Dr. Manoharrai Sardesai is a Konkani and French poet/writer from Goa, India. He earned his Docteur des Lettres Françaises for his thesis “L’image de l’Inde en France”. He has been credited for an upsurge of modern Konkani poetry. Sardesai died in 2006.
Dr. Manoharrai Sardesai was born on 18 January 1925. He obtained a First Class First in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Bombay in 1947. He successfully completed his Master of Arts, also with the First Class First in French and in Marathi from the same University in 1949. He obtained his Doctorate in French Literature in 1958 from the Sorbonne University, Paris and taught French in several colleges in Bombay at the University of Bombay and at the Goa University.
He was son of the eminent short story writer Lakshmanrao Sardesai. Being surrounded by books it is no wonder that he started wielding the pen at an early age and was known for his poems in Konkani, which go straight to the heart of the reader.
Dr. Sardesai has broadcast songs, poems, talks, plays and features for All India Radio – Panaji, Goa, Bombay, Pune for Doordarshan – Bambay; and for TV – Paris. He has travelled all over Europe and India and has written in Konkani, English, French, Portuguese and Marathi.
He was a member of the executive board, Sahitya Academy, representing Konkani, and also wrote for the National Book Trust of India. Notable collections of his poems are Ayj re dholar podli bodi(1961), Goema tujya mogakhatir (1964), Jayat jage (1964), Jay punnyabhui, jai Bharat (1965), Bebyachem kazar (1965), Jayo juyo (1970) and Pisollim (1979). He has also edited an anthology of poems for the Sahitya Akademi, Delhi and published several works of prose, drama and children’s literature.
He has translated many works from French into Konkani. The translations of “La Vie de Vivekananda” by Romain Rolland in 1994 (Vivekananda) and “Les Mots” by Jean-Paul Sartrein 2000 (“Utram”), comprise some of his works. He also produced the Konkani – English Dictionary in 2004. Dr. Sardesai was also the Chief Editor of the four-volume Konkani Encyclopaedia published by the Goa University.
Awards and Honours
The French Government honored him in 1988 with the title “Chevalier de L’Ordre des Palmes Academiques” for his services in the spread of the French language and culture. Dr. Sardesai has also won many awards for his literary contributions and in the teaching profession. Most notable among the awards is the one from the Sahitya Akademi, Delhi for Pisollim.
He chaired the 8th Session of the All India Konkani Parishad which was held at Margao, Goa on 26 & 27 May 1962 – the first of its kind after Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule on 19 December 1961 and later became president of Konkani Bhasha Mandal, Goa.
He was also a life member of “Alliance Francaise de Goa” and Founder President of the University Teachers’ Association, Goa. (Source)