Mangaluru: On Sunday January 2, noted Konkani activist Basti Vaman Madhav Shenoy (87), also known as Vishwa Konkani Sardar and the founder of the World Konkani Centre in Shaktinagar, has passed away.
According to family source, Shenoy’s health had been deteriorating owing to age-related sickness for the past few months.
Since 1980, Shenoy has been a member of the Konkani Bhasha Mandal. He was appointed as the organising Secretary of the Konkani Jatha movement, which was formed to mobilise people in support of the establishment of a Konkani Academy. He was elected President of the Konkani Bhasha Mandal Karnataka in 1993. The Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy was founded as a result of his efforts in 1994-95.
In 1995, Shenoy hosted the First World Konkani Convention in Mangaluru. Seminars, cultural events, and an exhibition were part of the seven-day conference, which was a huge success. The title of ‘Vishwa Konkani Sardar’ was conferred to him (World Leader of Konkani). The conference directed that a World Konkani Centre be established in Mangaluru to preserve and promote Konkani language, art, and culture.
The first North American Konkani Convention took place in New Jersey, USA, in 1996. Shenoy was elected President of the Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy in 1997 and served two terms until 2001. He led attempts to promote Konkani as an optional third language in Karnataka schools.
Shenoy established Vishwa Konkani Abhiyan in 2008 under the auspices of the KLCF, with the goal of facilitating interaction between Konkani writers and scholars and their counterparts in other Indian languages. The seminar ‘Integration Through Languages’ brought together scholars from Panjabi, Hindi, Persian, Urdu, Kannada, and Konkani languages.
On Monday January 3, Shenoy’s mortal remains will be kept at the World Konkani Centre in Shaktinagar for public viewing between 9.00 am to 10.00 am. At 12.00 pm, he will be cremated in Bantwal.
Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy President K. Jagadish Pai and other members have condoled Basti Vaman Shenoy’s demise.