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Some Prominent Konkani Men and Women

First Online: April 22, 2005
Page Last Updated: May 09, 2017

The North American Konkani Association, as part of their "Remembering our past; Looking to our future" program, asked me to assist in compiling a list of some prominent Konkanis of 20th century. 

Listed in alphabetical order of the names they are commonly referred to:

  • A.V. Baliga -- Distinguished Surgeon and Philanthropist
  • A.V. Shankar Rao -- (a.k.a  Bhavanimam, 1893-1966) -- Founded Canara Union Co-operative Society
  • Ammembal Dinakar Rao -- (1909-1990) Composer of Hindustani Classical Music
  • Ammembal Subba Rao Pai -- Educationist, Philanthropist, and  founder of Canara Bank
  • Ammembal Narayan Pai (Late)-- Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court and Chairman of Pai commission which established highest scale salary for teachers and clerks in India
  • Ammembal Vithal Pai -- Once the senior most civil servant (ICS) who was the Home Secretary of India. (brother of Ammembal N. Pai)
  • Anant Nag
  • Ananth Pai, known as "Pai Uncle", the creator of Amar Chitra Katha series of Indian comics
  • Anuradha Paudwal
  • Arvind Savoor -- Acclaimed Billiards player
  • Asha Bhonsle
  • B.B. Borkar (Baki Borkar)-- Poet in Konkani. Well known in Marathi as well.
  • B.V. Baliga -- Editor of Konkani monthly "Panchkadayi"
  • B.V. Nadkarni
  • Babuti Nayak -- Konkani dramatist and poet of Hosad village
  • Bal Mundkur -- Creative advertisement guru
  • Basti Pundalik Shenaoy -- Writer and historian of Konkani Language, from town of Bantwal.
  • Basti Vaman Shenoy -- President of All India Konkani Parishad; organized world Konkani conference(1995) and All India Saraswat Conference
  • Bantwal Madhav Shenoy -- Founder Mangalore Ganesha Beedies
  • Benegal Narasimha Rao
  • Benegal Rama Rao
  • Bidaram Krishnappa-- Karnataka vocalist court musician of Mysore
  • Bhadragiri Achyut Das-- Outstanding Keertankar
  • Bhadragiri KeshavDas (Late) -- Outstanding Keertankar
  • Bhaskar Ramdas Shetty -- Konkani Poet and Translator
  • Cha.Fra.D'Costa -- Distinguished poet
  • Chandrabharga Devi (Late)-- Bharatanatyam dancer. Daughter of  Padukone Ramananda Rao, well known essayist and humor writer in Kannada. He was the Professor of English and translated many English classics into Kannada.
  • Chandrakala S.Kamat -- Novelist in Malayalam, one of her novels Rugma (with Konkani themes), was also made into a Malayalam movie with the same name. 
  • Chandrakant Kini -- Short story writer in Konkani
  • Chidanand Nagarkar
  • Cochin Anantha Bhatt -- Playback singer and Konkani lyricist
  • D.R. Mankekar (Late) -- Writer and Political commentator
  • Damodar Chittal -- Leading advocate and worked for Konkani revival known for organizing capacity
  • Damodar Mavjo Goa -- Central Sahitya Academy Award winner for his Konkani novel Carmelin
  • Damodar B. Kosambi -- Historian, Mathematician and great thinker
  • Dayanand Nadkarni -- Freedom Fighter, and right hand man of Dinkar Desai
  • Devendra Murdeshwar
  • Dinakar Desai -- Educationist, poet and environmentalist
  • Dinkar Kaikini
  • Dinkar Ramrao Kowshik -- Professor of art, sculpture, and an educationist at Shanitiniketan.
  • Durga Khote -- First lady of Indian silver screen. Acted with all distinguished actors of the country of her time
  • Eric Ozario -- Heads Karnataka Konkani Academy. Runs a cultural organization " Sohan Mand"
  • G.N. Kundaje
  • G. R. Pandit -- Community leader, Rotarian, and enterpreneur who represented Mangalore as MLA in the 1950s. With brother Dattatraya Pandit, ran a Mangalore Tile Factory.
