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A Brief History of Konknni Periodicals

Last Updated: 01 March '09

A Brief History of Konknni Periodicals

J.B. Moraes


     (This article was written by Mr. J. B. Moraes, the known Konknni poet and writer from Mumbai in Konknni in Kannada script in 1995 for presenting in a seminar in the First World Konknni Convention held in Mangalore and published in the Souvenir of the Convention.  Subsequently it was translated into English by www.Konkaniworld.com, of Mr. Ullas de Souza, Dubai.  Pratap Naik, S.J. has upgraded and edited it to include the missing data and to make it relevant for the present time.)
The history of Konknni journalism spans more than a century.  The earliest Konknni journal was not born in Goa as one would expect, but it took birth in the city of Poona in Maharashtra in the year 1889 and was christened "Udentechem Sallok".  It was a bilingual published in Konknni and Portuguese languages.  Its editor was Eduardo Jose Bruno de Souza.  It was started as a monthly and then became a weekly but it closed down after five years.
If we look around the three states of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, we find plenty of such instances. Many enthusiastic Konknni lovers, some knowledgeable in the art and science of running a periodical, took the plunge and brought out well-planned magazines, journals and newspapers.  Konknni readers gave them a rousing welcome too.  These journals provided a variety of reading material for the general public and survived for quite a long time.  They provided a voice to the Konknni people and many budding literary talents flowered through the medium of these journals.  Some of these journals have survived to celebrate Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilee.
Unfortunately, the path of Konknni journalism has not been uniformly smooth.  Strewn along the path are a large number of dead journals, which had to suffer early demise.  There was no shortage of intelligent, educated and highly motivated persons as owners and editors of these journals but they lacked the foresight and the specialized knowledge and most important of all, sufficient financial backing to sustain the paper in adverse times.  There were hardly any professional journalists.  The owners, who in most of the cases were also editors, lacked the vision and the resources to bring in the latest technique and technology of running a newspaper.  Innovation was hardly evident.  There was more of enthusiasm than professionalism.  When the initial enthusiasm and the capital evaporated, the journal died a natural death.  Though many editors tried their best to provide information, entertainment and knowledge to their readers, yet they had to close down because of lack of advertisement support.  As the number of publications was large and targeting the same readership, the circulation did not rise as expected by the publishers.
Another obstacle facing the Konknni newspapers was the multiplicity of scripts.  Three major scripts i.e. Devanagari, Kannada and Roman are used to write the language.  Goan Hindus write in Devanagari, Goan Christians prefer Roman and Karnataka Konknnis use Kannada script.  Thus, the total Konknni readership is divided into three watertight camps.  This greatly hampered the growth of Konknni journalism.  Another handicap was that there was no standardized orthography even among those journals using the same script.  "One language one script" is an accepted principle for the healthy development of any language and its literature.  This vexed problem of multiple scripts still continues even though Devanagari has been accepted as the official script for Konknni.  Now, let me give you a bird's eye view of the 114 years of history of Konknni Journalism in Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Periodicals in Kannada script in Karnataka:
The focal points for Konknni activities in Karnataka and Maharashtra are the two coastal cities of Mangalore and Bombay respectively.  It will not be an exaggeration to suggest that Konknni journalism in Kannada script leads the way over others in quality and quantity today. There are several weeklies, fortnightlies and monthlies flourishing in Mangalore and in Bombay.  The birth of Konknni Dirvem in 1912 transformed the Konknni literary scene overnight in Mangalore and heralded the arrival of several great poets, novelists and short story writers.  The founder-editor of Konknni Dirvem was the great poet Luis Mascarenhas.  Christian Konknnis who were till then fed on a diet of religious literature in the form of Holy Bible, lives of saints, prayers and hymns, were delighted to find lay literature which they lapped up to their heart's content. Though started as a fortnightly, Dirvem soon became a weekly.  After Luis Mascarenhas relinquished editorship in 1917, came Peter John D'Souza who served as editor till 1920 and thereafter the well-known advocate and social worker Alex Pais, took the reins of the paper as editor and managed it effectively from Bombay till its closure in 1940.  During the 28 years of Dirvem, Konknni literature saw rapid development particularly in the genres of novels, short stories and poetry.  Even semi-educated farmers awaited each issue of Dirvem with eager anticipation.
