|One of the most interesting yet very rarely realised
fact is that among all the Indian languages, Konkani is the solitary language which is
spoken by people belonging to three important religious communities i.e. Hindus,
Christians and Moslems. Also, though the major literary compositions have been contributed
by the Hindus, many prominent Hindu writers have accepted Urdu - which has a
predominant influence on the Moslems with the spread of Islam in India - for their
When Goa became one of the important centres of the Christian Church, the need of using Konkani - which was the language of the masses of that region - for the spread of Christianity became all the more necessary first in Goa and later in the North and South Kanaras, when a segment of that community migrated to these new areas. The development of Konkani language and the use of the script for publishing the religious books in these two areas should, therefore, be looked from this point of view. The Konkani people therefore owe an immense debt of gratitude to the Christian brothers for preserving Konkani as a literary language.
The similar need for the use of the language for spreading Hinduism was found unnecessary. Consequently the Hindus of Goa who had already come under the influence of religious literature available in Marathi, with the spread of Maratha rule in Goa, fell back upon these easily available formats, as did the Hindus who settled in North and South Kanara fall back upon the religious literature available in Kannada.
It also came as a great surprise that the Navayat Moslem community in Bhatkal and some Moslem brothers living in the Kolaba district have still preserved their link with the Konkani language, which was their mother tongue, and many of their magazines are still published in Konkani but in Urdu script.
It was only in the beginning of the Twentieth Century, as a direct result of the Freedom Movement initiated by Mahatma Gandhi, that the desire to find one's roots entered the minds of the Hindus speaking Konkani.
It was Shri Madhav Manjunatha Shanbhag in North Kanara district and Shri Varde Vaman Valavalikar (Shenoi Goembab) in Bombay, who first initiated the move among the Konkani speaking Hindus to realise their rich heritage, and the importance of Konkani as the binding force among the disparate segments which have remained separated from one another due to historical reasons. For Shri Shanbhag it was a missionar