(Last Updated on : 20-02-2009)
The very first fruitful reapings of Konkani literature in Karnataka were wrapped up by the Christian settlers who had arrived at Kanara district from Goa approximately 500 years ago. They had mothered an affluent treasury of folklore, religious hymns and songs, nourished for several centuries. The captivity of sixty thousand Kanara Christians in 1784 by Tipu Sultan and their deportation and shipment in Srirangapatnam for more than 15 years testified as a boon in disguise for evolvement of Konkani literature in Karnataka. Several of the prisoners carried along with them religious hymns and other folklore to keep them going amidst dreadful surroundings. The well known hymn Riglo Jezu Molliant was most likely composed by Fr Joachim Miranda in the 18th century. Foundation of Konkani literature was primarily laid in these hymns. By the middle of the 19th century, Konkani Christians had grounded themselves into a well-knit and well-to-do community in and around the city of Mangalore. Fr Maffei then had mastered the language of Christian Mangaloreans and penned extensively on Konkani grammar and language. Monsignor Minguel Placid Colaco is known to have penned the devotional Jezucho Mog approximately 95 years ago. As if arriving in a sequential order, Fr Louis D'Souza issued a collection of Konkani riddles and proverbs. Fr Basil Rozario and Fr Gregory Coelho too contributed in this regard.
The year 1912 witnessed the birth of the first ever periodical in Mangalore, the Konkani Dirvem, under the very much advancing and shining Konkani literature in Karnataka. Louis Mascarenhas and U Kannappa were the founders of this periodical. In 1938, the periodical named Rakhno was started in Mangalore. The year 1950 remained a witness to the birth of the first full-length, original social nover Angel by Joaquim Santan Alvares. He in fact had revolutionised the field of fiction in Konkani literature from Karnataka and subsequently penned numerous awe-inspiring novels. V J P Saldanha, popularly acknowledged as Khadap, has authored novels pretty much containing a powerful plot, characterisation and style of diction. Chafra, also acknowledged as C F D'Costa, has made applaudable contribution in the genres of poetry and plays. Some other prominent writers in Konkani literature from Karnataka comprise: A T Lobo, Edwin D Souza, Stan Ageira, Gabriel d' Souza or Gabbu, Ronald Pereira, Jerry Kulshekar, Irene Pinto, Tina D' Mello, Mic Max, Vitor Rodrigues, Francis Saldanha, Hemachandra, etc.
Pedro John D' Souza, Faustin D' Souza, J U Rego, J C Viegas, Nandini d' costa , C G Pereira , Sylvester D'Souza, Francis Saldanha and other have penned emphatic short stories under Konkani literature in Karnataka. Another hugely captivating factor in this Karnataka Konkani literature is their supreme interest in poetry, which is acknowledged to be verily deep rooted. The early groundbreakers in this field were in actuality, the Catholic priests, who had sailed long long time back. They have handed down to their succeeding generations numerous hymns, which were poems in effect. They were further passed down to the other generations by word of mouth. Louis Mascarenhas was a great poet, in the context of Konkani literature from early Karnataka. Other prominent poets from this Konkani genre comprise: Fr P L Notelho, Fr Sylvester Menezes, Fr Anthony John d' Souza, Fr Pratap Naik, Ambrose d' Souza, Lancelot Pinto, Elo d' Souza, J B Sequeira, Ambrose d' Souza, J B Rasquina and Henry d' Silva, J B Moraes, C F d' Costa.
Besides these above mentioned extensive list of prominent and unparalleled personalities in this aboriginal Indian literary genre, loads of plays and folk literature have additionally enriched the Konkani literature of Karnataka.