The early years of Konkani newsprint in Bombay are the years during which language was thrust in the role of furnishing a modern subject. This phenomenon was achieved as speakers renegotiated their pace in language, by positing their language/speech (amchi bhas) as something that could be talked about but only as one’s own, as a place to which t he speaker already belonged. It was what allowed them to hurl it in defiance against the censorious comments of those who wrote in Portuguese, and it also allowed them to turn it to good use, producing print that escorted a community through the rites of modernity and assisted its entry into new kinds of employment, new homes and new kinds of time.
Dr. Rochelle Pinto is a visiting Fellow at the Centre for the study of Developing Societies. She has taught at the University of Delhi and at the Centre for the study of Culture and Society, Bangalore. Her book “Between Empires – print and politics in Goa” was published by Oxford Press in 2007.