Portuguese surrender to Indian troops 1961in Goa

PORTUGUESE Goa border with India
Goa liberation fighters remembered - KARNATAKA - The Hindu

 Portuguese India frontier - late 1950’s

The Forgotten Story of the Freedom Fighter Who Spent 14 Years in a Portuguese Prison

The Forgotten Story of the Freedom Fighter Who Spent 14 Years in a Portuguese Prison

While the rest of the country was aligning itself to fight the British, there was a movement in Goa as well to liberate itself from the Portuguese.


Photo Source: Jugnu Grewal Almeida

Besides the pristine beaches, finger-licking seafood, and the unending fun that Goa is all about, the state is also steeped in history and culture.

Goa and the Portuguese

The Portuguese rule in Goa began in 1498 and lasted for as long as 450 years. Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer landed in Calicut after setting off from Lisbon in 1498.

In 1510, when Goa was under the rule of Sultan Adil Shah of Bijapur, the Portuguese attacked the territory under the command of Alfonso de Albuquerque.

Since the Sultan was engaged with his forces elsewhere, the Portuguese were met with little resistence as their forces advanced.

On December 19, 1961, Goa was liberated from Portuguese colonial rule and integrated to the Indian Union by the Indian Armed Forces with little resistance
Photo Source

With this conquest, the Portuguese became the first Europeans to establish their rule on the Indian sub-continent.

It is no wonder that Goa is often referred to as the ‘Lisbon of the East’.

While the rest of the country was aligning itself to fight the British, there was a movement in Goa as well to liberate itself from the Portuguese.

Mohan Ranade and the Goa Liberation movement

Born in 1929 in Sangli, Maharastra, Ranade was a qualified lawyer, who was deeply inspired by leaders like G D Savarkar and V D Savarkar, who were both freedom fighters and nationalists.

To free Goa from the Portuguese rule, he joined the Azad Gomantak Dal.

Ranade entered Goa in the early 1950s, disguised as a Marathi teacher and got involved in covert activities against the Portuguese colonial regime.

He carried out armed attacks against Portuguese police posts, the last of which at Betim, in October 1955, led to his being injured and captured by the Portuguese.


Realising that a movement like the satyagraha wouldn’t help in Goa’s liberation, a different approach was undertaken.

Mohan Ranade
Photo Source

In a report published by the Nav Hindi Times, Ranade says, “We started gathering people and soon began our armed attacks against Portuguese police posts in Goa. We led an attack on Nagar Haveli on July 28, 1954, and liberated it on August 2. The successful annexation of Dadra and Nagar Haveli provided the liberation movement in Goa with renewed vigour and motivation to continue the liberation struggle. On August 15, 1954, hundreds of people crossed the Portuguese Goan borders, defying a ban by the Indian government on participating in satyagrahas.”

The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and essentially led to Ranade’s arrest was the attack on the Banastarim police station on January 1, 1955. This attack led to Ranade being sentenced to imprisonment for 26 years, of which he spent six in solitary confinement.

Despite various movements and leaders, including former Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, seeking Ranade’s release, nothing worked until January 25 1969, a day before India’s Republic Day, when he was released early.

It was in fact the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, C N Annadurai, who spoke to the Pope about Ranade’s imprisonment and sought his intervention.

CM Annadurai meeting the Pope
Photo Source

It was only after this that he was released.

After his release, Ranade came back to India and chose to live in Pune.

However, year on year, on two occasions Ranade makes sure he returns to Goa; June 18, which is celebrated as Revolution Day, and on December 19, which is Goa’s Liberation Day.

Mr and Mrs Ranade
Photo Source

While we celebrate and write about the various freedom fighters of our nation, here is one more name that we ought to remember.