  • Gangadhar Chittal --  Frontline modern poet in Kannada
  • George Fernandes
  • George M Moraes (Late) -- Distinguished historian, authority on history of Christianity in India
  • Girish Karnad
  • Gourish Kaikini -- Sanskrit and Kannada scholar of Gokarn
  • Guru Dutt P. -- Well known cinema artist who died in 1967
  • H. Taranath Rao
  • H.V.Kamath (Late) -- Outstanding parliamentarian, gave up a cushy job to follow freedom struggle was a household name in Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh) from where he contested
  • Haldipur -- Governor of Nagaland
  • Hari Sharma A.D. -- noted Malayalam litterateur
  • Hasyagar Balgopal  (S.R. Balgopal) -- talented actor, comedian, photographer, and director of Mangalore.
  • Hema Naik -- Konkani novelist and poet
  • Hiriyadka Ramaraya Mallya -- freedom fighter of India
  • Isha Koppikar
  • Janardhan Ram Bhat -- Educationist who went to Sri Lanka and published many children's books there, before returning. Writer of the book "Ceylon: A Second South Africa".
  • Jayant Kaikini -- Writer, T.V. anchor, poet (Kannada)
  • Jayanti Naik -- Editor of several collections of folk songs of Goa
  • Jayawant Dalvi -- Marathi writer
  • Jeppu Satish Rao
  • Jitendra Abhisheki
  • Joachim Alva -- Representative for North Kanara (Father-in-law of Margaret Alva)
  • K. G. Ambegaonkar -- Economist who served as the Governor of Reserve Bank of India
  • K.K. Pai -- Chairman of Manipal Educational Institutions and President of T.M.A. Pai Foundation
  • K.N.Pai (Late)-- Distinguished surgeon at Sri Chitira Thirunal Hospital at Trivandrum.
  • K.V. Kamath -- Leading banker who took ICCI Bank to great heights.
  • Kalpana Lajmi -- Film maker
  • Kamaladevi Chattopadhaya
  • Kasturi Mohan Pai -- Cardiologist, Educationalist
  • Karnad Sadashiv Rao
  • Kausalya Manjeshwar
  • Kogga Kamath, a puppeteer enacting Yakshagna through puppets.
  • Krishna Kalle -- playback singer
  • Kudpi Srinivas Shenoy - pioneer hotelier
  • Kusuma Sorab -- Environmentalist and social worker
  • Lalith Rao -- Hindustani musician. First lady engineer in India who did doctorate
  • Lalita Lajmi -- Painter and Film Maker (mother of Kalpana Lajmi)
  • Lalita Shivram Ubhaykar -- Hindustani Vocalist
  • Lata Mangeshkar
  • Leena Chandavarkar
  • M. Govind Pai
  • M.R. Pai -- Champion of consumerism in India
  • M.S. Kamath --Vocal musician, popular for devotional songs (bhaktigeet)
  • M.N. Kamath --(1883-1940): Pioneer in starting Kannada journal in South Kanara; wrote devotional songs and lyrics and song stories, popular teacher
  • M.V.Kamath -- popular columnist and a former editor of Illustrated Weekly of India
  • M.V. Nadkarni -- Distinguished economist and founder, Vice Chancellor of Gulbarga University and Director of Center for Socio Economic field
  • M.R.Telang -- (1859-1949): Musician, painter and Sanskrit scolar. Staunch Congressman and freedom fighter. Donated his huge library to Kumta college
  • Mahabaleshwar Sail -- Konkani Novelist and Central Academy Award winner
  • Mangesh Padgaonkar -- Distinguished Marathi poet and Padma Bhushan awardee.
  • Manohar Malgaonkar -- Distinguished Indo-Anglian writer
  • Manohar Rai Sardesai --  Konkani Poet
  • Margaret Alva -- Political leader
  • Mario Miranda -- Popular Cartoonist
  • Maya Balse -- Writer and Columnist
  • Maya Kamath -- Lady cartoonist of international fame
  • Maya Rao -- Founder of Natya Institute of Choreography and an accomplished dancer
  • Milind Chittal -- Accomplished Hindustani Classical Vocalist (son of  Yeshwant Chittal)
  • Mohan Nadkarni --  Music critic and music consultant with Times of India
  • Mohan Vernekar -- Writer and dot-portrait artist (his work "chukki chitragalli Shatasahitya pratibhe" is well known)
  • Murli Manohar Shukla
  • N. Purushottam Mallaya -President of Kerala Konkani Sahitya Parishad and author
  • Na. D'Souza -- Kannada writer
  • Nagesh Sonde -- (Mumbai)Profound scholar of Sanskrit, Marathi and Konkani languages, has translated several Sanskrit classics in Konkanis and written history of Konkani language
  • Nalkur Shripad Rao -- Industrialist, Founder of PCI of India (Pest Control of India)
  • Nandan Kagal (Late) -- Writer and Political commentator quite familiar to English readers in 1960-1970's
  • Nandan Nilekini -- Co-founder and currently CEO of Infosys
  • Narayan Ganesh Chandavarkar -- President of Indian National Congress in 1900, author of "Saraswat Families" a book  dealing with family history, collected Konkani sayings, idioms and lullabies. First Indian High Court Judge and Diwan of Indore State.
