Tuesday 23 July 2024

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Do Saraswats love caste more than Konkani unity? Asks Pundalik


Pundalik Naik at 30th Konkani Parishad (Photo: Antara Bhide)

Saraswat community has provided intellectual inputs to develop Konkani. But what do they love more? Caste or uniting the whole Konkani community through language?

The question is being raised by Pundalik Naik, Goa’s eminent multi-faceted writer, in the background of two-day national level Saraswat Sammelan started in Goa today.

The issue came up during a seminar at the 30th session of All India Konkani Parishad ‘The path to unite Konkani people,’ which was chaired by Naik.

He in fact wondered why the Saraswat community has shied away from the Konkani Parishad but has gathered in a large number at the Saraswat Sammelan.

“Have we failed to approach them or they are not interested in coming here”, asked Naik.

While chairing the seminar, the former chairman of Goa Konkani Academy felt that caste has been a major hurdle in uniting Hindu community at all levels – social, cultural or linguistic.

Quoting Babasaheb Ambedkar and his movement against the caste system in India, Naik also said caste is still stronger than the religion, which ultimately affects development of a language.

According to him, language should be the tool to unite the whole society irrespective of caste, creed or religion.

He also expressed the need to have a standardised spoken language, not merely in writing, so that the Konkanis divided into different dialects could understand each other better.

“This does not mean we should give up our dialects and only one standardised dialect should rule, but we also need a standard dialect like how Shenoi Goembab tried to promote Antruzi Konkani as a standardised dialect, though he was from Bicholim”, said the writer from Savoi Verem.

Stating that English could become a global language because it has one single script, Naik said Konkani also needs to have one common script to unite Konkani people globally.

Dr Purnanand Chari stressed the need to widen the canvas of Parishad beyond writers and gather the real downtrodden Konkani masses.

He also felt that Parishad needs to involve Konkani celebrities like Deepika Padukone, Shyam Benegal etc, which would attract the Konkani masses to the Parishad, making it much easier to achieve the goals of Konkani movement.

“We need glamour to excel”, he said.

Supporting the viewpoint, Chandrababu Shetty from Kerala said the Parishad needs to go beyond literature and should discuss issues relating to science, economics etc and all such fields in which Konkani people have excelled.

Suggestions were also made in terms of standardising the language and making the youth aware.

Gopal Gauda from Karnataka, L Subramanian from Kerala and Lourenco D’Souza Kamani also participated.

Purnanand Chari speaking at 30th Konkani Parishad (Photo: Antara Bhide)

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Total Comments :6

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Well Pundalikbab we love being Saraswats as much as being Konkani people It is people like you who try to create divisive issues on public platforms where none exist and try to reap whatever benefit be it as a Saraswat basher or uplifter of other castes which you pathetically assume yourself to be

Let us not divide Hindus on caste lines to the detriment of Konkani which you seem to be doing


Most of the Konkaniwaadis are intimidating, uncouth, casteist and communal themselves. It is like the pot calling the kettle black!

Ravindra Kamat , Goa

Pundalik bab should be happy if saraswats are not attending konkani parishad. They are using their "baman buddh". Already there is allegation that the upper caste have not taught people of other castes sanskrit, maths, physics, chemistry, computers etc. If saraswats attend konkani parishads then after 5000 years future intellectuals(?) will shout in the name of saraswats that people abandoned konkani because it was it was hidden by them.

Madhav Bastodker , Ponda

Every person has multiple identities. He belongs to a family, village, caste, religion, trade, profession, art circle, hobbies, etc etc. They never clash. It is neither one identity in which we live and stick to. It is not "or" it is "and, also". People's choice of any programme is strictly personal. An eminent person like Pundalik bab should not try to go deeper and attach any motive. Question is how many sarswats he personally approached to attend konkani parishad (except his wife)? No intent to hurt Pundalik bab?

Madhav Bastodker , Ponda

I totally agree with Dr Purnanand Chari's point of view. All India Konkani Parishad had become stereotype and very much lack in glamour. In today's glamorous world we have to focus on glamorous aspects which can attract Konkani people towards Sammelan's & Parishad's.

Its very easy to blame Saraswat community nowadays. Saraswat community has become minority and the hollowness of insecurity has started gathering inside the whole community. I don't think that all Saraswat community is after Konkani. It is because of the hatred of all other castes towards Saraswat community, they have chosen to stay away from all types of controversy and preferred their own style of living & thinking.

Paresh Narendra Kamat , Ponda-Goa

Totally unwarranted and stupid comment from Naik. It once again proves his anti Saraswat bias. How did he come to conclusion that all Saraswats talk konkani. Nonsensical comment from so called eminent writer.

Parag Hede , Panaji,Goa.



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