In 1918, Jezuchea Povitr Kallzacho Anj was started as a Catholic periodical.  Fr. C.P. Gonsalves, S.J. was its first editor.  In 1971 it was closed down.  In 1983, it was started once again with the name Anj under the leadership of Fr. Alexander D'Souza.  Frs. Stany Goveas, Roque D'Souza, Roque D'Sa, Paul Pinto, Anil Cornelio have served as its editors.  At present, Fr. Vijay V. Lobo is the editor.  In 1936 six monthly Voisontik Son'dex was started in Mangalore by the Society of Vincent de Paul.
Raknno weekly was started in 1938 as an organ of the Diocese of Mangalore.  A succession of brilliant priest editors beginning with Sylvester Menezes, John M. Menezes, Alexander D'Souza, Mark Valadar, Vincent Menezes, Samuel Sequeira, Eric Crasta and the current editor Francis Rodrigues has transformed Raknno as a literary medium and in the process bringing countless writers into the limelight.  The Souvenir issues brought out by Raknno on the occasions of its Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilee are cherished and preserved by Konknni lovers as literary treasures.
Amchi Mai monthly was started on 8 December 1949. Fr. John M. Menezes was its founding editor.  It was started to spread the devotion of Mother Mary among the Catholics.  Frs Aloysius D'Souza, Anthony John D'Souza, C.T. Sequeira, Alphonsus D'Lima, Joswey Fernandes, J.B. Saldanha, Lawrence  Martis have served as it's editors.  Fr. Francis D'Souza is its current editor.  Children's coloured monthly Jezu Rai was started by the Jesuits in 1954.  Fr A.T. Lobo was it's founding editor.  Fr Hubert Noronha is the present editor.  In October 1959, Sevok monthly was started by Capuchin priests.  Fr. Vincent Lobo was its first Editor. It is a family magazine.  Fr. Prasad Pinto, V.J. Menezes, Vaitus Prabhudas, Prashanth Coelho, Roshan Capuchin, Chetan Capuchin were its former editors.  At present, Fr. John Harry D'Souza is the editor.
Amar Konknni a half-yearly research oriented journal was started in Mangalore in 1980 by the Konknni Institute of the St. Aloysius College printed in Kannada and Devanagari scripts.  It has made a headway among the more serious readers, intellectuals, and Konknni students.  It has readership in Goa and Bombay.  V.J.P. Saldanha, Alban Castelino, Bennett Pinto, were the editors of it.  Famous Konknni novelist and writer, Edwin J.F. D'Souza is the current editor.
Kannik a fortnightly from Mangalore started by Raymond Miranda in 1964.  After many years of its contribution, it was closed down.  Maurice D'Sa was its last editor and publisher.  In 1989 Dolphy Lobo started Kurov a monthly entirely dedicated to publish novelettes.  He published approximately 163 issues of it.  At present it is closed down.
In 1962, Mangalore diocese started Amcho Yuvok monthly as a youth magazine of its organ ICYM Youth training Centre.   Judit Mascarenhas was the first editor.  Lohit A. Pinto is the present editor.  Articles and other literature is contributed by the youth.  It is popular among the youth and students.  In 1977, Capuchin priests started four-monthly Fransiskon Potr at Mangalore.  In 1984, Karnataka Jesuits started the quarterly Kornattok Jezvit from Mangalore.  In 1984, the SVD priests started a four monthly Sobdacho Ulo from Aikala, Udupi District.  Mangala Jyothi started its six monthly Mangala Jyoti in 1996.  Fr. Boniface Pinto is the present editor. In 1990 Konkan Catholic Association, Bangalore started its periodical Ulo.  Gabriel Vas is the editor.  In 1999, Raknno Publication started Mannik a pictorial journal for children.  After nine months it was registered as Kazulo.  Fr. Eric Crasta was its founding editor.  At present, Fr. Francis Rodrigues is its editor.  All these periodicals still continue.