  • Nath Pai -- Freedom Fighter and socialist leader
  • Nileshwar Narayan Pai, former Chairman of Corporation Bank and IDBI. He was the first Gold Medalist in the Charter Accounting exam when it was introduced.
  • Nityanand Haldipur
  • Olivino J F Gomes -- Professor of Konkani Goa University, established researcher on origin and development of Konkani language
  • Omkar Gulvady
  • P.L. Deshpande (Late)-- Distinguished writer, playwright, essayist in Marathi (Pu. La. Deshpande)
  • Padma Hejmady D'souza --Well known novelist and columnist
  • Panje Mangesh Rao
  • Pandit Taranath (Late)-- Physician, freedom fighter, writer, Musician
  • Prakash Padukone -- Badminton player who won All England Championship
  • Pundalik Nai -- President Goa Konkani Sahitya academy distinguished playwright and poet
  • Purushottam Mangesh La -- Scholar of Sanskrit, Pali and Marathi languages
  • Puttur Narasimha Nayak -- Devotional singer in Kannada,Konkani, and Tulu languages
  • R.K. Prabhu -- Gandhian writer and founder of Bombay Chronicle
  • R.N. Kamat -- Entrepreneur and social worker
  • R.N. Saletore -- Historian and Researcher
  • R.V. Deshpande -- Political leader and served as a co-operation minister of India
  • Rajani Pai  --Wife of Dr. S. Ashok Pai (husband and wife team of Shimoga
  • Rajeev Taranath -- Great Sarod Artist, Writer and Polyglot
  • Ramachandra Sharma -- Vedic scholar who wrote grammar of Samaveda
  • Ramdas Kamat
  • Ramesh Kamath -- Konkani writer, Producer and director of Konkani movie "Jana Mana".
  • Ramesh Nadkarni -- Musician of Bhendi Bazar Gharana
  • Ramesh Prabhu -- served as a Mayor of Mumbai
  • Ramesh Rao (Late) -- National Professor of zoology and researcher of international fame
  • Rangappa Kamat (Late) --Established chain of restaurants in India (Kamat Group of Hotels)
  • Ravi Bellare
  • Ravindra Kelekar -- Konkani writer who was honored with Padma Bhusan award.
  • Renjal Gopalakrishna Shenoy, celebrated fine artist and sculptor
  • Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar --(1893-1924):Great Sanskrit scholar, member of German Oriental Society honored by Doctorate of Gottingen University
  • Ravindra Kelka-- Konkani poet, writer and central Academy Award winner (Goa)
  • Remo Fernades -- Singer and music director
  • Rohidas N. Shet -- Writer in Kannada and Konkani languages, a translator and educationist.
  • S. Ashok Pai --  Noted psychiatrist and social worker. Runs 'Manasa' institute for the mentally challenged. His movie "Kadina Benki" won him national and state awards.
  • S.C.R. Bhat
  • S.M.Krishna Rao-- Kannada and Konkani writer, has translated several works in both languages
  • S.P.Acharya-- Founder of Acharya Chemicals; Sole producer of Tetracycline and other chemicals
  • S.S. Talmaki -- Foremost leader in India in Co-operative Society movement/ Founder of first Co-op Housing Society in the whole of Asia
  • S.V. Pikle -- Industrialist
  • Sadanand Naimpalli
  • Sadyojata Shankarashram Swamiji of Chitrapur Math --Spiritual head of Konkani speaking community
  • Sandhya Pai -- Editor of Taranga group of periodicals
  • Santosh Kumar Gulvady -- Writer and a former editor of Taranga weekly
  • Sashi Bellare
  • Seshagiri Prabhu -- credited with writing the modern grammar of Malayalam titled "Sahitya Kushala"
  • Shamrao Vitthal Kaikini -- Founder of first Co-operative bank in India
  • Shankar Nag
  • Shankar Rao Gulvadi -- Outstanding Keertankar
  • Shashikala Manjeshwar
  • Sheshgiri Narayan Keshwain -- Freedom fighter and social reformer of Sirsi who stopped animal sacrifices at Marikamba temple.
