|Pics: Dayanand Kukkaje
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru (JD)
Mangaluru, Apr 21: In what may be termed as a historic moment for Konkani language and culture, chief minister Siddaramaiah in the presence of NRI entrepreneur and philanthropist Ronald Colaco on Thursday April 21 laid the foundation stone for the construction of a Konkani museum at Kalaangann, Shaktinagar here. The project is being undertaken at cost of Rs 30 crore by Mandd Sobhann.
Addressing the gathering, Siddaramaiah said, “It is a joyous occasion that today we have laid the foundation for the construction of the Konkani museum. You (Mandd Sobhann) have requested for government grants for the project, and right now we have provided Rs 2.5 crore and I promise to extended some more financial help in the future. But for the community whose people are spread over many countries, Rs 30 crore is not a big amount.”
He further said, “Konkani is a unique language that is spread from Gujarat to Karnataka. This is the only language that is spoken by people of three major religions. From 450 years, this language has made its presence felt in Karnataka along with Kannada in a special way. The contribution of Konkani speaking people in building Karnataka is noteworthy. Konkani speaking people are known for their secular mindset. We should be secular in a country which has several castes and creeds. The contribution of Konkani speaking people in building a harmonious society is commendable.
“The Konkani Sahitya Academy and other leaders of Konkani have requested to give importance to Konkani language at pre-university level, as in high school and granduation levels. From next year, I will make sure some work is done in this regard, along with including Konkani in postgraduate courses. The Konkani Sahitya Academy has requested for grants for building a Konkani Bhavan. Please prepare a plan and I will look into the matter,” he promised.
“Konkani is one among the languages in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution and it is also a sister language of Kannada. Hence the government is with Konkani,” he added.
Speaking about the upcoming museum, he said, “Let this museum be a resource for the cultural variety of Konkani, let it also create awareness on the cultural richness of this language.”
He also lauded Konkani Sahitya Academy and Mandd Sobhann and wished that they continue to do many more good deeds in future.
Ronald Colaco in his address said, “This auspicious occasion is not only a joyful moment for Konkani speaking people, but also for people of other communities. Today, a dream of several years has come true. Konkani has a history of several thousand years and it did not grow under any king. Still, it has grown as the mother tongue of lacs of people. The Konkani speaking people, who are about 50 lac in number, have contributed to society in various fields. Since the 16th century, they have built very strong relations with Kannada speaking people. Among all the states, Karnataka is the one that has become home to a vast number of Konkani speaking people.”
Lauding Mandd Sobhann, Colaco said, “Mandd Sobhann has organized many programmes in Konkani and has also created the first Guiness record in Konkani language with Konkani Nirantari. Hence, Mandd Sobhann can be termed as the protector of Konkani culture. The Konkani culture is so rich that it must be taken forward to the next generation. Let this museum be an international knowledge bank pertaining to Konkani culture. I request the government to provide 50 percent of the Rs 30 crore needed for this museum.”
Calling for a harmonious society, he said, “There are a few outfits in the city who are spreading venom in the society and creating insecurity among the people. Even though there are many leaders, these fringe groups are disturbing the peace in society. I urge the chief minister to curb such activities and restore peace in the district.”
Stressing on why the Yettinahole project was necessary, he said, “I live very close to Kolar district and I have seen people struggling for drinking water. The Yettinahole project is a noble project which utilizes the water that gets wasted during the rainy season. I request the chief minister to convince the people and also convince the people who are against the project.”
The chief minister was felicitated in a traditional way on the occasion. Siddaramaiah also clicked photos next to the monument on Konkani Nirantari and with the members of Mother Teresa brass band.
MLA of Mangaluru South J R Lobo presided over the programme. President of Mandd Sobhann Louis Pinto welcomed the gathering, while gurkar Eric Ozario rendered the vote of thanks. Vittori Karkal compered the programme.
Ministers Ramanath Rai, U T Khader, Abhaychandra Jain, Puttur MLA Shakuntala Shetty, MLC Ivan D’Souza, deputy commissioner A B Ibrahim, Konkani Sahitya Academy president Roy Castelino, Hangyo Ice Creams managing director Pradeep Pai, Denis D’Silva and others were present.