Since 1993, the Catholic Sabha of Mangalore started Amcho Sandex a monthly, as its organ which contains informative articles of literary value by reputed writers. Dr. Gerald Pinto is the editor.  The famous singer Wilfy Rebimbus brought out in 1988 a literary monthly Umallo with the well-known humour writer Cyril G. Sequeira as its first editor.  After some years Wilfy himself took over the reins of the paper but he too could not continue for long.  Umallo was finally handed over to Fr. Willie de Silva who brought out one issue and nothing was heard about it afterwards.  In 1986, Darxon the organ of the Karwar Diocese was started as a monthly.  Fr. Nirmal K. Miranda was the founding editor.  Fr Philip Roque is its present editor.
In 1995, Capuchin priests started Somadhan four-monthly.  It still exists.  In 1996 Devachea Sobdacho Sombhrom' quarterly was started by the Mangalore diocese.  It contains liturgical data for the Sunday liturgy.  Fr. Boniface Pinto is the current editor.  In 1997, Ujval was started as a bi-monthly at Honavar.  It is the organ of Bala Pragathi Kendra services, Honavar. Suresh Lopes is the present editor.  In 1998, Charismatic movement started their monthly Jezu Mhaka Apoyta.  Felix Lobo is it's editor.  In 2001, Mangalore diocese started Jezuchi Suvarta monthly.  It contains reflections for the day.  Fr. Boniface is the editor.  Karwar diocese started in 2001 Bhavarthacho Sombhrom' from Karwar.  It is a liturgical quarterly. Somonvoya quarterly was started in 2004 at Madanthyar, Dakhshina Kannada district. 
Dirvem Konknni weekly was started in 2006.  It is the only Konknni weekly with the full size that of regular dailies.  It is edited, printed published and owned by John A. Monis of Mangalore.  In 2006, Doivik Amrut religious monthly was started at Mangalore.  Fr. Andrew D'Souza is the editor.
Other periodicals were Dublleancho Bhav, Sant Ritachi Vordi, Samajecho Divo(1937), Kotham Jhelo(1955), Maiganv(1966), Sankoll(1980), Kolakar (1981), Kala Kironn(1983), Amchem Konkonn, Konkonn dirvem(1987), Udev(1987), Prokas, Uzvadd, Amchi Somaz, Vavraddeancho Tallo, Pintur(1997), Bhingari(1977), etc.  These periodicals have now ceased to exist. Latest computer technology being easily accessible, 65 Parish Bulletins have come up in Mangalore Diocese some of which contain quality literary content.

Periodicals in Kannada script in Bombay:
The late G.M.B. Rodrigues was the first Mangalorean to start a Konknni weekly in Kannada script in Bombay in 1948.  It was named Sukh-Dukh.  He brought several innovations in the printing of Sukh-Dukh as he had considerable knowledge in that line.  His was a pioneering effort which he carried out to the best of his ability.  He encouraged young poets and writers.  Sukh-Dukh lasted for six years and closed down in 1954.  As a pioneering effort, it deserves a prominent place in the annals of Konknni journalism.  In 1953, G.M.B. started Ful, in 1955 Somajechem Vozr and in 1977 Ekvott.  But they did not last.  A.A. Saldanha started Konkonn Daiz in 1958 and Felix A. D'Souza took the initiative to start Konnos.  But these periodicals ceased to exist.  Similarly, A.A. Saldanha's Konkonnachem Komoll was closed down.
