Tanaji Halarnkar (? – October 19, 2020) was a Konkani scholar, columnist and former editor of the Konkani Encyclopedia (Konknni Vishwakosh). Halarnkar played a prominent role in the pro-Konkani language agitation in the Goa of the 1980s, and also in the wider movement for the promotion of the Konkani language in Goa and other parts of western coastal India.
Following his death in October 2020, the Times of India credited him with having spent "12 years of his life in [the] preparation of the Konkani encyclopedia". The Konkani Encyclopedia was later donated to the public domain under a Creative Commons license by the Goa University. It was published in four volumes, and is now available online too.
The Times of India commented:
Halarnkar also helped develop scientific and technical terminology in the Konkani language, a task undertaken by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development's Administrative Terminology Commission. This was seen as particularly important after Konkani in the Devanagari script was granted official-language status in Goa and speedily needed to cope with the challenging demands of being used in the administration.
Wikimedia notes that the Konkani Vishwakosh is a four-volume hard copy encyclopedia—totalling in all 3632 pages—that has been published by the Goa University. The work took some 14 years to complete. It encompasses the world's information in a nutshell with special emphasis and detailed information on Goa, Konkani, Goan culture, folklore, history, geography etc. The encyclopedia is written in Konkani. The Vishwakosh has served "as a primary source of information and one of the most important documented texts for a community of nearly 2.5 million Konkani speakers spread across India and worldwide". It has also been used as the base for many articles in the Konkani Wikipedia.
The Konkani Vishwakosh was initiated by the poet-laureate and former Goa University professor ManoharRai SarDessai. Following his passing, the initiative was lead by Tanaji Halarnkar. Goa University staff Ranjan Naik, Kalpana Naik, Kanchan Mordekar, Surekha Naik, Mukesh Thali and Shailendra Mehta also contributed to the compilation process of this encyclopedia.
He died on October 19, 2020 in Goa, at the age of 77.
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