Asking a question… on 18th June Road


On chat a few minutes ago, a friend in his ‘twenties was telling me something unusual. He said: “We asked 20 people on 18th June Road (Panjim’s main throughfare) on a Sunday
afternoon if they could speak Konkani … Only five knew or could
understand Konkani.”

Like many in most Indian states, Goans too are acutely concerned about their identity. About migration. About changes taking place here.

I describe myself as an “unpatriotic” Goan. An accidental Goan. One whose identity has been shaped by accidents of history (which I accept, but I’m neither terribly proud nor ashamed of). To me all languages are the same. All deserve support; specially smaller and endangered ones. If I were to support Konkani, it would be on this grounds alone.

So, I commented back: “It also depends what time you ask them this question! I think at 7 am at the Mapusa market, 2% would…. And at the Red and Black dance at Carnival 98% would.”

To me the issue is not ethnicity.

We need to accept a few things. People everywhere (Mumbai, Bangalore, Orissa, the entire North East, Kashmir, wherever) feel a sense of alienation from a growth pattern that empowers an elite and seems to leave the majority out in the cold.

Goa has long been a melting-pot, and will probably long be. The challenge is: how do we get more people to “speak Konkani” … to build up a fair and larger “Goan dream” (not one based on chauvinism and fear-of-the-other) and to make sure we have more us-and-us rather than just see things as them-versus-us.

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4 thoughts on “Asking a question… on 18th June Road

  1. can u please give the history on the 18th june road in panjim?why it is called by dat name?its location?its main landmarks?

  2. As a UK citizen who loves to holiday in Goa (we’ll be there again in March) we have walked down 18th June Road many times and it is our favourite shopping area. We ask the same question: What happened on 18th June that the road is named after? And there are other roads in the city with dates as names. Where do they come from?
    In the resorts we find plenty of the locals who speak up to 5 languages, ours and Konkani included.

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