Special Correspondent

His contribution for the cause of Konkani lauded

PANAJI: The Sahitya Akademi president Gopi Chand Narang on Saturday conferred the fellowship of the akademi on senior writer Ravindra Kelekar at a function held at the Kala Academy.

Mr. Kelekar, a freedom fighter, has also spearheaded the movement of Konkani language for its prolonged struggle for recognition.

Vice-president of akademi Sunil Gangopadhyaya, secretary Agrahar Krishnamurthy, convener of Konkani Advisory Board Damodar Mauzo and other writers were present.

Honouring the celebrated Konkani writer, Mr. Narang said it was like honouring a living legend, and a multi-dimensional culture in itself. He lauded the selfless dedicated work of Mr. Kelekar in the cause of Konkani language.

“Mr Kelekar, who rose to great heights through his literary works, has contributed richly for making Konkani a prosperous language,” he added.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Kelekar cautioned the people against continued obsessive use of English in the country in every field and blamed it for producing “Bonsai scholars”, “Bonsai intellectuals” and “Bonsai writers”.

He gave a call for revolt against this obsession as he regretted that the people were becoming “more anglicised by the day.”

Quoting statistics from his own experience, Mr. Kelekar lamented that the sale of books in Indian languages, including that in Hindi, was on decline. This was an issue of grave concern, he said.

President of the Goa Konkani Akademi Pundalik Naik and writers Maria Aurora Couto and Datta Naik reviewed the life and literature of Mr. Kelekar.