The day India freed Goa from Portuguese rule


A fisherman's demolished home in GoaSymbol copyright
Supriya Vohra

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Goa used to be liberated in 1961, 14 years after India was unbiased

Goa on India’s western coast used to be free of Portuguese rule on 19 December 1961, greater than 4 centuries after it used to be colonised.

The battle for freedom started within the 1940s as India inched nearer to independence from British rule. However Goa remained a Portuguese colony till 1961, straining members of the family between India and Portugal as the previous’s enhance for the anti-colonial motion in Goa grew. In 1955, India even imposed an financial blockade on Goa.

In 1961, the Indian military invaded the state after the Portuguese fired at Indian fishing boats, killing one fisherman.

After 36 hours of air, sea and land moves by way of the military, Normal Manuel Antonio Vassalo e Silva, governor basic of Goa, signed the “device of give up”, turning in Goan territory to India.

Supriya Vohra hears from Goans in regards to the days main as much as liberation.

Higino Emidio Rebelo, 71, hotelier

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Supriya Vohra

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Mr Rebelo used to be 14 when Goa used to be free of Portuguese rule

Vasco, the place we lived, used to be a buying and selling port. After the Indian govt imposed an financial blockade on Goa, our provisions could be imported from internationally – potatoes from the Netherlands, wine from Portugal, greens and rice from Pakistan, tea from Ceylon [now Sri Lanka], cement from Japan, metal from Belgium. They might arrive in Vasco after which commute to other portions of Goa.

I have in mind the morning of 17 December after we heard bridge used to be bombed [by Portuguese troops, to hinder the Indian army advance]. My father despatched us to my mom’s maiden house, 30km (19 miles) south of Vasco.

Once we returned some days later, we discovered that the Indian army had taken over our development.

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Goa Directorate of Archives and

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A Goan newspaper dated 20 Dec 1961. Maximum native papers didn’t submit between 17 and 20 December

The governor basic used to be a person of top notch persona. When he visited Goa in 1983, we felicitated him with open hands.

We Goans have all the time believed in an environment-friendly way of life and economic system. However issues have modified in the previous few years. There are plans to import extra coal into the state, which is able to reason extra air pollution. Our rivers are being nationalised to hold shipment. Nobody is towards building, however this is not growth.

Libia Lobo Sardesai, attorney

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Supriya Vohra

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The instant when the Portuguese had surrendered used to be the happiest second of my lifestyles, stated Mrs Sardesai

After India were given independence in 1947, I joined the Goan Adolescence League. I all the time had a hearth for Goa’s freedom in me. After 1955, because of the commercial blockade, Goans had no get entry to to any outdoor information or knowledge. It was crucial to show Portuguese propaganda thru a clandestine approach which took the form of an underground radio programme.

Vaman Sardesai [who she later married] and I began the station, broadcasting each and every morning and night in Portuguese and Konkani [the local language]. The Voice of Freedom station used to be run from forests bordering Goa between November 1955 and December 1961.

It boosted the morale of Goan other people.

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Libia Lobo Sardesai

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Vaman and Libia Sardesai ran an underground radio programme from 1955 to 1961

It used to be no longer a very simple lifestyles for us, however we have been dedicated to our reason. We didn’t understand how lengthy we must move on – all we knew used to be that we should stay giving Goans knowledge and inspiration.

The Portuguese military used to be no longer glad, and so they attempted to trace us down. Fortunately, they could not.

On 15 December 1961, India’s then defence minister, Krishna Menon, used our programme to ship a message to the Portuguese military to barter. We repeated the message each and every hour during tomorrow. The Indian military entered Goa after they won no reaction from the Portuguese.

Once I heard the scoop that the Portuguese had surrendered, it used to be the happiest second of my lifestyles.

I felt I should move up within the skies to announce Goa’s freedom from Portuguese rule after 450 years. Actually, we did that by way of losing leaflets and making bulletins whilst flying in a airplane over Goa for 2 hours.

Goa used to be liberated for growth. However nowadays, within the identify of growth, the state is being vandalised.

Damodar Mauzo, 73, creator

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Supriya Vohra

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Damodar Mauzo recalls staring at Indian troops unencumber Goa

When I used to be 12, I needed to carry out a spiritual rite at my house. We had pictures of nationwide leaders – Mahatma Gandhi, India’s first top minister Jawaharlal Nehru, independence chief Subhash Chandra Bose. There used to be additionally a photograph each and every of Buddha and Jesus Christ.

My father invited Portuguese officers stationed in my village. He used to be suggested by way of his pals to take away the pictures of Indian leaders as a result of he may well be suspected of being a nationalist. On the time, maximum Hindus have been regarded as nationalists, even though there have been many Christians preventing for Goa’s freedom.

My father stated: “I’ve dedicated no crime. I don’t believe they’ll object.” They got here and so they famous the pictures. They appeared glad that they might establish the leaders. I believe they noticed the photograph of Christ and idea how secular this circle of relatives is. However our friends and family have been worried.

I used to cycle to the within sight the city of Margao all over the “liberation days” as that used to be probably the most taking place position in southern Goa.

I used to be excited to peer the Indian military marching thru Margao’s streets. I used to be exhilarated to be an eyewitness to the ancient match.

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Supriya Vohra

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Many Goans are fearful in regards to the impact of fast building at the surroundings

I’ve observed how, all over the colonial days, the Portuguese had made a mockery of democracy and elections. Nowadays, we see issues have passed through an enormous transformation.

However frankly, all isn’t neatly. The indiscriminate use of land within the identify of building has impoverished the state. Mining has broken it. Nowadays, we see rising communal disharmony.

Supriya Vohra is an unbiased journalist primarily based in Goa.

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