(Edited by Shruti Singhal)

Mohan Ranade - Wikipedia

Mohan Ranade (25 December 1930 – 25 June 2019) was an Indian freedom fighter who participated in Goa liberation movement and spent fourteen years in Portuguese jail.
Date of death: June 25, 2019
Place of death: Pune
Place of birth: Sangli

Goa News |Economic blockade in '55 to 'Operation Vijay' in '61 liberated Goa  (By: ARCHANA SUBRAMANIAN, THE HINDU)

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Letter of surrender signed by Manuel António Vassalo e Silva to Kunhiraman Palat Candeth signifying the official surrender of Goa from Portuguese Rule
The armed action, codenamed Operation Vijay by Indian government, involved air, sea and land strikes for over 36 hours, and was a decisive victory for India, ending 451 years of Portuguese colonial rule in Goa. Thirty-four Indians and thirty-one Portuguese were killed in the fighting. The brief war drew a mixture of worldwide praise and condemnation. In India, the action was seen as a liberation of historically Indian territory, while Portugal viewed it as aggression against a long-held colonial possession.Newsletter. Issue 26. December 17, 2011

The Liberation of Goa
'Operation Vijay', when the Indian Army marched into Goa and liberated it on December 19, 1961 from the Portuguese rule, will be felicitated this month when the state celebrates 50 years of its independence.

In this special section displays links to articles on the Liberation.

Important Note: The statements, opinions, or views in the articles may not necessarily reflect that of the Goan Voice Canada.

To read more click on below list:
The Liberation Of Goa: 1961 –An Overview
Source: http://corvalliscommunitypages.com/asia_pacific/goa.htm

Goa remained a Portuguese colony after the British left India. The Portuguese refused to give up their colonies in-spite of repeated requests of India. The struggle was two fold. From within Goa and from the Indian Government outside Goa.

Even though the Portuguese assumed that India had renounced the use of force, both the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as well as the defense minister, Krishna Menon made it clear that India would not fail to resort to force as an option, if all diplomatic efforts to make the Portuguese give up Goa fail.

The Build Up

After years of Negotiation, in late 1961, The government decided to deploy the armed forces in an effort to evict the Portuguese out of Goa and other Enclaves. Accordingly in November 1961, India made preparations for the same. Lt. Gen. Chaudhari of the Southern Army deputed 17 Infantry Division under Major General K.P. Candeth along with the 50th Para Brigade. To carry out the occupation of Daman, one infantry battalion - 1st Maratha LI - was assigned. Two battalions, 20th Rajput and 4th Madras, were assigned the task of taking over Diu.

The Portuguese were suspected to have some supersonic interceptors initially. Later it was believed that though fighters were not based, they maintained a regular supply chain by air. Facing this modest and insignificant air threat was amassed a huge Indian Air Force detachment. India had by that time six Hunter squadrons and four Canberra squadrons as its latest additions to the Air Force.

The Indian Air Force was requested to provide support elements to this massive ground force. The AOC-in-C of the Western Air Command, Air Vice Marshal Erlic Pinto, was appointed theater commander of all air forces in the Goan Operations.

Pinto had his HQs in Poona, Looking after all the operations in Daman, Diu and Goa. One Tactical Air Center, the No.2 TAC, was allocated to the Goa Sector. This TAC under Air Commodore Shivdev Singh conducted operations in conjunction with HQ 17 Division. Operations in Daman were to be the responsibility of No.2 Wing and Diu was directly under the Armament Training Wing at Jamnagar.

The main staging airbases were Poona and Sambre. Poona hosted two Canberra Squadrons No.16 and No.35 along with a Hunter force from No.17 and No.37 Squadrons.

It was at Sambre that most of the air component concentrated in. Sambre was initially raised to fulfill the requirement of a Forward Base from which support could be extended to Goa. No.45 Squadron had their main detachment of 8 aircraft based there. No.17 had one detachment of Hunters for air defence. And Harvards, Otters and Mi-4 helicopters formed the communication and command duties.

Goa Operations

The build up to the operations started on 2 December 1961. Probing flights by some fighters and bombers were carried out on December 8th and 9th to lure and draw out any Portuguese air opposition that may have been there. A Vampire, from No.108 Squadron, flew a PR Mission over some strategic targets without encountering opposition. These baiting missions were flown right up to D-Day, trying to draw out the Portuguese Air Force, but to no avail.

