Highlights

19 December observed as a Goa Liberation day every year in India. Goa Liberation Day is celebrated to mark the victory of Indian armed forces to free Goa from 450 years of the Portuguese rule.

Backdrop

The Portuguese colonized several parts of India in the year 1510. However, by the end of 19th century their colonies were limited to Nagar Haveli, Daman, Dadra, Goa, Diu.

After India’s independence from the Britishers in the year 1947, Goa was still under the Portuguese. The Portuguese refused to give up Goa and other Indian territories. The independent India decided to launch a military intervention following an unsuccessful negotiation and diplomatic efforts with the Portuguese. India had also taken the issue to UN. India was reluctant to put pressure over the issue as Portugal was a member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

On 18th December 1961, India launched a 36-hour military operation called Operation Vijay. This operation involved attacks by Indian Army, Air Force and Navy.

India reclaimed the Goan territories on 19th December 1961. The then Governor of Goa Manuel Antonio Vassalo e Silva signed the certificate of surrender bringing the Portuguese rule to an end.

About Goa Liberation movement

The Goa Liberation movement was built on small-scale uprisings in the 19th Century. It grew powerful between the 1940 to 1951. The Goans resented the Portuguese rule for their brutal policies and relentless government campaigns to convert Hindu Goans into Christianity. Despite 14 revolts, none of the uprisings were successful.

Goa

The Usgalimal Rock Engravings in Goa exhibit that people had settled in the region during the upper Paleolithic or Mesolithic periods. During the Iron Age Goa was ruled by Mauryan and Satavahana Empire. During the medieval period Goa was ruled by Kadamba Kingdom, Vijayanagara Kingdom (1336), Bahmani Sultanate (1347) and Bijapur Sultanate (1489 to 1686). Goa was invaded by the Portuguese during the rule of Bijapur Sultanate.

Goa was granted statehood in the year 1987. The Goa Statehood Day is celebrated on 30th May.

19 December Goa Liberation Day