  • Shyam Benegal -- Director of artistic movies such as Ankur, Bhumika, and series Bharat-Ek-Khoj.
  • Soumitra M. Katre (Late) -- Internationally acclaimed authority in Linguistics
  • Subrao.A.Kasarkod -- A leader of Rotary club who established the Rotary Hospital in Sirsi
  • Sudha Rao -- Vice chancellor of Karnataka State Open University Mysore
  • Sudhindra Teerth Swamiji of Kashimath: Spiritual head of Konkani speaking community
  • Suman Kalyanpur
  • Suresh Prabhu -- Director of Saraswat Co-operative Bank Maharashtra, Served as a minister in A.B.Vajpayee's cabinet
  • Surkund Annaji Rao -- Konkani playwright and poet. He also staged Konkani Yakshagana
  • Suryanath Kamath
  • Sushila  T. Bhatt -- Konkani novelist and publisher of Konkani periodical "Konkani Janata" from Cochin.
  • Susheela Thombat (Susheela Rani Babu Rao Patel-- Cinema artist of 1940's and Renowned Hindustani Classical Singer
  • Tara Chandavarkar -- Industrialist
  • Taranath Shenoy -- The deaf swimmer who swam the English Channel in 1984
  • Timmappa Shrinivas Naik -- Gandhian an Freedom fighter
  • Thuravoor Madhava Pai -- noted Malayalam litterateur
  • Tonse Ananth Pai (T.A. Pai)
  • Tonse Madhav Ananth Pai (T.M.A. Pai)
  • Tonse Madhav Pai (T.M. Pai)
  • T.V.R. Shenoy -- popular political columnist
  • U.S.Krishna Rao (Late)--:Bharatanatyam dancer
  • Uday Bhembre -- Ex-President Goa Sahitya Academy; distinguished writer
  • Uday Jadugar -- Famous Magician and talented photographer
  • Uday K. Prabhu -- Athlete and winner of Dhyan Chand award for sports
  • Ullal Ratnaker Rao (Mallya) -- Co-founder of Bombay Chronicle, United Asia Magazine, and a Gandhian writer.
  • Ullal Srinivas Mallya -- Eminent Congressman and freedom fighter
  • Upendra Bhat -- Vocalist, singer of Devotional and Hindustani classical music
  • V.G. Karnad
  • V.N.Kudva -- Author of well researched book on Dakshinatya Sarswats
  • V.S.Sonde -- Chairman of Sirsi Urban Co-op Bank (Grandson of Keshwari, founder of Sirsi Urban Coop Bank)
  • Vijay Mallya
  • Vishnudas Shirali
  • Vaman Rao Hodke -- Sarvodaya Leader and Freedom Fighter
  • Vasudev Narasimha O'key -- (1917-1998) very talented artist and photographer who worked behind the scenes during India's freedom struggle and socialist movements. Many of the portraits of Indian leaders were in fact, were drawn by him.
  • Vidyadhiraja Teerth Swamiji of Gokarn Partakali Math --Spiritual head of Konkani speaking community
  • Vimala Patil -- Distinguished journalist, served over years as the editor of " Femina" fortnightly
  • Violet Alwa -- : Editor of 'Forum' was a distinguished journalist (Mother-in-law of Margret Alva)
  • Vitthal Rao Hodke-- Gandhian, Sarvodaya Leader and Freedom Fighter
  • Vitthal Venkatesh Kamat -- Owner of Orchid chain of hotels in India and Europe. Author of "Idli, Orchid and Willpower"; popularized Idli in Europe
  • Yashodhara Bhat -- Playwright  and essayist; younger sister of Chandrabhaga Devi the dancer
  • Yashwant Chittal -- Leading Kannada novelist and short story writer

List incomplete. Please suggest additions to Contact Kamats

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