Wednesday 17 April 2024

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Goa loses two veterans: Datta S Naik & Simon D’Souza


Goa today lost two veteran leaders, Datta S Naik from Panaji and Simon D’Souza from Vasco.

Datta S Naik (81), an engineer by profession, was a leader of Konkani movement, a firebrand orator and also known for his fearless writings with logical arguments.

Yesterday was his 81st birthday.

Simon D’Souza (82) represented Vasco as the Congress MLA twice, in 1984 and 1989, and was also the Deputy Speaker of the first Assembly of Goa State (post-Union Territory). 



Known as ‘Datta Shri’, Dattabab was a firebrand leader of Konkani movement, especially in the Official Language agitation of 1986. 

His business office in Panaji had become a de facto office of Konkani Porjecho Avaz during the whole agitation that lasted for 555 days. 

Known for his daring stance, Dattabab during the historic language agitation had once swam across river Mandovi to enter the old Secretariat, during the Assembly session. 

In order to counter the communal propaganda started by some elements in pro-Marathi movement including then Gomantak editor Narayan Athawale, Datta S Naik had published a book ‘Laying Ground for Communal Riots’ with facts and quotes.. 

He was one of the few RSS activists who were also part of the Konkani movement. He was active in Jan Sangh as well as the BJP in those days when the right-wing party had a very little presence in Goa, during the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Known for his straightforward attitude, at the 6th Goa Yuva Mahotsav at Bandoda, Nageshi, Dattabab as a Guest of Honour had publicly rapped then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was the Chief Guest. 

Parrikar at that time was trying to amend the Official Language Act to also make Marathi the official language. 

Hailing from Bicholim, Dattabab was also editing a periodical called Soungadi (सौंगडी), which had become a bold and fearless voice of Konkani movement due to his blunt and logical argumentative style of writing. 

After politicians started ruining Goa politically and economically, he published five books in series ‘Ghatak Rajyachyo Bhoyo Bhoyo’ (घटक राज्याच्यो भोयो भोयो), compilations of his articles published in Konkani, Marathi and English newspapers of Goa.

Recognising his selfless service to the Konkani movement, Konkani Bhasha Mandal, in 2014, had honoured him with the most prestigious Konkani Seva Puraskar

Datta S Naik with the young brigade of KBM at Seva Puraskar function

Due to illness, Dattabab was bedridden for a few years. 

His open-minded and selfless approach made his son Valimi Naik an activist of India Against Corruption and then an ardent anti-BJP activist, who is today one of the leaders of Aam Aadmi Party. 


Konkani Novels: Hunvar  (हुंवार) & Ek Rukh Char Zhopam  (एक रूख चार झोपां) 

Konkani Short Stories: Ek Ashillo Soso (एक आशिल्लो सोसो), 

Konkani Dramas: Te Dha Khapulle (ते धा खापुल्ले), Paramveer (परमवीर), Kavllemam Kavllemam (कावळेमाम कावळेमाम) & Pachucho Baand (पाचुचो बांद) 

Non-fiction: Ghatak Rajyachyo Bhoyo Bhoyo (घटक राज्याच्यो भोयो भोयो) -  5 Volumes in Konkani & Laying Grounds for Communal Riots in English



Simon D’Souza was known as ‘Simple Simon’ in political circles due to his innocent behaviour. He had served as the Deputy Speaker for some time.

He was elected the MLA twice on Congress ticket, once in 1984 from Dabolim (not today’s Dabolim constituency) when Goa was the union territory, by defeating former MLA Herculano Dourado with a margin of 2694 votes.

After Goa became a State, he was once again elected the MLA of Vasco (renamed) in 1990, by defeating MGP candidate Dr Wilfred Mesquita with a slender margin of 325 votes. 

However, when the MGP and BJP formed an alliance in 1984 election, Simon lost to Dr Mesquita by 1593 votes. 

Simon once again tried his luck in 1999 as an independent when Vasco seat was allotted to Dr Mesquita, who had joined the Congress party by then. But both of them lost to UGDP’s Jose Philip D’Souza. Simon could poll hardly 1433 votes, a mere eight per cent. 

Since then, Simon was out from active politics. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

Total Comments :2

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S. Nageswara Rao Patnaik ,

As a citizen of India, you should be welcome and allowed to live and accepted in any part of India.

P. Kamat , mapusa

Hello, everyone !

Good day !

We are a humble family of three, myself, my wife and our son, living at Vasai, near Mumbai, in Maharashtra.

I am a retired teacher of Biology.

We love Goa, its culture and tradition and its people very much.

Therefore, we want to be a part of the state and contribute our services to it.

Please, accept us.

Thanks !

S. Nageswara Rao Patnaik , Vasai, Maharashtra