11 Jul 2024  |   07:30am IST

Roman script Konknni warriors speak the language of justice

Take pledge to continue with their advocacy for Roman script’s rightful recognition in the Official Language Act
Roman script Konknni warriors speak the language of justice

Team Herald

MARGAO: Members of the 'Global Konknni Forum', staunch supporters of the Roman script for Konkani, gathered before the statue of Konkani martyr late Floriano Vaz at Gogol-Margao and with solemn resolve, they pledged to continue their advocacy for the Roman script's rightful recognition in the Official Language Act.

Their commitment echoed through the air, fuelled by the spirit of perseverance and the legacy of late Floriano Vaz, inspiring hope for a future where Konkani in the Roman script receives the acknowledgment it deserves.  

Among those present to take the pledge to fight for equal status for the Roman script were Konkani writers, Konkani activists, tiatrists, and a large number of supporters of the Roman script.

This symbolic gesture marked a significant step forward in their mission to ensure that Roman Konkani receives its due acknowledgment and status. 

Supporters of the Roman script voiced their frustration and anger over the continued injustice despite the significant participation of people in the Konkani movement in the past. 

According to the 'Global Konknni Forum', there was widespread optimism that the Roman script would gain recognition in the official language act, following the successful agitation for the Konkani language in the past.

Michael Gracias, a prominent Konkani activist and tiatrist, voiced concerns over what he described as significant injustice against the community that uses the Roman script in Konkani.

"We are treated unequally under the law. Writers writing in Roman script Konkani are not considered for Sahitya Academy awards. From the beginning, the contribution of the Roman script has been significant. We are not against the Devanagari script, but no one has the right to hinder those who contribute to and promote the Roman script," he stated emphatically. 

Addressing the gathering, Kannedy Afonso, President of the Global Konknni Forum (GKF), passionately highlighted the injustice faced by the Roman script in the official language act. He underscored the disparity and neglect despite the script's widespread use and support within the Konkani-speaking community.

"Thirty six years have passed, yet the Roman script has not received the recognition it deserves. However, we must remember that the spirit of Konkani martyr Floriano Vaz, and others, continues to endure," stated Kannedy

He also emphasized that the 'Global Konknni Forum' is prepared to approach the courts if necessary in the near future.

Bruno Fernandes from Aldona passionately asserted that Konkani is the very identity of Goa, and the Roman script is widely used by a large number of Goans in their daily lives. 

He affirmed, "The fight to achieve equal status for the Roman script in the official language act will persist until justice is served."   

Addressing the gathering, Victor Gonsalves expressed concern over the plight of those who use the Roman script in their daily lives, noting their suffering due to the lack of official recognition. He emphasized.

"We demand justice for the Roman script, which has been denied for several years." Victor highlighted the significant participation of numerous Konkani enthusiasts, particularly supporters of the Roman script, during the Konkani agitation in the past.   

Anthony D'Silva, Walter Lobo, Joe Rose, Camilo Barretto, Councillor, MMC and several others also addressed the gathering. Aplon Rebello, Treasurer and Jose Salvador Fernandes, Secretary were also present along with other office bearers.  

‘Give Konkani martyr status to late Floriano Vaz’

MARGAO: As the agitation for equal status for the Roman script in the Official Language Act gains momentum, there is also a growing demand to recognise the statue of the late Floriano Vaz at Gogal-Margao and to officially designate him as a Konkani martyr in the upcoming Assembly session.

“Two things we need to do seriously. First, let this statue of the late Floriano Vaz be officially notified. Secondly, while Floriano is revered as a Konkani martyr by the people, official recognition from the government is essential,” social activist and Konkani enthusiast, Anthony said.

“Therefore, we urge all the MLAs to prioritise and address this issue with utmost seriousness,” he added.


Idhar Udhar