     Poinnari a weekly was started in Bombay in 1950 and its first editor was the well-known novelist V.J.P. Saldanha.  Later on, the famous poet and dramatist Cha. Fra. de Costa became its editor.  Under the prompting and guidance of the then budding labour leader George Fernandes, Cha. Fra came to be known as the man who championed anti-dowry campaign through PoinnariMitr under the editorship of J.S. Alvares and Poinnari under the editorship of Cha. Fra. kept the readers entertained for long spells with lively presentation of their individual view points sometimes clashing with each other which made the readers eagerly waiting for the next issue.  Poinnari had a woman at the helms in Nellie D'Costa who was editor from 1978 till her death in 2002.  Unfortunately, it was closed down.  The weekly, though celebrated silver and golden jubilees, fell short of the modern reader's expectations.
     The well-known novelist and writer J.S. Alvares brought out Mitr a weekly in 1953 and Jhelo a fortnightly in 1956 in Bombay.  After some years, Alvares returned to Mangalore and continued to bring out these periodicals there.  Jhelo was devoted entirely to short stories and serialized novels.  Later on Austin D'Souza Prabhu took over these publications but he could not continue for long and Dolphy Lobo became the new editor.  Mitr is now a weekly and it is edited by Lloyd Rego.  It is owned by Saangathi Media from Mangalore.  Jhelo has now focused on youth and it is published from Mangalore.  Panchu Bantwal is the current editor.
A significant entry into the field was Divo Weekly started in Bombay in the year 1995.  It's founder-editor was J.B. Moraes the well known poet and writer, who along with proprietor Lawrence Coelho laid a sound foundation to the weekly with several innovations.  One important innovation was the use of computer technology and illustrations.  Till then, photos and graphics were unheard of in Konknni periodicals.  With the result, the circulation soared in the first year itself. With the concerted efforts of editor Moraes and Ullas D'Souza of Dubai, the weekly became well known in the Gulf countries.  Moraes had to relinquish the editorship in 1998 and Lawrence Coelho became the proprietor cum editor.  In 2003, Henry D'Paula started Konknni weekly Kuttam.  It is a popular weekly among Konknnis in Mumbai and elsewhere.
A trio of editors (A.A. Saldanha, J.B. Moraes and V.M. Fernandes) experimented on the model of Reader's Digest by bringing out a monthly Konknni journal titled Konkonn Daiz in 1958, which contained informative articles culled from various sources.  This experiment was welcomed by Konknni lovers but the magazine had to be closed down after two years due to lack of financial support.
After leaving Poinnari in 1959, Cha. Fra. de Costa started Zag-mag, Vixal Konkonn (1961), Jivit (1983), and Udev (1976) one after the other but could not sustain them for long.  His vision, sharp editorial thrust were far beyond the grasp of ordinary Konknni readers and he found it difficult to pull them to his viewpoint.  He had also difficulty in gathering contributors with similar thinking.  In 1949, George Fernandes brought out a monthly Konknni Yuvak but it folded soon afterwards.

Periodicals of Saraswat Community in Kannada script in Karnataka:
Saraswat is the oldest magazine of the Saraswat community in Mangalore started around the same time as Konknni Dirvem.  Rashtra Kavi Govinda Pai used to write for Saraswat.  It was closed down. In 1941, it was revived but in 1946, it was again closed down.
Panchkadai monthly was started in 1967 in Mangalore.  The well-known literary figure B.V. Baliga, popularly known as Ballo-mam was its founder editor for 25 years. The periodical celebrated Silver Jubilee in 1992.  It has a Devanagari Section too.  In recent years, it has broadened its editorial policy and has started publishing news and contributions from the Christian community.  It's current editor is B. Shantaram Baliga. In 1988, Suresh Argod started a monthly named Saraswati Prabha in Hubli.  It still continues.  Konknni Pradeep was started in Karwar some years ago but soon closed down.  Jai Konknni a monthly was started in Kundapur in 1995 but later closed down.  In 2007 in Mangalore Koddiyal Khobor fortnightly was started. Venkatesh Baliga is the editor.

