Laying the ground for Communal Riots


Author: Datta Naik

TBD00143 | PB | pp. 210 | 1987 | Saungadi Prakashan

Laying the ground for Communal Riots…? takes a look at Mr Athawale writing in the Gomantak and whether they are grounds for communal riots.

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The portuguese imperialists and religous fanatics divided Goans on religious basis and sought to divide them forever culturally. But common ancestry, common history, common culture, common language (interdependence and close social bonds did not allow the alien rulers and religious chauvinists to achieve total success in their misguided endeavour. Goans professed different religions, assimilated different cultures but maintained communal harmony at all costs.

That unfinished task of the Portuguese colonialists was taken over by a particular breed of communal elements from Maharashtra in the regent history. They cherished a strong desire to dissolve the distinct identity of Goa by merging Goa with Maharashtra. Soon after Goa’s liberation, political, social, literary and cultural forces in Maharashtra influenced some Goan politicians to see Goa’s merger with Maharashtra. They aided and assisted those slavish among Goan politicians in all ways. This attempt, however, failed miserably when Goans rejected the merger in the historic Opinion poll of 1967.

Since then expansionist: forces from Maharashtra in collusion with local conspirators have been trying hard to make Goa a cultural colony of Maharashtra. Their first target was Konkani, the language of all Goans irrespective of their religion, caste or creed. To start with the development of Konkani was opposed on the ground that it is a dialect of Marathi. The Marathi ‘avatars’ of the Portuguese desired to eliminate this bond of unity among all Goans by opposing its use in literature, education and culture. Having failed to achieve any success in these attempts they opposed the recognition of Konkani as an independent literary language by Sahitya Akademi, the national academy of letters. Here too, imperialist Maharashtra politicians and expansionist Marathi writers, who made a common cause against Konkani, were put to shame before the whole nation.

Laying the Grounds for Communal Riots…? takes a look at Mr Athawale’s writings in the Gomantak right from the day he came to Goa as it’s editor in 1980. It seeks to assess if his support for Marathi as Goa’s official language is just or whether it seeks to lay the grounds for communal riots.


Datta Naik






Saungadi Prakashan

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About the Author

Panaji-based engineer, Datta Naik, a staunch Konkani protagonist and a prominent leader of the Konkani Porjecho Avaaz (KPA).


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