Then on D-Day 18 December, the Army Chief had sent a directive for the air force to take out specific targets. Namely:
  1. Dabolim airfield to be made unusable but at the same time ensure the terminals & facilities are not damaged.
  2. The Wireless Station at Bambolim to be knocked out.
  3. Close support to the land forces.
  4. Denial of use of Diu and Daman airfields. However, these airfields are not to be attacked without Prior approval.
The first use of air power occurred on December 18th. No.35 Squadron sent in a massive wave of 12 Canberras led by the CO, Wg. Cdr. N.B. Menon to attack Dabolim. The Canberras dropped 63,000 lbs. of bombs within minutes, on the runway. The Canberra pilots took care not to bomb the Terminals and the ATC. Menon noticed the presence of two large transport aircraft in the dispersal area. One Super Constellation and one DC-6 aircraft were parked on the apron. However the Canberras left the aircraft alone.

A second raid by eight Canberras of No.16 Squadron led by Wg. Cdr. Surinder Singh dropped more bombs on the runway area. The Portuguese aircraft were again left untouched. By this time, it was assumed that the airfield was rendered unserviceable and these aircraft can be captured intact as they had no where to go. However the Portuguese pilots of these aircraft proved to be both foolhardy but brave. During nightfall, they managed to take off the aircraft from the still damaged airfield and made their getaway to Portugal.

Meanwhile six Hunters of No.17 Sqn led by the CO, Sqn. Ldr. Jayant Singh took off from Sambre and attacked the Wireless station at Bambolim. Attacking with a mixture of rockets and gun cannon ammunition, the station was soon left a smoldering wreck.

The Army requested close support now and then. And usually Vampires of No.45 flew Cabrank over the sector to respond to any call for the support. However Two Vampires of No.45 made a mistake when called by troops of the 50th Para Brigade. They fired rockets into the positions of the 2 Sikh LI Bn injuring two.

The Sikhs on the other hand got their own back and fired at an Unmarked Harvard flying from Sambre putting a couple of holes into the aircraft. These were the only two untoward incidents in the sector. Shortly before the surrender on the 19th, the Liberators of No.6 Sqn flew over Marmagao in a leaflet-dropping mission. Heralding the surrender of the Portuguese in this Sector.

Daman sector saw about 14 Sorties by Mysteres of No.1 Squadron flying from Santa Cruz. Flying in pairs of two, the Mysteres harassed Portuguese gun positions continuously throughout the day. The major air effort of the Goa Operations were directed at the smaller enclave of Diu. At the southern tip of the Kataiwar coast.

Diu Operations

The Nearest Airfield to Diu was the airbase at Jamnagar where the Armament training wing was located. ATW Jamnagar had clear instructions not to mount offensive action against the Diu airfield without clearance from the Advanced HQ of 20th Rajput, the battalion on the ground. However on the morning of 18th, contact could not be established with the ground forces and the CO, ATW decided to launch a strike against the airfield at around 1100 hours.

Four Toofanis armed with 1000 lbs. bombs took off from Jamnagar arriving over the Diu airfield in minutes. The leader of the Toofanis, noticed some white flags being waved from the area surrounding the airfield which he assumed as a sign of surrender. Added to the confusion was a garbled message received by the Toofani flight about, "the airfield is in our hands". Assuming the surrender had already taken place, the flight leader took the Toofanis over to the sea and jettisoned their bombs into the sea! It was only after returning to the base that they found out that no surrender took place. The white flags noticed near the airfield were actually Dhobies washings hung out in the open to dry!

Two Toofanis took off again at 1400 hours and bombed the intersection of the runways at Diu. Another four Toofanis followed up later on rocketing the control tower, wireless station and the meteorological station.

Meanwhile Poona had planned for a massive strike by two waves of 8 Canberras each to bomb the Diu airfield. But the proximity of ground troops near the airfield prevented the deployment and the raid was called off. Around the same time, four Vampires flying from Jamnagar over the sea near Diu, noticed a Fast Patrol Boat traveling out of the Diu harbour. Upon closer observation, the Vampires were fired at by the Boat. Fg. Off. P.M. Ramachandran - the lead pilot - immediately engaged with gunfire and rockets and sank the patrol boat. For this feat he received the Shaurya Chakra.

Diu received the maximum air effort of all the three theatres during the Goa operations. With nearly 67 sorties being flown by aircraft from Jamnagar and elsewhere. All expenditure of ammunition ceased by the end of the second day, the surrender had all but taken place formally.


Portuguese Governer, Manuel Anonia Vassalo De Silva, signed the surrender document on December 19th and 3306 Portugese troops of European origin laid down their arms. They were repatriated to Portugal after a few months.