Periodicals in Roman script in Goa:
Goan Christians who ordinarily use Roman script for Konknni, brought out several dailies, weeklies and monthlies in Goa and Bombay.  In this venture, their zeal was more apparent than their professionalism.  With the result, a vast majority of these journals had to bite the dust after a short time.  However, some periodicals, which were built on a stronger foundation, lasted several years and among them some are existent even today.  They had outstanding editors with a strong will to succeed.  They etched their personalities on their journals.
Some of the more well-known periodicals of Goa were Novem Goem daily but later closed down.  Uzvadd brought out by Evagrio Jorge, did not last. Vavraddeancho Ixtt was started in 1932 by the Pilar Society.  It is a weekly and still exists.  Fr. Feroz Fernandes is the editor.  At present it has 12,000 circulation.  In 1983, Fr. Freddie J. da Costa started Gulab monthly.  After his death his brother Fausto da Costa is the editor and owner.
Goa Nova a weekly in Konknni/Portuguese/English languages was started by Satish Alvenkar in 1934 but it did not last long.  After that, the Salesian Congregation in Goa brought out a weekly Aitarachem Vachop which too closed down shortly.  Felicio Cardozo and Enio Pimenta joined together and brought out Goencho Sad as a weekly in 1962 and converted it into a daily after one year which they called Sot.  In 1967, Cardozo combined Sot with the Portuguese daily A Vida and christened it Divtti.  He brought together Christian and Hindu writers through Divtti.  Sometime later he discontinued it and started a weekly named Lok Sad which too had to be discontinued after one year.  Similar fate awaited to Gomant Surio, Goencho Fuddari, The Blade, Goencho Mog, Goenchem Ful, Vanguarda and Goenkar and folded up without much fanfare.
In 1978, Goa Archdiocese started Amcho Sevadhorm quarterly.  Fr Afonso Mendonça is the current editor.  On 18 August 1979, Prabhakar Tendulkar of Mapuça started Konknni weekly Gõykar.  After 10 years it was closed down.  In July 2008 Tomazinho Cardozo of Candolim has started it once again as a bi-monthly. From 2009 he intends to run it as a monthly.  Planton Faria published a monthly Goencho Avaz in 1980 which later became Goenchim Kirnnam.  It continues as a monthly.  In 1981, Porzoll quarterly was started by the Goa Archdiocese.  Fr Alfred Vaz is the editor.  Fr. Freddie da Costa, ventured to start a daily Goencho Avaz in 1989 but later converted it into a fortnightly and then into a weekly.  Now only one issue is published in a year by Fausto da Costa.  Goa Archdiocese started in 1994 Jivitacho Prokas monthly.  This has the highest circulation among Konknni periodicals at present.  It has 18,500 print order.  From 2004, Divine Voice monthly is published from Divine Retreat Centre, Potta, Kerala.  Maria Cardozo is the editor.  But the editing work is done in Goa.  In 2006 Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr started a Konknni Research Bulletin Sod as a six monthly.  Fr. Matthew Almeida, S.J. was the founding editor.  Now it is published annually due to lack of research articles.  It publishes research articles related to Konknni language, literature, culture, history and literary theories in English, Konknni in Roman and Nagari scripts.  Fr. Pratap Naik, S.J. is the editor. In 2006 Jivit monthly was started by Michael Gracias. Dynamic writer Vincy Quadros is the editor.  Sobdacho Prokas monthly was started in 2007.  It is edited by Michael Gracias and published by Fr. Conceição Silva from Carambolim, Goa.  In 2008, Konkann Divo is started as a quarterly by Ashok Chodankar of Vasco.  In 2008, Umalle quarterly is started by Marcos Gonsalves from Margão.  Renevação fortnightly was stared in 1972 as a Goa Archdiocese's official periodical.  In recent years besides English, it publishes Konknni articles and news.  Yuvayana is a youth magazine of Goa Archdiocese.  It is a quarterly.  It publishes articles in English and Konknni.  Fr. Olavio Caiado is the present editor.  In Goa 82 parishes, have their parish bulletins in Konknni in Roman script.

