PANAJI: Congress on Saturday urged the state government to provide permanent space for Goa Konkani Akademi and stop its reshuffling, now and then, which mars the progress of the mother tongue.
Congress leader Amarnath Panajikar on Saturday addressed a press conference in the capital city and alleged that the BJP government is hoodwinking Konkani writers and depriving budding writers of getting benefits of schemes.
Wilma Fernandes, Kenisha Menezes, and Mahesh Nadar were also present.
“Congress has contributed to the progress of the Konkani language and its development. With the efforts of former Prime Minister Late Rajiv Gandhi, our mother tongue Konkani was included in the 8th Schedule of the Indian constitution, and also we got Statehood. It pains us to see the ongoing politics over Konkani Akademi,” Panjikar said.
“We took care that Konkani literature reaches the last mile of the state, and hence former Member of Parliament Late Shantaram Naik donated the Mobile Van library to Konkani Akademi. But this government failed to maintain it and pass this ‘travelling Library’ in the nook and corners of Goa,” Panjikar lamented.
Referring to the shifting of Goa Konkani Akademi from the Government colony at Patto- Panjim to the Goa Sanchar Bhavan building, he said that such shuffles should stop by providing a permanent place. “Goa Konkani Akademy handles literary work and policies. Hence it needs a good place with a working environment. If the government keeps on shifting the office from one place to another, then it will mar the progress,” he said, adding the government should clarify whether the present premises is permanent or temporary.
“I appeal to the BJP government to fulfil their promises to the Konkani area and construct the Bhavan and house Konkani Akademi in the same building. This will help every Konkani person and writers avail the schemes and foster the literary work,” he said.
Panjikar also expressed surprise that though the term of Arun Sakhardande as President of GKA ended in January, the government has failed to appoint a new chairperson.
“As per our sources, his term has ended, and hence the government needs to appoint a capable person to take the palanquin of Konkani to greater heights. How will the new committee and schemes be launched unless a new President is appointed,” he questioned.
He alleged that the BJP government has once again proved that whatever it promises to the public is never fulfilled. “I want to ask Chief Minister Pramod Sawant whether he is looking for someone from RSS to appoint for this top post or will he take suggestions from Konkani stalwarts before taking any step,” he said.
“It is evident that the BJP government stifles the voice of writers/public, and hence we had to bell the cat over this issue. We will keep raising this issue until GKA gets permanent premises,” Panjikar said.
He said the Konkani Akademi should start giving literary awards, which is stopped. “How writers will get encouragement if their contribution is not hailed. The government must look into awards and restart it,” Panjikar said.