The Goa operations gave the IAF an opportunity to employ jet air power for the first time on a massive scale. However that the Portuguese did not have any AA defences nor aircraft to defend their positions. This robbed the IAF of a realistic battlefield scenario. It was not until 1965 that the combat potential of the air force was actually put to test.

Air Vice Marshal Erlic Pinto went on to become the AOC-in-C Western Air Command. He was killed in an helicopter crash in May 1963. Air Commodore Shivdev Singh became AOC-in-C Eastern Command. He retired as the Vice-Chief of Air Staff.

Diplomatic relations between Portugal and India were cut off for decades, and only
recently did things cooled between the two nations, with Portugal agreeing to return the gold and assets held by their national bank. Hopefully this small conflict with the European nation was the last against a western natio

The Liberation of Goa - An Overview

Pin on Annexation of Portuguese India.
Pin on Annexation of Portuguese India.
Air Vice Marshal Erlic Pinto, discusses with the TAC Commander, Air Commodore Shivdev Singh, at a forward area. Seen in the background is a Mi-4 Helicopter. Seen in the middle is Wg Cdr S Raghavendran, from Ops Command.
Pinto had his HQs in Poona, Looking after all the operations in Daman, Diu and Goa. One Tactical Air Center, the No.2 TAC, was allocated to the Goa Sector. This TAC under Air Commodore Shivdev Singh conducted operations in conjunction with HQ 17 Division. Operations in Daman were to be the responsibility of No.2 Wing and Diu was directly under the Armament Training Wing at Jamnagar.
The main staging airbases were Poona and Sambre. Poona hosted two Canberra Squadrons No.16 and No.35 along with a Hunter force from No.17 and No.37 Squadrons. It was at Sambre that most of the air component concentrated in. Sambre was initially raised to fulfill the requirement of a Forward Base from which support could be extended to Goa. No.45 Squadron had their main detachment of 8 aircraft based there. No.17 had one detachment of Hunters for air defence. And Harvards, Otters and Mi-4 helicopters formed the communication and command duties.


Goa to felicitate Operation Vijay veterans
Last Updated: Saturday, December 03, 2011, 14:22

Panaji: Army veterans who participated in 'Operation Vijay', when the Indian Army marched into Goa and liberated it from the Portuguese rule, will be felicitated later this month when the state celebrates 50 years of its independence.

Speaking to reporters, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said Chief of Army Staff General V.K. Singh will be present at the celebratory function.  "The soldiers who were part of Operation Vijay (Dec 19, 1961) will be felicitated. We will also honour the chief of the Indian Army on behalf of Goans," Kamat said.

Kamat also said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was also scheduled to attend the function, but a pending Russia visit and the ongoing parliament schedule might just weigh heavy on the prime minister's mind. He further said that a string of cultural programmes will be held as part of the anniversary celebrations to mark the end of nearly 450 years of Portuguese rule here.

Goa's Freedom Movement
By: Lambert Mascarenhas
Co-Founder & Former Editor of Goa Today, Panaji.

Goa's Liberation by India, ANIMATION !!
1961 Indian annexation of Goa

The 1961 Indian annexation of Goa (also referred to as Invasion of Goa, the Liberation of Goa and the Portuguese-Indian War [citation needed]), was an action by India's armed forces that ended Portuguese rule in its Indian enclaves in 1961. The armed action, codenamed Operation Vijay by the Indian government, involved air, sea and land strikes for over 36 hours, and was a decisive victory for India, ending 451 years of Portuguese colonial rule in Goa. Thirty-four Indians and thirty-one Portuguese were killed in the fighting. The brief conflict drew a mixture of worldwide praise and condemnation. In India, the action was seen as a liberation of historically Indian territory, while Portugal viewed it as an aggression against national soil.

Portuguese military preparations — Portuguese military preparations began in earnest in 1954, ... employed to defend Goa against an Indian invasion was based on ... which divided the territory into four defence sectors (North, ...