Periodicals in Roman script in Poona, Bombay:
Konknni journalism began first in Roman script in Poona.  On 02 February 1889, Eduardo Jose Bruno de Souza started in Poona the first Konknni periodical Udentechem Sallok.  At the end of the 19th and in the beginning of the 20th century, some Konknni-Portuguese bilingual journals were brought out by some enthusiasts.  Portuguese influence was considerably more pronounced than Konknni during that period. Some of the journals of those times were O Luzo-Konknni (1891), Ave Maria (1919), The Goa Mail (1919), The Goa Times (1930), Udentechem Noketr (1946), Amcho Sounsar, Chabuk, Azad Goem, Vavraddi, New Goa, Agnus Dei, Goa Express, etc. periodicals which had to close down for various reasons.
Sanjechem Noketr (1907) Konknni Bulletin (1932) and Goan Observer (1933) were all dailies.  Sanjechem Noketr was the first newspaper to come out entirely in Konknni. In 1934, Inasio Caitan Carvalho started Emigrant a Konknni weekly.  Soon he converted it into a daily.  All these periodicals did not last too long.  In the beginning of the 20th century, Konknnis showed more interest in daily newspapers than in literary magazines.
Dor Mhoineachi Rotti monthly was started in Karachi in 1915 by Fr. Vincent Lobo of Bombay Archdiocese to propagate the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  It became so popular that it had a circulation of 8000 at one time!  Later on, the periodical moved to Bombay in 1953 and finally settled down in Goa in July 1964.  It was given to the Jesuits of Goa Province.  Fr. Moreno D'Souza, S.J. a well known literary figure, was it's editor for 42 years.   Since July 2006 Fr. Matthew Almeida, S.J. is the editor and it is published from Alto Porvorim, Goa.  At present it is the oldest Konknni periodical.
The Goa Mail was a popular weekly in Bombay for more than 60 years.  In its later years Dr. Simon Fernandes a popular Konknni leader and writer became its editor and the periodical became more prominent. The Goa Times was another weekly that catered to the literary tastes of the Goans under the editorship of Fausto V. da Costa.  Both these popular magazines had to be closed down.  But The Goan Review a Konknni/English bi-monthly started by Fausto da Costa in 1989 is still going strong in Bombay.
If we ponder over the 100 years history of Konknni Journalism, we are struck by the amazing proliferation of periodicals in Roman script.  What was the motivating and driving force that prompted so many Goan Christians to plunge into this venture and burn their fingers?  In the pre-liberation period of Goa, there were periodicals in Konknni/Portuguese languages or in Portuguese alone.  This could be an indicator of the Portuguese influence on Konknni journalism.  This influence waned in the post-liberation period but proliferation in Konknni periodicals continued.  One motivating force for the Konknni leaders in Bombay and Goa could be the liberation movement of Goa energized by the freedom struggle of India in the first half of the 20th century.  The 50 years struggling before and after the liberation, have been the most productive in terms of Konknni journalism.  One thing is certain, as long as this fervor lasted, Konknni literature and culture were the beneficiaries.

Periodicals in Devanagari Script in Goa:
Periodicals started in Goa in Devanagari script also did not do much better.  Let us go through the list of magazines started in Goa in Devanagari script.
