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How Portuguese ruled Goa till 1961 & it's integration with India

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

Goa used to be the territory controlled by the Portuguese even after India got independent in 1947 from the British Raj. It is one of the smallest state in India and known for its beaches, architectural monuments, seafood, amazing nightlife and many more. It is one of the most beautiful south western coast of India within the Konkan region.

Image source - Internet

History of Goa

  • In second century CE, it was governed by the Kadamba dynasty till 1312, and from 1312 to 1367, it was ruled by Deccan-invading Muslims.

  • Then the Bahman sultanate seized the city and established Old Goa on the island in 1440, later on the city was captured by the Hindu state of Vijayanagar.

  • Then it was a Portuguese colony from 1510 until 1961. Afonso de Albuquerque captured the little coastal region.

  • Goa later became the capital of the Portuguese empire throughout Asia. There rule lasted for 450years.

  • Later In 1683, Mughal force rescued it from Maratha invaders, and in 1739, the entire colony was once more invaded by the Marathas.

  • The unannounced arrival of a new Portuguese viceroy with a navy prevented it from being taken over.

  • when later the Napolean invaded the Portugal in Europe the British partially occupied the settlement in 1809.

Major events in Goa during the 19th century

  • Governorship of Count de Torres Novas, he started many improvements, and then the military uprisings of the second half of the century.

  • The revolt on September 3, 1895 was the most prominent and required the mobilisation of an invading force from Portugal.

  • Affonso Henriques, duque de Oporto used governor’s power till may 1896.

  • After India got independence in 1947, it claimed Goa in 1948 and 1949 and Portuguese were under pressure to handover Goa to India.

  • In 1950 Indian government asked Portugal for negotiation and their future but Portuguese disagreed and they had no rights over Goa as it became a Portuguese colony when India wasn’t even republic.

  • Marcello Mathias, the Portuguese ambassador to France, and António de Oliveira Salazar, the Portuguese prime minister, pushed for a Goa vote to decide the status of the region in 1956. The defence and foreign affairs ministers, however, rejected this suggestion as it didnt made sense to have a Portuguese colony when the era of colonialism have already ended in 1940's.

  • General Humberto Delgado, a contender for president in 1957, repeated his call for a referendum but there was no idea of it, even the Portuguese knew.

  • John Kenneth Galbraith, the US ambassador to India, also urged the Indian authorities to settle the dispute calmly by negotiation and compromise rather than by resorting to force, just they do in any dispute (first negotiate and then sell arms themselves). But the Indian government even warned Portuguese of the armed action before.

The Final Conflict

  • The bottleneck was the Sabarmati incident which took place on 24th November 1961, where the boat with the passenger was fired by the Portugal army, this angered the Indian citizens which ultimately supported the armed action.

  • Following the events and the resistance of people of Goa and- seeing the unusual rule of Portuguese, on 10th December prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru told to the press "Continuance of Goa under Portuguese rule is impossibility".

  • It started with the military conflict in 1961 December. It was known as “Liberation of Goa”. Alongside Dadra and Nagar Haveli(another Union territory of India) was declared Independent. The Salazar Dictatorship of Portugal disagreed to leave.

  • On December 18, Indian marines led by Lieutenant Arun Auditto attacked the island of Anjidiv and engaged the Portuguese garrison while being covered by artillery fire from the ships. India won and the Portuguese were defeated.

Off the coast of the Indian state of Karnataka sits the Portuguese-era island of Anjidiv, which was then all but abandoned and belong to the Goa District. A unit of Goan Troops from the Portuguese Army guarded the historic Anjidiv Fort, which was located on the island.

After the Conflict.

  • Indian army code named the military conflict as “Operation Vijay”.

  • The conflict lasted for 36 hours via air, water, land.

  • The Portuguese also requested to UN council about the situation of Goa.

  • By the end of 18th December, Indian army took Goa and ceremony for the official surrender of Portuguese took place on 19tyh December.

  • In 1961 Goa was placed under military rule, with Kunhiraman Palat Candeth operating as lieutenant governor.

  • India's sovereignty was acknowledged by Portugal in 1974 through a treaty with retroactive application.

  • It is also said that the India should not have invaded Goa back then.

As per Sharon Korman, the self-determination principle may allow the norm to be bent to fit the new reality, but it will not alter the fact that the initial invasion was unconstitutional in the first place.

30th May 1987 Goa became the 25th state of India and Daman and Diu remaining a union territory.

By our member - Himanshi Upadhyay (Become member now and get a chance to feature, click here)




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