However, this award should have gone to the celebrated Konkani poet, Dr Manoharrai Sardesai, long before me, he observed, lamenting that the Centre has taken cognisance of Konkani language and Konkani writers/ poets too late.
The well-known poets, R V Pandit and B B Borkar are two Konkani litterateurs who have earlier been awarded with Padma Shri.
The award is a recognition of Kelekar’s pioneering service in the resurgence of the Konkani language, and his eminence as a writer.
A multifaceted personality -- scholar, activist, linguist, and creative thinker -- Ravindra Kelekar was a active participant in the freedom movement of India, and later, Goa’s liberation movement.
A disciple of Kakasaheb Kalelkar, he dedicated his life for the preservation, propagation, promotion and strengthening of Konkani language by writing nearly 100 books in Konkani language and also edited ‘Jaag’ magazine for more than two decades.
He has already won many prestigious awards including Sahitya Akademi Award, the Gomant Sharada Award of Kala Academy and recently, the Fellowship of Sahitya Akademi.
The Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat congratulating Ravindra Kelekar has said that a towering personality in the field of Konkani literature and Konkani language itself, has been rightly awarded. “Ravindrabab fully deserves the award and I congratulate the Centre for announcing Padma Bhushan to him,” Mr Kamat remarked.
The Speaker, Mr Pratapsingh Rane said that he was immensely happy to hear the news of Mr Kelekar winning the award, while the leader of the opposition, Mr Manohar Parrikar said that the award should make each Goan proud as it has gone to a right person.
The noted writer, Maria Aurora Couto, reacting to the news said that Ravindrabab should have been awarded Padma Bhushan long ago. “His thoughts will prove to be a guiding light to the future generations,” she said.