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MARTYR MEMORIAL eludes - late Master Floriano Vaz & Konkani Roman script
Twenty four years ago when the youthful Floriano Vaz a ST from Gogol Fatorda Salcete Goa India was shot dead at noon near his home at Gogol; it was BBC's then correspondent Mark Tully who reported the news at 1700 hrs.on the BBC radio news channel well before the local and national news agencies.
That sparked a near riot in the commercial city of Margao. That the cause was linked to the ongoing agitation for recognition of Konkani as the official language was obvious .
But the immediate cause for this dastardly provocation was a tiff between Mr Vaz's ex employer the son of a prominent Goud Saraswat Brahmin industrialist from Comba, Margao -- The CRP personnel who fired the fatal round on Vaz was mainly at the behest of the son of this industrialist who was allegedly prevented from proceeding in his white FIAT car (whose number plate was later changed to avoid implication ) as the road was blocked by boulders by Vaz and his youthful supporters.
Well this turned out to be the first martyr for the cause of Konkani. The others were killed in Neura Tiswadi (Ilhas) Goa and a memorial was immediately installed in front of the Church of St Lawrence at Agacaim Ilhas Tiswadi Goa.
But what is the politics behind the erection of a memorial for late Vaz at the Fatorda junction as demanded by the ex- Chief Minister and present PWD Minister Mr Churchill Alemao?
It is understood that the GSB's are all aware that the real culprit for causing the death of late Vaz was none other than the member of their own class and community. The area where the proposed memorial is planned just over 500 meters from the Chowgule College junction and happens to be the new residential township of GSB's who have moved lock stall and barrel from Comba in Margao to self contained bungalows near the Gogol Mutt and within the periphery of the College and Gogol garden.. The area is now known as Vidya nagar.
Therefore obviously they fear that the memorial if erected will haunt them with memories of that fateful day and this constituency being mainly dominated by the ST's there would be reason for provocation and ill feelings against the GSB's at a later date.
Hence the opposition to have any memorial at Old Market (porposed earlier ) or at the Gogol junction both in the Fatorda Assembly.
Incidentally Mr Alemao who alongwith Mr Atanasio (Babush) Monserate the Minister for Education (who is celebrating his birthday today) had promised to pursue the issue of grant of official recognition to Konkani written in the Roman script at the hustings have now remain silent. The present Official Language act of 1987 grants official status only to devanagari as specifically listed at item 2 (c) of the OLA 1987. Hence deletion of the words (in Devnagari) by an amendment would have solved this issue making -- unity in ONE language and diversity in script -- as a feature to unite Goans more so being the 50th year of Liberation of Goa.
But the reason why these politicians and several others who depend on the Catholic vote bank mainly in the Old Conquests of Salcete Mormugao and Ilhas (Tiswadi) develop cold feet is because the Church heirarchy in Goa essentially a Brahmin led heirarchy which ranks highest in the decision making body has failed to press for the need for recognition to Konkani in the Roman script.
A little probing led this writer to realise that the Catholic Brahmins post Liberation forced their progeny to learn Konkani in devanagari for fear that they would be branded as antinationals for their adherence to Portuguese regime. Several Catholic Brahmins had even adopted Indian names for their progeny for the same reasons.
It is not that they have any love for the devanagiri except the fear of being ostracised by the majority Hindu community post Liberation. The Church heirarchy also belongs to this school of thought and hence despite the fact that they use Roman script for all the religious rites etc they dread to support the cause of recognition to Konkani in Roman script.
Ironically such is the hypocricy adopted by the Church heirarchy that while they support a collective floated by GSB's viz Catholic for Devanagiri even though most of them do not know to read and write Konkani in devanagri they have allowed non Brahmin Catholic priests to fully support the cause of Konkani in Roman script. Notble among them who has spared no efforts to harp for recognition to Konkani in Roman script is Fr. Conceissao of Carambolim Church .
The present CM Mr Digamber Kamat who short of official recognition to Konkani in the Roman script is prepared to do any thing for Konkani and its usage in Roman script as has been his enthusiam shown in the sphere of "tiatr" therefore it is a challenge to elected representatives of the likes of Churchill and Monseratte to show their true love for the cause of their mother tongue.
It is not too late given that we are heading for mid term polls in the State while the BJP is at its lowest ebb --- if not elections in due course 18 month later in May 2012. Thus during the forthcoming winter session in January 2011 these Ministers could easily get a MLA from the ruling coalition either Mr Francis Silveira, Ms Victoria Fernandes or Mr Francisco Micky Pacheco to move an amendment to OLA 1987 and give a due place to Konkani in the Roman script in the Golden Jubilee year.
from the Gogol end
GODFREY J. I. GONSALVES,
BORDA, MARGAO, 403 602, GOA. (INDIA)
+91 98221 58584 (24 HRS)
[As forwarded to Gaspar Almeida, http://www.goa-world.com/ by the writer,
additional cartoons, pictures sources Alexyz, and goa-world.com archives].