Goa’s oldest Konkani newspaper completes platinum
Vavraddeancho Ixtt, the only Konkani weekly THAT HAS BEEN IN CONTINUOUS PUBLICATION since 1933, CONCLUDES its platinum jubilee
celebrations with a special closing ceremony function ON COMING MONDAY.
In 1933 Vauraddeancho Ixtt, a Konknni weekly was started by Fr. Arsencio Fernandes and Fr.Graciano Moraes. It is still run by the Pilar Society till date. Today Vauraddeancho Ixtt is the only weekly of its kind published in this script and language.
AT A FUNCTION TO BE HELD on December 22, 2008 at Pilar Seminary Annexe at 4 pm, GOA’S REVENUE Minister Jose Philip D’Souza will be the chief guest for the function while editor of Renovocao and Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media, Fr Francisco Caldeira will be the guest of honour. The Superior General of the Society of Pilar, Fr Tony Lopes will preside.
On the occasion, V Ixtt awards will be distributed to several Konkani writers and those who have contributed towards the Konkani language and Goan culture. Besides, young Konkani writers and social activists, who have been closely associated with the Konkani weekly and Goa, will also be felicitated.
Prizes will be distributed to the winners of various competitions conducted during the V Ixtt platinum jubilee celebrations.
The highlights of the programme will include the release of the special issue, almanac and the launch of the new ‘V Ixtt‘ supplement. The cultural programme will comprise of platinum jubilee song, violin instrumental with piano accompaniment, raag, comedy skit, dance and a mando.
The programme is open for the general public.
Started in 1933 as the Church attempted to retain its links with the workers in a world fast turning secularised and politicised, the weekly was to reach out the working class and people at the grassroots to educate, inform and educate them on issues like “Communism vis-a-vis religion”.
However, over the years, and as it gained wider popularity, the scope extended to the coverage of social, political, cultural and religious themes. V Ixtt can boast of a glorious past as one weekly that provided news and views that satisfied the reading appetite of a large readership in Goa and Mumbai.
Having run by priests and the Society of Pilar, its credibility and respect always remained consistent. In recent years, its editors have been young priests of the Society of Pilar, like Fr Peter Raposo and Fr Feroz Fernandes, who managed the publication while in their 20s and 30s.
Ixtt‘s contribution to the freedom movement of Goa is worth the mention.
Ixtt under the aegis of the Society of Pilar followed a line of thought closer to the aspiration of the freedom movement of our Motherland India and Goa. It was on the Vespers of the independence of India that V Ixtt began to publish from the precincts of the old Monastery of Pilar, where its editorial office and press was housed.
The weekly enjoyed quite good freedom to express itself without rigorous Portuguese censorship upto the early 50′s. However, the picture started changing after the Liberation of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and the freedom struggle movement to liberate Goa from the clutches of the Portuguese.
“During this period, the Press buckled under the pressures of rigorous Portuguese censorship. Nothing could be published in Goa without getting it censored by the Portuguese Police with the rubber-stamp of approval that read ‘Visado pela censura’ (Seen by the Censor),” says former editor Fr Peter Raposo, in an essay tracing the history of Romi Konkani journalism in Goa.
Ixtt, under the editorship first of Fr. Conceicao Rodrigues (1944-54) and later of Fr. Jeronimo Pereira (1954-69), had to face insurmountable pressures to toe the Portuguese line. In order to survive most of the times, Ixtt maintained silence towards the policies of Salazar the Portuguese dictator without however openly
criticizing the Portuguese Government, which would be suicidal.
But this silence itself was construed as opposition to the Portuguese Sovereignty in Goa.
On August 12, 1961, three months before the liberation of Goa, the Governor Vassalo da Silva, by his decree, suspended the publication of Ixtt for 90 days as a punishment for not being patriotic towards Portugal and showing pro-India tendencies. Thus Ixtt was the only paper of Goa which remained firm and suffered for its nationalistic aspirations.
Today Ixtt still continues to be popular. At present Ixtt has almost 7000 regular subscribers and in fact this number is increasing. Ixtt was online since 1999 sharing a link on Goacom.com, today it has its own website (http://www.v-ixtt.com).