Warns Bhembre, Bhatikar against dividing Goans on the lines of religion, area and language
MARGAO: FORCE, the movement responsible for making English a Medium of Instruction into a cabinet note which officially allows minority schools, government-aided schools to receive grants for English as MoI. But FORCE led by convenor Savio Lopes wants more, he wants the government to quickly make that July 2014 Cabinet note into a bill in the January Assembly session as assured to him in his recently fast unto death which he undertook at Azad Maidan, Panjim.
Playing to gallows and mobilizing a crowd of over 5,000 people consisting of parents of English medium students at Lohia Maidan, Savio did a show of strength to tell the government that Goans are waiting for the bill. The meeting was also to hit out at Uday Bhembre and Arvind Bhatikar, members of the BBSM movement that wants Konkani/Marathi only to be the medium of instruction in Government-aided schools.
Savio Lopes’ Thursday meeting was set in such a way that two empty chairs donned the stage with nameplates for Margao-based lawyer Uday Bhembre and former IAS officer Arvind Bhatikar who FORCE expected to turn up at Lohia Maidan for an open debate.
Savio started that he hoped that the BBSM leaders who have rubbished him and the entire FORCE movement would turn up and hence he spend sleepless nights before today’s meeting. He said that the BBSM is wasting the time of Goan parents who have work at home and need to toil to meet the needs of their parents. Savio applauded the crowds for coming out in large numbers for an apolitical meeting and showing how much they care for English to be an option in the Medium of Instruction for education which needs to be reinforced by the government through a bill.
“We don’t want English as a compulsory MoI as Uday accuses us. We want English as a choice. Arvind and Uday don’t know the difference between a choice and compulsory and they’re dividing people on the lines of language by misleading people to believe that we want English to replace Konkani? Marathi as a medium of instruction,” asserted an angry Savio Lopes.
Savio asserted that every Goan goes on date, falls in love, goes through proposals and gets married and raises kids and then forgets about oneself but spends his/her energies to raise those kids. He asked why then an Arvind Bhatikar or an Uday Bhembre or a Sashikala Kakodkar would then dictate terms what our children should study and in what language?
Savio also pointed out that Goa has 130 private schools which are all English medium, which shows the need of English as MoI. He challenged Bhembre and Bhatikar to target that school and fight for their closure if they’re so patriotic about Konkani.
Rubbishing efforts of the BBSM for no grants for English Medium schools, Savio questioned if Bhembre ever wrote a letter in court in Konkani or if Bhatikar as IAS officer ever exchanged any communication officially in Konkani? Once again emphasizing that BBSM doesn’t pay hospital bills at child birth and hence has no right to decide your kids learning and future, asserted an angry Savio Lopes who challenged Bhatikar and Bhembre to an open public debate.
“I want to use this stage to tell Goa that BBSM members claim that UNESCO study asserts that learning in your mother tongue is beneficial to uphold culture is a lie. UNESCO has done studies in South Africa but never in Goa in regards to culture, are language and religion and the claims of Bhembre and Arvind untrue.”
Clarifying that there are no stats in Goa on the medium of instruction, Savio pointed out that the success of Germany and France cannot be compared to Goa because those are nations with only one language while India is multilingual language and that India’s Official language act clearly asserts that English is the national medium of Instruction till India has adopted a single language across the nation which is impossible.
Savio asserted that the parents at today’s FORCE meeting need to be ready to fight and put in an effort to come on the streets again if the government betrays them again in the January assembly.
Savio ridiculed Bhatikar the owner and family member to inherit Bhatikar English Medium School in Margao, which was Goa’s oldest private English medium school with the IAS officer at the helm of it. He also questioned if Bhatikar’s son, based in USA works and communicates in English or whether he’s busy teaching Barrack Obama Konkani.
Savior asserted that usage of English makes English like fevicol that binds multi-lingual Indians together to communicate with one and another.
Savio also laughed at Bhembre raking the issue of Uday Bhembre’s grandchild studying at Vidya Vikas, a private CBSE English medium school while Bhembre wants Goans to have no choice of English education.
While FORCE treasurer Sintia Fernandes poked fun at Uday Bhembre, the former editor of Goa’s lone Konknai newspaper which shut down recently asserted that if he’s love for Konkani couldn’t help him save his paper as editor then he should not interfere in the MoI issue.
Earlier at the meeting FORCE President, Premamnand Naik flayed the BBSM members for saying that FORCE is a movement of Catholic’s and Xaxtikar’s. “It’s wrong to divide parents fighting for English as MoI to be divided on religious lines. We’re poor middle class Goans who can’t afford private schools and hence want English to be the MoI in all government funded schools where fesses are lower.
He asserted that Goans are educated and smart and cannot be hoodwinked and divided on lines of language and religion.
Pallavi Naik, a parent from Sankhelim who joined the meeting asserted that parents alone who have right decide the kids future and hence a choice of English needs to be the rule of the land since English is widely accepted across the world and India itself.