global Konkani Organisation, Eric Ozario.
He further said, “I must place on record my sense of pride at the participation of the leaders and members of the Kanara Cultural Association, headed by its President, Lydia D’Almeida. In fact, it was a matter of great pride for me that Konkanis’ was the largest contingent at the ‘Candle-Light Vigil’. I congratulate and thank them on behalf of Jago’tik Konknni So’ngho’tto’n.”
“I once again remind every Konkani organisation to initiate the implementation of the Konkani Language Plan adopted 6 months ago,” he added.
The Delhi Demands were endorsed by the following, representing their languages –
Anand G, Karnataka (Kannada)
Deepak Pawar, Maharashtra (Marathi)
Ganesh Chetan, Karnataka (Kannada)
Garga Chatterjee, West Bengal (Bengali)
Joga Singh Virk, Punjab (Punjabi)
Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula, Tamil Nadu(Tamil, Telugu)
Mani M. Manivannan, Tamil Nadu (Tamil)
P. Pavithran, Kerala (Malayalam)
Priyank KS, Karnataka (Kannada)
Ravishankar Ayyakkannu, Tamil Nadu (Tamil)
Saket Shreebushan Sahu, Odisha (Kosali)
S. Senthilnathan (Aazhi Senthilnathan), Tamil Nadu (Tamil)
Thamizneriyan, Tamil Nadu (Tamil)
Vasant Shetty, Karnataka (Kannada)
Eric Ozario, Karnataka (Konkani)
Vivek V, Karnataka (Kannada)
Umakanthan P, Karnataka (Kannada, Tamil)