Quarrel with 'Angreziyath': Advani

Grand finale to First World Konkani Convention

Speaking as the chief guest at the valedictory of 25-day First World Konkani Cultural Convention on Sunday, he appealed the people to be proud of Konkani, but not to neglect English as English has an advantage over other languages. “According to a calculation, India will have largest number of English speaking people in the world by the end of this century,” he said.

Praising the language and Konkanis throughout his speech, Advani went down memory lane and said that he too studied in St Patrick High School in Karachi (Pakistan) and during his two visits to Pakistan in the last 60 years, he made it a point to visit his alma mater on both the occasions.

Thanking the organisers for inviting him of all the people in the world, he said he can read Kannada headlines of Udayavani.

CM extends support

In his speech, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said that Konkani is one of the very few languages spoken by Hindus, Christians and Muslims. Terming Konkani as a secular language, he remembered the Konkani pioneers in the field of education, industry, banking and fine arts among other disciplines.

Stressing the need for a common script for Konkani, Yeddyurappa said his government is committed to protect Konkani language and culture. Stating that the government had released Rs 40 lakh for Academy activities in 2010-11, he said he would give special attention to issues pertaining to cases on youth with regard to church attacks in 2008.

“Since the poll code of conduct is in force, I can’t announce anything now. But I will give special attention once the results are out,” he said.

Colaco’s plea

In fact, in his welcome speech, philanthropist Ronald Colaco appealed the chief minister to withdraw cases against Christians (there are 151 students) in 2008 church attack cases and also to extend support to Mandd Sobhann, the world’s premier Konkani cultural organisation.

Ronald Colaco was also conferred “Vishwa Konkani Samaja Rathna” title on the occasion. Mandd Sobhann Gurkar Eric Ozario read the citation. Bethany Congregation Superior General Sr M Wilberta BS, Historian Prof Wilfred Prakash D’Souza, daijiworld.com Managing Director Walter Nandalike and Sobhann President Louis J Pinto were present on the dais.

Prior to it, nine persons representing nine Konkani communities came on a dais and poured colours on a ‘gumat’ (a percussion instrument) symbolising the different colours of Konkani coming together.

The convention concluded with ‘Lorna Show’ (songs and dances of Goa), dances by ‘Naach Sobhann’ and Konkani yakshagana ‘Vagdevi’ from a troupe in Shimoga.

If emergency had lasted long ...

Recalling his 19 months in prison in Karnataka during emergency, he said he learnt Kannada when he was in jail.

“If emergency had lasted for few more months,  then I would have learnt much more Kannada,” he said in a lighter vein amidst a cheering crowd.

Advani speaks Konkani

When L K Advani started his speech in Konkani, he received loud applause.
“Sarv Konkani lokank megele mogache namaskar” (A warm Namasthe to all Konkani people), he said and concluded his speech too in Konkani. “Sarvank dev boren karun” (Thank you all).

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