There is a report on page A4 [centre] of the Gomantak Times dated 07 September, 2006 titled "DEMAND TO MERGE KONKANI SPEAKING AREAS WITH GOA". Among the personalities whose names feature in this demand are "Naguesh Karmali of Goa", "Ramesh Veluskar, Tukaram Sheth, Dr.R.S.Pikale of Karwar", "Central Sahitya Academy awardee Mahableshwar Sail and U.B.Kalghutkar of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samitee"
As per the report "Speakers from Goa assured the gathering that the issue will be discussed in the next asembly session of the Goa government." This has many ramifications for the people of Goa. It is also indicative of the scheme of the things to come after the "Ek Bhasha, Ek Lipi, Ek Samaj" gains popular currency. Devanagri may extend the borders of Goa all the way down to Devangere taluka in Karnataka. So what is wrong with the Kannadigas now? Or do we want to say that Karwaris are okay, Bijapuris are not....because most Bijapuris are Muslims and do not speak Konkani, anyway? We conveniently forget that it was Adil Khan of Bijapur who drove out the Portuguese under Alphonso the Albuquerque in the summer of 1510 A.D. and gloss over the fact that Admiral Timmaji Wagh Camotim actually aided the colonial process [in the whole of Asia!] by an European power for the first time ever on 01 March and again on 25 November, 1510 A.D.! This then is NATIONALISM for us in the 21st century. Vishal Gomantak. Interestingly, the first line of the report reads thus, "KARWAR: The recently formed 'Goa Konkani Ekikaran Committee', at a meeting held in Konkan Maratha Bhavan in Sadashivgad has demanded that Konkani speaking areas like Karwar, Sadashivgad and Joida be merged with Goa" Readers will, no doubt, be aware that the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti [M.E.S.] is agitating for the last 30 years or more [perhaps, since the re-organisation of the states on linguistic basis since 1969, specially the present states of Karnataka, A.P. and Maharashtra from the Bombay Presidency, former kingdom of Mysore and Nizam's Hyderabad] and is politically active. M.E.S. has quite a few councillors in the Belgaum City Corporation that had, if I remember correctly, even resolved to merge with Maharashtra and was then placed under an administrator by the Karnataka Government. Karnataka celebrates its Rajyotsav [State Formation Day] on 01 November. The formation of GKEC seems to be timed with that in mind. It is a time when the border areas are in turmoil due to M.E.S. protests. The Konkani agitation in Karnataka [Sadashivgad and Karwar are on opposite banks of the Kali river at the Southern end of Goa as Keri and Tiracol are on Tirakol River at the Northern extreme]will only help the Marathi lobby in extending the area of turmoil. The agitation can effectively block the coastal highway, NH-17, as well as the Konkan Railway and create a huge impact on the movement to the South at the start of the tourist season. History buffs will remember that Sadashivgad was part of the Sondekar Raja's Kingdom that was given to the Portuguese colonial rulers for safe keeping but was attacked and taken over by the forces of Hyder/Haidar Ali, the father of Tipu Sultan. There is a controversy brewing up about the use of this fort for heritage tourism by a hotel chain. Funding for an agitation and emotional/religious/nationalistic/anti-colonial cannon fodder among the gullible citizens in that area will not be difficult to find. The Ganeshotsav has already been used to whip up the ante in Sadashivgad. That Lord Ganesha is the Lord of Peace, is besides the point, ever since Lokmanya Tilak started the Sarvajanik celebrations to whip up nationalism. The brand of 'nationalism' has changed since independence. The Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav has anyway degenerated to the level that the Visarjan, in Goa and elsewhere, is done by persons who are far from sober. Since my student days, I have rushed to hospitals the persons involved in fights over the right of a caste or group to immerse the idol. Nagesh Karmali, a well known Konkani poet and writer who is also fluent in English and Portuguese, has also been a freedom fighter. He and his credentials were abused on 18 June 2004 by the Panaji Nagrik Kruti Samiti [[PUNKS], led by Rajendra Subhash Velingkar and Datta Palekar, to break the name plaques on the streets of Fontainhas- Panaji. Will we see a repeat on 01 November, 2006? Time will tell. The countdown has begun....56 days and counting.......... We may have a warm November in the run up to the Goa Legislative Assembly elections, perhaps clubbed with other states that are due for elections in February, 2007. Viva Goa. Miguel Braganza 9822982676 P.S. Politics is a funny world. The United Goans Democratic Party [UGDP] may have a Minister in the Jarkhand Govenment next week. It has two MLAs in the Opposition as of today. That is double of what the UGDP currently has in Goa itself ! Jarkhand, like Goa and Karnataka, has a lot of mines. We could merge the states with mines. There is more money in mining than in Konkani, anyway. ------------------------ Yahoo! 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