Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Monday ruled out granting official language status to Marathi saying the state could have only one official language and Konkani has already been granted that status.
“We have to accept that there cannot be two official languages. Konkani has been given official language status. At the same time, Marathi is also given equal weightage. Hence, I appeal to people not to create unnecessary issue or debate on the official language issue,” Parsekar said, speaking at a book launch in Panaji.
“Goa has its unique identity and its language makes it different from others. Language plays a role in giving a place an identity. Konkani has played a major role in giving Goa its identity. It is the responsibility of not just the government but of all people to support the State’s official language,” the Chief Minister said.
The last several months has seen a section of the political spectrum raise the language debate once again, demanding that the government amend the Official Language Act to give Marathi equal status. Moreover, organisations associated with the BJP continue to demand that the government stop funding English medium schools and only provide aid to schools that teach in the vernacular medium.
Meanwhile, the government has indicated that it is going to push for more use of Konkani in government communications.