Yeshwant Palekar started Konkonn Bharoti as a Diwali issue some years ago in Goa.  Now it is closed. Suhas Dalal brought out Pormoll which used to be published only as a Diwali issue once a year.  There was a magazine named Parijat devoted entirely to poetry.  It was coming out only at Diwali.  Well-known poet and dramatist Pundalik Narayan Naik brought out Rutu a monthly entirely devoted to poetry.  Apart from Goa, poets from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala too contributed to the magazine.  It has stopped it's publication now.  It was revived once again in 2003 from Mangalore using Devanagari and Kannada scripts. Gokuldas Prabhu was its editor.  Now it is published irregularly.  Ravindra Kelekar brought out Mirg from Wardha.  It was pre-liberation period and Kelekar ceaselessly championed the cause of Goa through the medium of Mirg.  A periodical in Goa named Triveni under the editorship of Chandrakant Keni came out in three languages viz Konknni, Marathi and Hindi. Famous Konknni/Marathi poet Bakibab Borkar was the editor of Projecho Avaz for some time.  Another periodical Konknni brought out only Diwali issues under the editorship of Uday Bhembre.  Another such magazine bringing out only as Diwali issues was Chitrangi.  Anand Mangesh Naik started Konknnichem Kullar and managed it for some years.  Kullagor monthly is a literary magazine started in 1980.  Hema Naik was editor of this journal for some years.  A monthly titled Vangddi was edited by Vaman Naik for several years. Except Rutu all the above journals closed down.
Jag was started in Goa in 1974.  In the beginning it was published once in a year.  Later it became a monthly.  It is still going strong under the able editorship of Madhavi Sardesai.  It has managed to keep the standard high throughout its existence with thought provoking articles, book reviews, essays on Konknni literature and culture, short stories and serialized novels.  This is a magazine for serious readers.  Ravindra Kelekar's leading articles cover a wide range of subjects particularly on Konknni literature and culture and the Goan psyche.  In 1980 Konkonn Times was started as a quarterly by Tukaram Shet.  It still continues.  The only Konknni daily in Goa in Devanagari script is Sunaparant.  It was started in 1986.  It has survived under adverse circumstances.  At present Anant Salkar is the acting editor.  Dilip Borkar started  monthly Bimb in 2002.  Goan Catholics for Devanagari group has recently started Dalgadacho Sondex from Saligão, Goa.  It has no definite periodicity for its publication.  It is edited by S.M. Borges and Fr. Jaime Couto.  Contributors are selected exclusively from the Catholic community to give the impression that Catholics of Goa write in Nagari script!  The reality is quite different.  Though Konknni in Devanagari script is the official language of Goa, still the Konknni periodicals in Nagari script in Goa have not obtained popular acceptance.  Their number is not increasing.  In Nagari script there is not a single weekly or fortnightly. Journalism in Konknni in Nagari script is very bleak. Goan Hindus prefer to read Marathi and English.  While Catholics prefer to read English and Konknni in Roman script.

Periodicals in Devanagari script in Bombay:
In stark contrast to the plentiful periodicals in Roman script abounding at one time, there were hardly any magazines in Devanagari script in Bombay.  Konknni Sad the mouthpiece of the Konknni Bhasha Mandal Bombay came into existence in 1952 and was closed after two years.  The famous poet Manohar Sardessai was its first editor and after he went back to Goa, Dr. H.O. Mascarenhas, the well-known orientalist became the editor.  "Swapnnantuli Ranni", Cha. Fra. de Costa's first poem broadcast on the All India Radio was also printed in the first issue of Sad and the poet became instantly popular.  This periodical was closed down.  The second periodical to come out in Bombay was Sallik monthly which came into existence in 1955 and folded up in 1956.
In 1989, Fr Andrew D'Mello started Novsornni monthly as a liturgical periodical from Sawantwadi.  It still continues.  In 1998, the Catholic community of Belgaum region took the initiative to start Ekvottavorvim Uzvadd monthly.  It gives the news and articles of Catholics of Belgaum region.  Louis Rodrigues is the editor.  In the year 2000, Konknni Bhasha Mandal Mumbai revived Konknni Sad under the editorship of J.B. Moraes as a quarterly.  It is printed in Kannada, Devanagari and Roman scripts.  Besides being the news bulletin of the Bhasha Mandal, it also gives coverage to news and articles of the Konknni world.  It is distributed free of cost to KBM members and Konknni associations.

