Konkani vs Marathi: Language battles in golden Goa…

Superb piece by Karthik Venkatesh.

The late 80s Hindi movie Goonj, shot mostly in Goa and starring Kumar Gaurav and Juhi Chawla opens rather dramatically—with a Fiat blowing up even as the person who rigged it up as a car bomb is scurrying for cover. At first sight, it appears to be a run-of-the-mill crime caper. But five minutes into the movie, one realizes it is anything but that. The movie is centred around a very serious issue that gripped the Goan landscape in the mid-eighties—the language battle between Konkani-speakers and Marathi protagonists. 

Not many know that between 1985 and 1987, Goa witnessed a protracted confrontation on the issue of Konkani or Marathi as protagonists on both sides came to blows over the official language issue in Goa. This had been a long-festering problem that had regularly come into the limelight since the Goan liberation of 1961. Between 1985 and 1987, the final chapter of this battle was fought. 



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