It is the western coastline of India where a majority of the Konkani speaking community can be found. Many scholars feel it is a dialect of the Marathi language, some feel it is a dialect of the Kannada language so a good blend of Marathi, Kannada and English words make up the Konkani language.
The literature of the language though, is sparse. Konkani writers have adopted either Marathi or Kannada and written in them, but not written in their native language at all. Of late, there has been serious positive impact on the language with the government declaring the language to be an independent asset of the country and not a derivative of other languages. Goa is the state where Konkani has been officially recognized for all government purposes.
UPSC Konkani Mains Syllabus
Answers must be written in Konkani.
History of the Konkani Language:
(i) Origin and development of the language and influences on it.
(ii) Major variants of Konkani and their linguistic features.
(iii) Grammatical and lexicographic work in Konkani, including a study of cases, adverbs, indeclinable and voices.
(iv) Old Standard Konkani, new Standard and standardization problems.
History of Konkani literature:
Candidates would be expected to be wel-acquainted with Konkani literature and its social and cultural background and consider the problems and issues arising out of them.
(i) History of Konkani literature from its probable source to the present times, with emphasis on its major works, writers and movements.
(ii) Social and cultural background of the making of Konkani literature from time to time.
(iii) Indian and Western influences on Konkani literature from the earliest to modern times.
(iv) Modern literary trends in the various genres and regions including a study of Konkani folklore.
Answers must be written in Konkani.
Tectual Criticism of Konkani Literature
The paper will be designed to test the candidate’s critical and analytical abilities. Candidates would be expected to be well-acquainted with Konkani Literature and required to have a first-hand reading of the following texts:
1. a) Konkani Mansagangotri (excluding poetry) ed. by Prof. Olivinho Gomes
b) Old Konkani language and literature-the Portuguese Role
2. a) Otmo Denvcharak-a novel by A.V da Cruz.
b) Vadoll ani Varem-A novel by Antonio Pereira.
c) Devache Kurpen-a novel by V J P Saldanha.
3. a) Vajralikhani-Shenoy Goem-bab-An anthology-ed. by Shantaram Varde Valavalikar
b) Konkani Lalit Niband-Essays-ed. by Shyam Verenkar
c) Teen Dasakam-An lAnthology-ed. by Chandrakant Keni.
4. a) Demand-Drama-by Pundalik Naik
b) Kadambini- A miscellany of modern Prose-ed. by Prof. OJF Gomes & Smt. P.S. Tadkodkar.
c) Ratha Tujeo Ghudieo-by Smt. Jayanti Naik.
1. a) Ev ani Mori: Poetry by Eduardo Bruno de Souza.
b) Abravanchem Yadnyadan-by Luis Mascarenhas.
2. a) Godde Ramayan-ed.by R.K. Rao
b) Ratnahar I &II-collection of poems-ed. R.V. Pandit.
3. a) Zayo Zuyo-poems-Manohar L. Sardessai.
b) Kanadi Mati Konkani Kavi-Anthology of Poems-ed. Pratap Naik.
4. a) Adrushatache Kalle-Poems by Pandurang Bhangui.
b) Yaman- Poems by Madhav Borkar
Interesting facts about the Konkani language and literature
If we read the pages of history and try to locate the reign of the Konkani language in ancient times, we can clearly see the influence of the Bengali and Assamese language over it. Hence they come under the Indo Aryan group of languages. The Aryans who made settlements around the Konkan belt in the western part of India came up with their own local language which eventually, in course of time came to be known as the Konkani language.
Although Konkani has a greater part of the Brahmi script in it, it is also directly put under the aegis of the Devanagari script. The Marathi communities in Maharashtra have always regarded the Konkani language as their step sister due to the linguistic similarities and differences evident among them. But if we were to believe pages from history, Konkani was much earlier existent even before the rise of the prominent Marathi language.
The konkanis who settled in the state of Goa began creating literature works in the language and also wrote its own grammar rules. When the Portugese first entered India through Vasco in Goa, they were surprised by the thriving Konkani literature and culture at the time.
This led them to break the language into bits and divide the Konkanis. So, the Konkanis really had to spruce up their identities and escape from their own lands. This is how the language and its culture cum literature got disbursed over different parts of the country. The earliest known grammar book published in Konkani can be dated back to the 16th century.
The language has a mix and blend of so many Indian languages; we can easily call this a rare phenomenon in itself. It has a mix of Marathi language, Kannada language, Malayalam, Hindi, Portugese as well as Tulu language influences. Konkani is also the language of the Brahmins in Goa. So the Saraswat Brahmins in Goa have Konkani as their mother tongue.
Today, more than seven million people in India speak Konkani language. There have been serious attempts in the past and even to this day to keep up the status of the language and prevent it from following the declining trend. There have been committees formed for the same. Goa Konkani Academy, Konkani Sahitya academy etc are worthy of mention in this regard.
In the southern parts that is particularly the state of Karnataka; the Kannadigas overwhelmingly accepted the language and its culture along with theirs, so Konkanis regard the Kannada culture to a great extent even to this day.
A World Konkani center was established in 2009 in Mangalore, Karnataka to look after the betterment of the language and facilitate helpful measures to look into the welfare of its literature. Konkani has not just invaded the writing space and given some very good literature works but of late, there have been numerous musicians who have created rock bands to entertain Konkani folks in their own native language.
Konkani as a language has received special permission from the government to broadcast programs both on radio and television as a measure to encourage budding artists in the language and bring out their hidden talents.
It is very essential for the community to work towards keeping their language, literature and culture alive by creating awareness about the language and encouraging enthusiasm among the current generation to keep this trend going for generations to come.