Konknni Journalism in Kerala:
A monthly titled Konkonn Jonota was started in the city of Kochi several years ago but later it was closed down.  Konknni Vikas a quarterly news bulletin of Konknni Bhasha Prachar Sabha of Kochi was brought out with Devanagari script.  It also did not last.  Divtti an annual magazine was brought out by P.G. Kamath.  It was printed in Devanagari and Malayalam scripts.  It ceased to exist.  R. Ranganath Prabhu of Purakkad was bringing out The Konknni a handwritten bi-monthly periodical in Malayalam script.  He meticulously wrote by his own hand 12 separate copies and distributed them to temples to be read by devotees. Both these periodicals do not exist now.  Samyukta Gowda Saraswat Sabha of Calicut started in 1978 a monthly titled Sarasvath Vanni in English and Konknni Malayalam script.  It is the only existing Konknni periodical in Kerala.  K. Surendra Rao is the editor.

Periodicals in Perso-Arabic script:
Nawayat Konknni speaking Muslim community from Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka publishes two Konknni periodicals.  In 1975, Naqsh-e-Nawayath fortnightly was started at Bhatkal, Karnataka.  Abdul Alim Kashmi is the editor.  Annawayath monthly is published from Bhatkal.  Khadir M. Patel is the editor.

     In the last 15 - 20 years, the electronic visual media like TV, Video, Computer, Internet etc. are threatening to substitute print media in our lives.  People are able to get information and entertainment through the visual media at the pressing of a button.  Therefore, the newspapers, magazines and journals have to fight stiff competition with visual media.  However, latest computer technology has enabled print media to caste out ancient methods and exploit the benefits of the electronic media.  Now the periodicals can be brought out in various styles, shapes, sizes and in brilliant colours and most important of all, in quicker time and at reasonably cheaper cost.  If this was not the case, how even parish bulletins are using computer technology and printed in four colours?  Writers and reporters can send their contributions and news reports through electronic media sitting at home.  Therefore, interaction between print and electronic media has not only become desirable but essential.
Secondly, the public still prefers print media over the electronic media for the simple reason that it provides more detailed news with views, editorials, analysis of important news, fiction, advertisements for vacancies, contracts, programmes etc.  These cannot be easily replaced by electronic media.
Sadly, even after over hundred years of Konknni Journalism, it has failed to attract professional journalists.  The reason is not far to seek.  In most cases, the editor is considered omnipotent, the Mr. Know All of journalism trade.  This attitude has hampered the development and growth in journalism.  With the result, the circulation of Konknni newspapers and journals has never risen beyond a certain point.  Though multiplicity of scripts is a major hurdle, lack of innovation and quality also had a major role.  Advertisers are shy of parting with their cash where they see little or no return for their capital.  They would like thousands of readers to read about their products and services as in other languages like Marathi or Kannada. But the proprietors of periodicals complain of lack of financial foundation to go for desired improvements. This has created a vicious circle from which no easy way out is visible.
The five objectives of a newspaper are: secure own existence, giving information, analysis of news, entertainment and public service.  Among these, securing existence of the newspaper is the most important and takes precedence over the others.  Many of our proprietors/editors never gave a thought to this vital aspect of the newspaper and consequently had to suffer for it.  No structure can survive for long without a strong foundation.
Looking at the positive side of the issue over the century old history of the Konknni journalism, we can clearly see the benefits accrued to Konknni literature.  A host of poets, novelists, storywriters have come to the fore through the medium of Konknni periodicals.  If I can speak of Karnataka, newspapers like Dirvem, Raknno, Mitr, Kannik, Sevok and Divo, Poinnari and Kuttam' in Bombay have helped many novelists to publish their novels serially in their papers.  Newspapers have brought awareness for the mother tongue among the Konknnis.
We boast of 50 lakh Konknnis.  Even if 10% of these i.e. 5 lakh Konknnis decide to read our periodicals, it would be a big step forward for Konknni journalism. At the same time, the periodicals should change with the times and provide better quality reading matter to the public.  If it happens, our journalism will be completely transformed and I have no doubt that, it will have a long and bright future.


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