Konkani Only for Goans sign now

Press Release 01/2007
Panaji
19 February 2007

Romi Lipiechi Chollvoll (RLC) called a Press Conference on Monday, February 19, 2007 at Jesuit House, Panaji. Fr. Conceзгo Silva, the convenor of RLC addressed the Press. Dr. Pratap Naik, S.J. Director of Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr explained the objectives and the background of the movement; Tiatrist Prince Jacob, Ex-Speaker Tomazinho Cardozo and Fr. Eremito Rebello, Rector of sanctuary of Fr. Joseph Vaz at Sancoale also addressed the press. Antonio Gauncar, Ex-MLA, Pandarinath Lotlikar, Ex-Director of Doordarshan, Prabhakar Tendulakr, Siddanath Buyao, Tiatrist Premanand Lotilkar and Mrs Jessy Dias; Konknni writer Bonaventure DPietro, Goa Bachav Abhiyan Core Committee member Miguel Braganza and many other supporters of Roman script were present for the Press Conference. The following text was distributed to the Media.

ROMI LIPIECHI CHOLLVOLL

The Indian National Congress Party was responsible to pass the Language Bill in 1987. Great injustice has been done in the Goa Official Language Act 1987, to a large section of Goan minority community, which traditionally uses Roman script to read and write Konknni for the last 500 years.

The Language Act in Para 2 (c) reads, Konkani language means Konkani language in Devanagari script. This clause has destroyed the traditional unity and communal harmony of Goans, which existed for centuries before the Language Act was passed. The Language Act has benefited only a miniscule section of Goan society, which uses Konknni in Devanagari script. Besides it has hampered the growth of Konknni in Roman script for the past 20 years. However due to peoples active support the sale of Roman script books and periodicals have gone up.

Without the Roman script the charm of Konknni will be lost forever and the multi dimensioned Goan culture will lose its uniqueness. In Goa Konknni was always identified with the Roman script. Hence it is the integral part of Goan and Konknni identity. Konknni in Roman script has survived and bloomed with the support of people. While Konknni in Devanagari script is a parasite and it solely survives on funds of State and Central Govt. Neither the entire majority community nor the minority community has accepted willingly the Devanagari script for Konknni. It was forcibly thrust upon them through a well-planned conspiracy by the Devanagari proponents who are less than 3\% of Goas population.

To undo the great injustice done to the users of Roman script, Romi Lipiechi Chollvoll (RLC) demands from the present coalition government of Indian National Congress Party and Nationalist Congress Party to amend the Official Language Act 1987 by adding the words /Roman script after the words Konkani language means Konkani language in Devanagari script in Para 2 (c).

RLC is a non-political movement of people who read, write and support Roman script for Konknni. It is not associated with any political party. RLC is a peoples movement to fight for their rights. The users and supporters of Roman script for the last two years have met all INCP and NCP MLAs and Central ministers and party officials several times and asked them to do justice to Konknni in Roman script. They promised to look into the matter. But so far they have not done justice to the one and only demand of RLC, namely to amend the Official Language Act 1987 and to include Roman script side-by-side Devanagari script.

INCP and NCP have all these years taken the support of the minority community to come to power. But they have done precious little to uplift the members of this community. These political parties cannot take for granted the support of minority community in the forthcoming assembly elections.

The RLC gives the final call to the present coalition government to amend the Official Language Act 1987 and to give the equal status to Roman script in the forth coming Assembly Session which will be held in the month of March 2007. RLC has no other demand and it will not accept anything less than the equal status to Roman script in the Language Act. If the government fails to do justice then the RLC will start village-to-village campaign against INC and NCP and it will actively support those candidates (except the present Ministers and MLAs) who give in writing in their election manifesto that they would amend the Official Language Act to give the equal status to Konknni in Roman script.

Fr. Conceзгo Silva
Convenor
Romi Lipiechi Chollvoll

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