Ravindra Kelekar

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  • Topic: Konkani language, India, Goa
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  • Published : August 15, 2011
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Ravindra Kelekar (March 25, 1925 – August 27, 2010) was a noted Indian author who wrote primarily in the Konkani language, though he also wrote in Marathi and Hindi.[3] A Gandhian activist, freedom fighter and a pioneer in the modern Konkani movement, he is a well known Konkani scholar, linguist, and creative thinker. Kelkar was a participant in the Indian freedom movement, Goa’s liberation movement, and later the campaign against the merger of the newly-formed Goa with Maharashtra. He played a key role in the founding of the Konkani Bhasha Mandal, which lead the literary campaign for the recognition of Konkani as a full-fledged language, and its reinstatement as the state language of Goa.[4] He authored nearly 100 books in the Konkani language, including Amchi Bhas Konkaneech, Shalent Konkani Kityak, Bahu-bhashik Bharatant Bhashenche Samajshastra and Himalayant, and also edited Jaag magazine for more than two decades.

Kelekar died at Apollo Hospital at Margao, Goa at around 11.30 am on Friday August 27. He was 85.[3][5][not in citation given] His remains were cremated with State honours at his native village of Priol.[2]

Kelekar received the Padma Bhushan (2008),[6][7] the Gomant Sharada Award of Kala Academy,[7] the Sahitya Akademi Award (1976),[8] and the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship (2007)—the highest award of the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters.[9] He also received the 2006 Jnanpith Award,[10] the first ever awarded to an author writing in the Konkani language,[1] which was presented in July 2010.[11

Kelekar was born on March 25, 1925, in the city of Cuncolim in South Goa.[1] His father, Dr Rajaram Kelekar, was a physician who later became renowned for his Portuguese translation of the Bhagwad Gita.[7] While still a student at the Lyceum High School in Panaji, Kelekar joined the Goa liberation movement in 1946. This brought him in close contact with several local and national leaders, including Ram Manohar Lohia, under whose...
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