Mangaluru: State Minister for Higher Education and Tourism, R V Deshpande inaugurated the Konkani Study Chair and Research Centre in Mangalore University Campus here, on June 12.
The programme began with an invocation. Vice Chancellor of Mangalore University, Prof P S Yedepadithaya welcomed the gathering.
The programme was inaugurated by R V Desphande along with other dignitaries by lighting the traditional lamp. Addressing the gathering Deshpande said, “I speak Konkani, Konkani is a language of love. Those who speak Konkani do not see caste and religion. Konkani speaking people are very intelligent. People from various walks of life speak Konkani. So, I can say that Konkani is a secular language. Konkani speaking people are basically very affectionate and loving by nature, and they are spread out all over the world.” He congratulated those who have contributed to realize this day and wished them success in their future endeavors. “This is the respect the state government has given to Konkani language. It is a dream that took six years to come true. Konkani has a very long history. This language should grow and we should all strive hard to retain it.”
He further said that the Kudubi community, one of the communities that speaks Konkani, is in need of development. “We need to work for the welfare of the Kudubi community and bring them to the mainstream. To meet the needs of this project, the Chief Minister has sanctioned Rs 2 crore in the budget and in the coming days for the development work, the government will sanction more funds,” he said.
Bishop of Mangalore Diocese Dr Aloysius said, “For us our mother tongue is a language of love (mogachi bas). When our mother language gets recognition, we all feel happy. People of all the 41 communities whose mother tongue is Konkani will feel proud because our Konkani language has gained recognition. In the district, we have started Konkani in schools and colleges. Today is a day of great pride and satisfaction for all of us because we have a Konkani Study Chair in the Mangalore University. In the coming days, Konkani will have a bright future. We need English language but at the same time, we need to retain our mother tongue. Konkani speaking students should take up Konkani language because our elders have worked hard to retain Konkani. There is a need of Konkani correspondence course or online course which will help people to learn and use Konkani language. The Konkani Study chair will help to develop Konkani language and also in the research of Konkani linguistic science. It will create interest in the youth to imbibe Konkani language. It would also help various conventions and workshops for Konkani writers, artistes, poets and litterateurs.” He congratulated and blessed all those whose hard work has led to the inauguration of Konkani Study Chair in Mangalore University.
Speaking on the occasion, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel said, “Deshpande is a leader who is an inspiration for all the youth. When I was the MP, he encouraged me to speak in the Parliament without any fear.” He further said that if we retain our language, our culture will be retained. “If not, in the coming days Tulu and Konkani language will fade away. Most of the Christians now speak in English, so the Konkani langauge is in danger. By understanding the consequences, Konkani speaking people should strive hard to retain it. Through Konkani Study Chair, they have strived hard to retain the language.”
MLA J R Lobo also spoke on the occasion. Chancellor Mangalore University Prof K Bairappa, President Vishwa Konkani Centre Basti Vaman Shenoy, Convener Konkani Study Chair Dr Jayavanth Nayak, MLC Ivan D’Souza, President Konkani Sahitya Academy Roy Castelino, and others were also present.