Monday 22 July 2024

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Society | Media

'Ixtt' with a new vigour


A Konkani news-magazine launched 77 years ago by Christan priests to reach out to workers and common people across the globe is still going strong and has even acquired new readers in a fast-changing media world.

Popularity of the Roman-script Konkani weekly, Vavraddeancho Ixtt (literally means Workers' Friend), is reflected in the huge fan following it enjoys on the social networking website, Facebook.

The weekly's online edition is read in about 30 countries and print edition is couriered to subscribers across more than 10 countries, including in Africa, publishers said.

"People have learnt reading and writing in Roman Konkani either because of Bible or due to Vavraddeancho Ixtt," Fr Feroz Fernandes, current Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, told PTI as he prepares for April's second week edition.

The publication, one of the oldest in Goa, is managed exclusively by priests on a professional basis and it raises issues cutting across religious lines, he said.

Published from an office inside the campus of Society of Pillar - a wing of Church - about 15 kms from here, the not -for-profit weekly touches doorsteps of Goans in the countries like UK, France, Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany and those in Arab world and and African continent.

Started in 1933, it was Church's attempt to retain its links with the workers in a fast changing secular and political world, the journalist-priest explained.

The weekly was to reach out to the working class and people at the grassroots to educate and inform them on issues like `communism vis-a-vis religion", he said.

Since the beginning, Fernandes said, the magazine followed a line of thought closer to the aspiration of the freedom movement of India and Goa.

The weekly enjoyed ample freedom of expression and escaped rigorous Portuguese censorship up to the early 1950s. However, the picture started changing after the Liberation of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and the freedom struggle to liberate Goa from the clutches of the Portuguese.

"During this period, the press buckled under the pressures of rigorous Portuguese censorship. Nothing could be published in Goa without getting it passed by the Portuguese Police with the rubber-stamp that read 'Visado pela censura' (seen by the censor)," former editor Fr Peter Raposo has said in an essay on the history of Romi Konkani journalism.

"On August 12, 1961, three months before the liberation of Goa, then Governor Vassalo da Silva suspended the publication of Ixtt for 90 days as a punishment for not being patriotic towards Portugal and showing pro-India tendencies," Fernandes said.

Over seven decades after its first edition, the weekly has now turned young generation of Goa and people of Goan origin into ardent Konkani readers, he said.

"For last two to three years, we have been roping in young readers in Konkani. Ixtt has become the largest producer of Konkani content over the years," Fernandes said. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

Total Comments :1

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If Romi script is kept aloft by the Goan clergy, this is one publication, we need not look further. In my youth I remember many of my fellows worked there at Pilar. They should at least recognize work done in keeping our language aloft

ludovico , old-goa