Visit this exhibition to know about Goa's oldest Modi-Marathi documents

The Department of Archives, Goa, is hosting a special exhibition of documents in the Modi-Marathi script, from October 10, 2022 to October 16, 2022 at Sanskruti Bhavan, Panjim
Minister for Archives, Subhash Phal Desai at the inaugural of the exhibition.
Minister for Archives, Subhash Phal Desai at the inaugural of the exhibition. Picture Courtesy: Rohan Fernandes

The Department of Archives is hosting a special exhibition on Modi-Marathi documents till October 16, 2022 at Sanskruti Bhavan, Patto, Panjim. These documents date back to the 16th and 17th century, and give insights into Goa's rulers of the past.

Transcriber of records at the Department of Archives, Girish Gurunath Mavlankar, who translated these documents says, "Modi is quiet an interesting script. It is usually written without any break or space; in a continuous manner."

Transcriber of records at the Department of Archives, Girish Gurunath Mavlankar.
Transcriber of records at the Department of Archives, Girish Gurunath Mavlankar.Picture Courtesy: Rohan Fernandes

In order to understand Modi script, one needs to be very aware of what the sentence is trying to convey. "As there are no spaces, it is important to know and understand where the sentences break, and where there can be space," he says.

Mavlankar, who hails from Dhargal-Pednem, says that the script came into use around the 16th century, during the rule of Shivaji Bhosle. "We found this script being used by the Peshwas, Barves, Sonda."

Another interesting aspect about the exhibition is that the documents have dates, written in the Persian style. "You can find details about events, apologies, alarms signaling the arrival of a ships etc," written in these documents," mentions Mavlankar.

Minister for Archives, Subhash Phal Desai who was present at the inaugural said that these documents will be soon digitalized, which will help to protect them from posterity.

Minister for Archives, Subhash Phal Desai at the inaugural of the exhibition.
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Exhibits

The exhibition has over 30 boards containing photographs of original script documents, along with translations. In one of these, there is a letter, written by Zalba Rane Sardesai, of Sakhali, to the Portuguese authorities about the position of Bhosale's army, which was planning to attack Sakhali. This gives an idea of how Zalba Rane Sardesai worked in accordance with the Portuguese.

There is also a letter in which Ramchandra Malhar informs the Secretary of the state at Goa, Luis A Dantas, that the village of Kavle has been given to the Shantadurga Temple, and the wards of Mardol and Mangueshi to Goddess Mhalsa and Lord Manguesh, respectively, as inam. He also requests him to ask the Viceroy that Narve be given as inam to Saptakoteshwar temple.

The boards containing photographs of original script documents, along with translations.
The boards containing photographs of original script documents, along with translations.

Through the exhibits, not only can one gain an understanding of the style in which Modi documents were written, but also learn interesting stories about history.

Minister for Archives, Subhash Phal Desai at the inaugural of the exhibition.
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