The former chief minister, Ms Shashikala Kakodkar, addressing a large gathering of people at Azad Maidan, Panaji. The rally was organised by the Bhartiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch.
PANAJI: A massive rally of Goans at Azad Maidan, on Wednesday, resolved that the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch be made into a permanent platform to protect and promote Indian languages and culture in Goa and to defeat the evil designs of vested interests to de-culture and de-link the state from the Indian mainstream.
The rally further demanded that the present grant-in-aid policy for primary schools from standard I to IV should continue, without any change, to be in sync with the provisions of the Right to Education Act 2009; the time honoured educational policy of the state government on giving grants-in-aid to private English and other language medium secondary schools (Std V to X) should continue permanently and details be discussed with the central government to fit the state policy within the frame work of RTE Act 2009.
Demanding that the government should henceforth refuse recognition to private English medium primary schools and make it mandatory for existing English medium primary schools to teach at least two subjects through Konkani, Marathi or other Indian languages, the people felt that the government should put a ban on registration of English play schools and pre-primary schools and make it mandatory for the schools already registered to shift to the Indian languages within a given time-frame.
In the end, the rally felt that all Goans, irrespective of religion, caste and language should be proud of their Indian origin, Indian languages and Indian culture and defeat all attempts of vested interests to undermine the Indian identity of Goa.
"We do not want to divide the people of the state on language barriers, but need to keep this unity intact and aspire for what we have gathered here today and get our mission fulfilled,’’ stated the president of the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch and former chief minister, Ms Shashikala Kakodkar. While expressing happiness over the huge gathering at the venue of the rally, Ms Kakodkar said that her heart goes out for the women who have come for the cause of their children and added that this is not the end of the language issue but the beginning of it.
Konkani protagonist and former editor of Sunaprant, Mr Uday Bhembre, in his strongly worded speech said: "If you want to be global by learning English then go to England or United States and sleep there on the streets, we don’t mind. But, we will not allow you to destroy our culture and uproot our identity and languages for the sake of employment.’’
Mr Bhembre further said that education is governed by certain norms and only educationists have the right to decide about the education policy and medium of instruction.
While the chief of Marathi Academy, Mr Narendra Azgaonkar said that we do not want to burden the children, so we should have the elementary education in mother tongue.
A Konkani writer, Mr N Shivdas said that it is a historic movement and we need to be alert as our mother tongue is in a danger.
"We will never allow elementary education through English at all costs. We are nationalists. Neither we will allow grants to be given to English medium schools nor will we allow to destroy Indian languages,’’ Mr Naguesh Karmali, freedom fighter and poet said while addressing the rally. Mr Bhiku Pai Angle said, "we have to remain united and fight for our mother tongue by remaining awake. What we see today, is due to our own faults."
Fr Mousinh Ataide asked the people to take vow that they would protect Indian languages as they are at present in throes of crisis and demanded that henceforth no permissions should be given to English medium schools.
The Sahitya Akademy Award winner, Mr Pundalik Naik, said that Chinese, Japanese and German people did not die for the want of English, instead, they prospered and progressed with the help of their own languages.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Avind Bhatikar said that he studied in mother tongue and could still pass IAS exam.
Mr Anil Samant, Mr Prashant Naik, Mr Mohandas Nadkarni, Mr Subhash Velingkar and Ms Swati Kerkar were among those who spoke on the occasion.
The prominent personalities present on the occasion were the leader of opposition, Mr Manohar Parrikar, the North Goa MP, Mr Shripad, Naik, the BJP president, Mr Laxmikant Parsekar, the Mapusa MLA, Mr Francis D’Souza, Canacona MLA, Mr Vijay Pai Khot, and Siolim MLA, Mr Dayanand Mandrenkar
Navhind Times Goa