Bengaluru: The FKCA’s annual “Federation Day” was celebrated with glamour and splendor on 1st February, 2015. The event was graced by the Chief Minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah and Archbishop Dr Bernard Moras.
The programme commenced at 4:00pm with a solemn Holy Mass celebrated by the Bishop of Bellary, Rev Dr Henry D’Souza and other priests as concelebrants. The stage program began at 5:30 pm with the arrival of the Chief Minister at the venue. FKCA Chairman, Edward D’Souza, welcomed the distinguished guests and the gathering. He also reiterated the unfulfilled demand of the Karnataka Government to allocate a community land for FKCA and solicited the CM to look into the matter at the earliest.
FKCA, which is an apex Body representing over 30 Konkani Catholic Associations in Karnataka and different parts of the country and the world, honoured three Konkani Catholic achievers for being role models to the Konkani community in their respective professional domains. Edwin Joseph Francis D’Souza received the Lifetime Achievement Award, Jacob Crasta was presented with the Professional Excellence Award, and Austin Roach received the Entrepreneur of The Year Award.
In his address, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah stressed upon the need to be good human beings. “There are many who try to divide people using religion. The government will protect the rights of the minorities,” he added. He assured the gathering that the promise made by the former Chief Ministers in the previous years for a considerable size of land to FKCA will soon be fulfilled.
The Archbishop of Bangalore called upon the Catholic community to raise their voice against movements like ‘Ghar Wapsi’ and ‘Saffronization’. He also said, “Christians should protect themselves from such ideas; these are dangerous.”
MLC Ivan D’Souza, who was one among the Guests of Honour, recalled the services of the Konkani Catholic community to the nation and suggested the youngsters to come forward with dedication and willingness in order to garner political recognition and thus play a major role in the upliftment of the society.
Roy Catelino, President of Karnataka Konkani Sahithya Academy vocalized the trouble caused to Christians by different anti-peace organizations and urged the government to take stringent steps to establish an environment where linguistic freedom and practice of faith can be enjoyed by every Christian.
The other eminent Guests of Honour who made the event special were, K J George (Home Minister, Govt. of Karnataka) and J R Lobo (Member of Karnataka Legislative Assembly).
In his address, MLA J R Lobo urged FKCA and the Konkani Catholic community to come forward with a unique project for sheltering the poor.
Leena Lobo, Cultural Secretary, FKCA, delivered the vote of thanks to all the dignitaries and member associations of FKCA for making the day memorable.
The star attraction of the cultural extravaganza was a melodious ‘Konkani Saanz’ by ‘The Milestone Band’ led by the young Konkani star Kevin Misquith. It also included dance and musical performances from various Konkani associations.
The programme was compered by Vernon and Neri with their lively and unique style. DJ Romel added spark to the event.
The presence of the large Konkani Catholic community of Bangalore added fervor to the ‘Federation Day’ 2015.