Eminent Konkani writer Damodar Mauzo has been conferred with the 57th Jnanpith Award on Tuesday, December 7, making him the second Konkani writer to win the honour.
The Konkani novelist has a writing career extending over five decades, spanning short stories, novels, criticism, journalism and screenplays
On winning the Jnanpith, Mauzo said, "I had never imagined about it. I got a call and got to know that I have received a certain award. What Jnanpith Award means I don't have to tell you, but the first thing that came to my mind when they are are some many writers out there but still my name was selected for this award. Many other writers who have not got this award, on behalf of them, I receive this award."
The Sahitya Akademi award winning Konkani author said that this award is a recognation of Konkani Langangue. "This is Goa's second award. Getting two awards for a language that was suppressed before liberation is a great mark. I am happy about it. There are so many Konkani writers who should get this award, but I feel honoured and appreciate it," he said.
Mauzo has received many other literary and cultural prizes but he has always considered himself as 'poet first'. "I always think I am a poet and poetry comes naturally to me. I can write poetry spontaneously, Just because I write a novel that doesn't mean I become a novelist, I will be a poet only is what I think. Other formats like essays and all are written according to the need of the hour But the poetry comes from within me."
The Jnanpith Award is a literary award presented by the Bharatiya Jnanpith organization to Indian writers every year. This was instituted in 1961 and is given only to Indian writers who write in Indian languages and English.