Mangalore, June 13 : The birth centenary celebrations of Konkani poet Balakrishna Bhagwant Borkar was held at the World Konkani Centre (WKC) on June 13. Konkani Language and Cultural Foundation and Kavita Trust jointy organised the day-long programme.
Nagesh Karmali, Kendra Sahitya Akademi Winner and Goa’s freedom fighter, inaugurated the event by garlanding the portrait of Bakibab Borkar.
Being a student of Bakibab Borkar at a young age, and backed by the rich experience of having worked with him, Shri Karmali portrayed Bakibab’s life as well his freedom struggle. He recalled how Bakibab got transformed into a freedom fighter and resigned his job as a school teacher, the day after Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia delivered speech at Margoa on June 18.
Shri Karmali said Bakibab was a commercial person with emotional mind.
Karmali also recalled Bakibab’s meeting with the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
“Bakibab was a trendsetter in Marathi as well as Konkani poetry. He was one of the greatest Marathi poets after Jnaneshwar. He was not only a good poet but also was conscious of what he was writing. He practiced what he preached.” Shri Karmali added.
Basti Vaman Shenoy, President, WKC, said Bakibab was a hero.
In his address Melvyn Rodrigues, President, Kavita Trust, said “Bakibab started writing in the thirties of the last century, at a time when most of the writers were influenced by Gandhiism and nationalism. He was powerful amongst all other poets.”
Hemacharya, Editor-in-chief, Daijiworld Weekly and member of Bakibab Birth Centenary Celebrations Committee was present. Venkatesh N. Baliga, Secretary, WKC compered the programme.
A symposium was held on Bakibab’s poems. Prof. Narayan Desai, Goa, moderated the session. Rajay Pawar presented his paper on the theme ‘Resistance in Bakibab’s poems,’ while Bhushan Bhave spoke on ‘Linguistic poems in Bakibab;s poems.’
A poetry session was held in the afternoon. H. M. Pernal, Konkani poet and critic presided.
Poets Venkatesh Nayak, S. N. Saipangallu, Shakuntala R. Kini, Wilma Bantwal, Jerry Rasquinha, Andrew L D’Cunha and Rajay Pawar recited poems.
‘Noopura’- book of Kannada translations of Bakibab’s poems was released by U. K. Kumaranath, Resident Editor, Vijaya Karnataka. These poems were translated by Shakuntala R. Kini.
Gurudutt Baliga, Assistant Director, World Institute of Konkani Language, compered programme.
A musical rendition on Bakibab’s eight poems was held on the occasion. Music compositions were done by Ustad Rafique Khan. Vasanti R. Shenoy, Ravindra Prabhu, Divya Sujir and Deeksha Sujir were on vocals. G. Gopalkrishnan, Gururaj M. B., Gangadhar Kannur and Deepak Suratkal were on violin, keyboard, rhythm pad and table respectively.
Venkatesh N. Baliga, Secretary, WKC, proposed the vote of thanks.