October 27, 2006

Inspiration for the day

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N.Purushothama Mallaya, Konkani Bhasha Bhavan, Mattanchery, Ernakulam

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It was by utilising the space offered by the Letters to the Editor columns of leading newspapers that N.Purushothama Mallaya of Kochi started the crusade for recognition of Konkani as an independent language in 1954.  And by the time his dream came true in 1992 - when the Government of India included it in the 8th schedule of the Constitution he had had to wage a long struggle without creating any bitterness.

Born at Gosree Puram in Kochi in 1929, Mallaya started working for the welfare of his mother tongue from an early age.  At a time when there was a mistaken notion that Konkani was just a dialect of Marathi, he came forward to give evidence to the contrary before the Mahajan Commission set up for ascertaining the status of the tongue.

Knowing that a collective effort was needed to achieve the just claim of the language, he gathered like-minded persons and formed the Konkan Bhasha Prachar Sabha in 1966.  Its secretary since its inception to the present day, he devoted a lot of time to conduct literary competitions and publication of books.

In 1997, the Sabha published his selected historical and linguistic research works.  In addition he has authored about 20 literary works. 

For the last 4 decades, Konkani is taught as second language in T.D.School at Kochi.  Mallaya was in the forefront to train Konkani teachers in the school where majority of students speak the language.


Courtesy: Dr.P.R.Hareendra Sarma, Mathrubhumi, October 8, 2006
Contributed by: Administrator


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