Showing posts with label Konkan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Konkan. Show all posts

Konkani Literature Myths

Prior to the arrival of the Portuguese there was highly developed Konkani literature, which was destroyed by them.

There was no literature in Konkani at the time of Portuguese occupation of the tiny island or adjoining Konkan Kshetra. There is no historical or archaeological evidence to support the theory that the Portuguese destroyed literature in Konkani. If they had destroyed Konkani literature than it would have existed in the adjoining areas of the Nova Conquistas, which did not face the wrath of the Inquisition. The Church played a major role in producing religious litereature in primarily in Konkani and secondarily in other languages.

Konkani written in Devanagari script is of high quality and Konkani written in Roman script is of sub standard quality.

The Devanagari is the natural script for Konkani language advocated first by a Portuguese scholar Monsenhor Sebastio Rudolf Dalgado in 1905 and later adopted in the first Konkani Sahitya Parishad in 1939 in Goa. Vaman Varde Valaulikar stressed that ‘Konkani had right to Sanskrit’s script as any other Indian tongue’ (Pereira 1973: 69). The scholars argue against the use of the Roman script because it is not suited for the native languages. William Jones argued against use of the Roman script. He claimed the English alphabet and orthography are disgracefully and almost ridiculously imperfect. Sir William Kirkpatrick stated ‘he employed Devanagari characters to help the student to pronounce more correctly than he or she could be taught either by Persian or English’ (Wakankar 1986: 8).

'16'th century was the golden era of Konkani literature.

Konkani saw better days in the 16th century when European missionaries embarked upon its systematic study and created religious literature in it. The establishment of the printing press in 1556 helped to publish books in as well as about Konkani.This good work continued for about five generations of European missionaries, that is, from about 1550 to about 1675. And then began the dark period. At the instance of the new generations of European missionaries, the King of Portugal issued the Decree of 1684, which abolished the use of Konkani in education as well as other fields. So Konkanis consider the 16th century as the golden era of konkani literature.

Sravana Belagola Inscription
The undated Shravana Belagola inscription ascribed to 983 A.D has the following line in nagari script Konkani language: “Sri Chavunda Rajem Karavailem” meaning that Sri Chavunda Raya caused the statue of Gomateshwara to be constructed.
In marathi 'Chamundaraye Karaviyale' meaning built by Chamundaraya. This statue of lord Gomateshwara was created around 983 AD by Chamundraya, a minister of the Ganga King, Rajamalla
Probablity: It is in prakrit. Both Konkani and marathi are from Prakrit. The first insription in prakrit is neither in konkani nor in Marathi ,but in prakrit. Eventhough the installation of statue is 983AD, the date of the inscription is still in Doubt, it is said to be of later date.

Myths of Konkani Language

Konkani Language carry many myths- Let us see one by one.

1. Konkani is a daughter of Sanskrit.
Konkani like its sibling marathi evolved from Shouraseni Prakrit.

2. Konkani is the mother tongue of over 50 lakhs of people.
Government 1991 Figures put 17,60,607 (17Lakhs)

3. Konkani is an Aryan language. Therefore Devanagari script is the natural script for Konkani.
Konkani evolved from Prakrit, but devanagari script is used for both Marathi and
konkani from Mid 20th century onwards only. Previously Kannada script was used.

4. Konkani sounds cannot be correctly written in Roman script.
Again it depends on konkani of which area. In Goa english is used even in village
meetings and in this case appropriate script will be Roman, but it cannot be said
about konkani in Karnataka, kerala or Madhyapradesh.

5. Those who know Devanagari script can easily read and write Konkani.
Yes , but not understand. Konkani remains mutually intelligible to konkani's form
different states.

6. In Goa Roman Konkani and Devanagari Konkani are found.
Goa became active in konkani only after konkani language was made scheduled

7. Compared to Catholics, Hindus speak pure and good Konkani.
Konkani is corrupted or influenced by the surroundings, whereever they are and not
with respect to religion. Kerala- Malayalam, karnataka- Tulu, kannada, Goa-
English ,Portuguese, Madhya pradesh- Hindi.

8. Konkani spoken and written by the Saraswats is the standard Konkani.
Agari of Kolaba ,Parabhi (Kayasthi, Damani) ,Koli ,Kiristav ,Dhanagari ,Bhandari , Thakuri (Thakari, Thakri, Thakua, Thakura) ,Karhadi , Sangamesvari (Bakoti, Bankoti) ,Ghati (Maoli) , Mahari (Dhed, Holia, Parvari ,Standard Konkani (Goan) ,Bardeskari (Gomantaki) ,Sarasvat Brahmin, Kudali (Malvani) , Daldi (Nawaits) , Chitpavani (Konkanasths) , Mangalore are the dilects of Konkani. So saraswats of konkani spoken in Goa is not the only konkani spoken. There is no evidence to show Saraswats speak pure konkani. Since it is the state language of Goa, it gets much legitemacy.

9. Spoken Konkani is inferior compared to written Konkani.
There is again no standard konkani. Konkani is mainly a spoken language. So the idea itself is absurd.

10. Portuguese missionaries corrupted Konkani language of Goan Catholics.
Konkani got revived because of Portuguese. Portuguese introduced first printed works. When Mangalore can retain konkani , why cant Goa.

11. Missionaries learnt Konkani to spread their faith and not out of love for Konkani.
That is true , which may be controversial.

12. Konkani written in Devanagari script is Marathicized Konkani.
Devanagari is just a script , so many languages are written in Devanagari.

13. One, who knows to speak, read and write only Konkani is a semi-literate.
Not necessarily.

14. The original inhabitants of Goa were Austro-Asiatic people and Konkani vocabulary is influenced by Mundari language.
Konkani derives its name from konka tribe who lived in present day konkan, They migrated to other regions due to unknown reasons. There is no evidence to suggest konka's spoke konkani. Konkani is related to Bengali and Assamese.

15. In the 16th century there was only one standard Konkani, namely that of Salcete. Gradually other dialects emerged from it.
Konkani existed as dilects before portuguese introduced the printing. They resurrected a dying language. All the dilects emerged from single language, but not salcete.

16. Konkani words of Portuguese origin are to be replaced by native words.
Each language is enriched by its vacabulary , so it goes with konkani.