In his presentation ‘The Secret History of the Konkani Language’ that draws from his doctoral research, Jason suggested that there is more to the history of the Konkani language than that which meets the eye. He proposed that there is in fact a secret history of the Konkani language that is unknown to most votaries of the Konkani language. Knowledge of this history helped us overturn the most basic assumptions of the language and cause us to fundamentally rethink our positions vis-à-vis Konkani, as well as the relations between Marathi and Konkani. The presentation analysed the role of personal agendas, caste movements, strategies for colonial autonomy and events in colonial Goa and British India, especially the city of Bombay, besides the role of persons such as Cunha Rivara, Msgr. Dalgado, Jose Gerson da Cunha, and Varde Valaulikar who played a role in determining the nature of Konkani language politics in contemporary Goa. The failure to understand these politics has led to much of the confusion that marks contemporary battles about Konkani scripts and also the Konkani-Marathi debates.
Jason Keith Fernandes was recently awarded a Ph.D. for his doctoral thesis titled Citizenship Experiences of Goan Catholics. The thesis studies the ongoing debate around the demand for recognition of Konkani in the Roman script.