Writers in Malayalam and Perso-Arabic will get Rs. 25,000 grant

The All India Konkani Writers’ Organisation has instituted awards for literature in various scripts of Konkani, said Eric Ozario, secretary general of Jagotik Konknni Songhotton (JKS), the promoter of the organisation.

Speaking to The Hindu after the launch of the writers’ body in the city on Sunday, he said awards of Rs. 1 lakh would be given to authors of the “best literature published in a year in Konkani written in Kannada and Roman scripts”. Since there was no generation of literature in Konkani in the Malayalam and Perso-Arabic scripts, a grant of award of Rs. 25,000 was announced to support anyone who would write a book in those scripts.

During the current year, the organisation would organise four literary meets in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. He said 65 writers from Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Kerala assembled to pass the organisation’s constitution, elected a committee and office-bearers and chalked out the plan of action.

Jose Salvadore Fernandes, Secretary, Dalgado Konknni Akademi, said the awards were instituted on a par with the Konkani Sahitya Academy awards “as we don’t want to waste our energy in criticism (of the Devanagari lobby)”.

He said, “They (writers who use Devanagari script) want us to adopt their script and dialect and give up our scripts and dialects.”

Mr. Ozario said that for the past 75 years, those reading Konkani in Devanagari script were imposing it on people reading the language in other scripts and not allowing the latter to be eligible for facilities and recognition. “We need space,” he said.

A press release said the organisation was set up “to seek justice for literature in all scripts and in the interest of preserving and promoting Konkani language in all its variety”. It was based on the principle of “respect for every script” and “unity in diversity”.

It further said the JKS placed on record its displeasure at the State government for not appointing the president and members to the Konkani Academy and urged the government to do so without delay.

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