News & Pics by Godfrey Gonsalves - Goa
Panaji, Aug 25: At a small gathering this evening at Our Lady of Grace Church Hall Margao Goa the Thomas Stephen Konknni Kendr presented the “ Antonio Pereira Konknni Puroskar” to its 16th recepient Mr Ulhas Buyao affectionately known as Goa Shahir “Konknni “sangitachea” Vavra Khatir “ i.e for his contribution to the Konknni lyrics, music and stage performance during the past forty years. The Karnataka Konknni Sahitya Academy president Eric Ozario presented the award wchic consists of a shawl, memento besides a cheque of Rs. 25,000.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Pratap Naik sj Director of the TSKK informed the motely audience that the award is given to any person who has made a contribution to Konknni irrespective of the script caste creed of the recipient. The money has been collected from the public mostly lovers of Konknni in Roman script. It was late Fr Antonio Pereira who was felicitated on his 75th birthday at the Our Lady of Imaculate conception school which was attended by a large multitude who decided on constituting an award for the purpose of Konkani. The minimum number of years for qualifying
for this award is 15 years .
Ulhas Buyao was born on 21st June 1944 (almost the same age of Mr Amitabh Bacchann according to the MC Sabnis) incidentally the day 21st is also the longest day in a year. Ulhas means light, Mr Buyao after his primary education in Zambaulim Quepem pursued his secondary education in Ram Mohan Vidhya Mandir at Girgaum Mumbai. After that he came to Goa and excelled in the field of poetry which was his first love.
Replying to the felicitation Buyao made it clear that Konkani was the language of all Goans there is no doubt about that but he was shocked to note how just 2.5% Saraswat Brahmins intended to make it a monopoly of just one community though 30% of the Goans wrote in Roman script had highest circulation in Romi lipi. He said even the Bible Povitr Pustok was sold before the print publication in Roman script was out. He mentioned about the “idol worship” done by the Saraswats of Varde Valaulikar who is called as “Shenoi Goembab” .
He asked the audience specifically Tomazinho Cardozo to make it public that Valaulikar lived in Assagao Bicholim only for a short while. He had spent most of his time in Mumbai in a posh apartment at Vile Parle when all others Saraswat Brahmins were living in chawls at Girgaum. How could je afford it is beyond ones imagination. The title Shenoi was not conferred on him as is widely made to believe for his contribution to Konknni but he collected an incident when Valulikar on his journey to Mumbai by steamer at the age of eight years was affectionately called by a fellow commuter as ‘Shenoi Goembab” and that title remained but has nothing to do with his contribution towards Konkani .
In fact he claimed that Shenoi Goembab is a fake. He also launched a tirade against the “secularist” Uday Laxmikant Bhembre who as a member of the Vichar Manch of the Congress Party was using unparliamentary language and giving physical threats using the only Konkani Devanagari daily Sunaparant to vomit his vengeance against the pro- Roman script lovers.
He bluntly castigated those present among the audience notably V Mordekar , Vasant Molio, Prof Harish Nagvekar to put a check on the vitriolic writings of Bhembre who he felt had gone paranoid over the near victory of the Romi lipi forces.
"No one can prevent the Romi lipi "he said multiplicity of scripts will unite and not divide
Goans he cautioned. The mess created in the Official Language Act is by people of the likes of Mr Bhembre.
It was all intended so that the funds of over one crore alloted to Konkani by the Government of Goa
would be utilised by these few leaders who have found the Goa Konknni Academy as their "grazing pasture" referring to people like Pundalik Naik Mr N (Naik) Shivdas and others. He also informed that there is NO denial that Marathi is the language used by all Hindus in Goa for religious purpose , there is no doubt on this score. He brought to the notice of the audience that Luisinho Faleiro Minister for Education who has become a 'koidi' (slave) of the pro Konkani ONLY in Devnagari script " and whose birthday will be celebrated on 26th August is intending to distribute a small magazine in Marathi, on the occasion of Ganesh Chathurti (it is a tradition in Goa to come out with such publications during Diwali and Ganesh Chathurti) He asked Girish Chodankar who had come to his
residence at Gogol to inform him about the same to enquire with Mr Faleiro why he had not published the same in Konkani in Devanagari script? if that is the language used by all Hindus in performing their religious rites.
This dual stance was the cause of turmoil that the state will witness shortly.
He threatened Bhembre to speak out his mind in the same Gogol at Fatorda where late Master Floriano Vaz the first Konkani martyr was killed on 20th December, 1986 and asked him to be prepared for the future course of action which will unfurl in the days to come.
It is the forces in support of Konkani in Roman script that had provided the financial and moral support for Konkani in Roman not devanagari script he said while Bhembre and his compatriats were digesting the fruits of the Official Language Act 1987.
Buyao also warned Mr Dattaraj Salgaocar son of mine owner late Vassudev M Salgaocar not to let the
Sunaparant a periodical which survives on 1500 copies circulation and funds from Government in the form of advertisements not to turn it into a “Goonda Suniya Aparant” ie.because of the rascals like RSS Chief in Goa Subhash Velingkar teacher, N(Naik) Shivdas teacher, and others writing on the current script controversy. He also stated that they had refused to publish his writings to contradict their utterances and even threatened the editor Prabhaker Dage of a Marathi daily “Pudhari” for supporting the cause of Goa and Goans and multiplicity in scripts.
Buyao stated that Bhembre latest article calling others drunkards (Batli) was a sign of frustration as not even Saraswat Brahmins read this newspapers and no other newspaper would publish his trash.
As expected most of the Saraswat Brahmin community boycotted the function .
Eric Ozario President of the Karnataka Konknni Academy who was the chief guest spoke of the Konknni
movement in Karnataka . He said that Konknni made history when its Kannada script was accepted in std VI schools in Karnataka by the Government of Karnataka. Later speaking to this writer he was
certain that it is also going to be the third language by the next academic year 2007-08 as per the
assurance given by the CM of Karnataka.
Joanita Fernandes gave a brief history of the recipient Buyao while Preta Naik delivered the
vote of thanks.
Earlier Buyao’s son daughter and grand children sang songs in Konkani “Ek sarache git ekvottache git” “Ganapatti Bappa Mourya “ which was appreciated by the audience.
The August 06 issue of "Goencho Ulo" was distributed and other periodicals of the TSSK were put up for sale besides the Bhakti Shobann of Eric Ozario. A CD “Chan neache Ratim” emotionally described as Ulhas Buyaos original treasure a song which was sung at the time of Opinion Poll 1966-67 in all the villages of Goa specially in South Goa was also put up for sale. A book titled Novi Fantodd in Konkani Roman script was released by Eric Ozario on the occasion."