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Indian troops enter Goa

Goa falls to Indian troops | History Today

Indian troops enter Goa
 below :- Goans crowd to welcome Indian troops

Indian troops enter Goa


 the surrender ofPortuguese forces

Portuguese Soldiers Surrendering to Indian Army
File:Liberation cheer.jpg
Indian troops are greeted by crowds of Goans as they march through the streets of Panjim, shortly after the
Portuguese retreat.
File:Vasco Da gama POW camp.jpg
The Indian Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Pran Thapar (far right) with deposed Governor General of Portuguese India Manuel António Vassalo e Silva (seated centre) at a POW facility in Vasco Da Gama, Goa
The official Portuguese surrender was conducted in a formal ceremony held at 2030 hours on the 19th of December when Governor General Manuel António Vassalo e Silva signed the instrument of surrender bringing to an end 451 years of Portuguese Rule in Goa. In all, 4668 personnel were taken prisoner by the Indians - a figure which included military and civilian personnel, Portuguese, Africans and Goan.
Upon the surrender of the Portuguese governor general, Goa, Daman and Diu was declared a federally administered Union Territory placed directly under the President of India, and Maj. Gen. K. P. Candeth was appointed as its military governor. The war had lasted two days. India lost 34 killed and 51 wounded. Portugal lost 31 killed, 57 wounded, and 4668 captured.
On 18 December, even as Indian forces were rolling into Goa, a special emergency session of the United Nations Security Council was convened at the request of the Portuguese Government. At the meeting, called to consider the Indian invasion of Portuguese territories in Goa, Daman and Diu, Adlai Stevenson, the US representative to the UN, criticized the Indian military action. He then submitted a draft resolution that called for a cease fire, a withdrawal of all Indian forces from Goa, and the resumption of negotiations. This resolution was co-sponsored by France, UK and Turkey, but failed after the Soviet Union, India’s long time cold war ally, exercised its veto.
Upon receiving news of the fall of Goa, the Portuguese government formally severed all diplomatic links with India and refused to recognize the incorporation of the seized territories into the Indian Republic. An offer of Portuguese citizenship was instead made to all Goan natives who wished to emigrate to Portugal than remain under Indian rule.
Relations between India and Portugal thawed only in 1974, when, following a military coup d'état and the fall of the authoritarian corporatist rule in Lisbon, Goa was finally recognised as part of India, and steps were taken to re-establish diplomatic relations with India. In 1992, Portuguese President Mário Soares became the first Portuguese head of state to visit Goa after its annexation by India. This followed Indian President R. Venkataraman’s visit to Portugal in 1990.
Following their surrender, the Portuguese soldiers were interned by the Indian Army ,The captivity lasted for six months
Ex- governor Manuel António Vassalo e Silva was greeted with a hostile reception when he returned to Portugal. He was subsequently court martialed for failing to follow orders, expelled from the military and was sent into exile. He returned to Portugal only in 1974, after the fall of the regime,
In an article titled "India, The Aggressor", The New York Times on 19 December 1961, stated "With his invasion of Goa Prime Minister Nehru has done irreparable damage to India's good name and to the principles of international morality
Nikita Khrushchev, the de facto Soviet leader, telegraphed Nehru stating that there was "unanimous acclaim" from every Soviet citizen for "Friendly India"
China neither condemned nor applauded the invasion, it was enjoying cordial relations with India, although theSino-Indian War would begin only months later

A Canberra PR.9 taking off. The Indian Air Force used the small and lightweight Canberra bombers.

File:Terakhol liberation attempt.jpg
A 1954 attempt by unarmed protesters to storm Goa and liberate it was suppressed by the Portuguese.
At last, on the requests of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the military attacked Goa on December 17, 1961. Approximately 30,000 Indian ground troops

The Portuguese Governor general Vassalo da Silva surrendered.

portuguese and colonial TROOPS INSIDE BASILICA BOM JESUS 1961


i n s vikrant TOOK PART IN THE WAR

Colonial troops departing after the liberation of Goa.-DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION/GOA




Goan Origin Antonio Costa elected Prime Minister of Portugal

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Published Date : Friday, November 27th, 2015  Time posted: 3:23 pm      By - Team Mangalorean (Inputs from YahooNews)

Mangaluru: Antonio Costa, the popular and charismatic three-term mayor of Lisbon-Portugal of the Socialist Party has become the Prime Minister of Portugal. Antonio Costa, who traces his paternal roots to Goa, and the leader of Portugal’s Socialist Party was named prime minister and tasked with forming a government on Wednesday after weeks of political instability caused by an inconclusive election last month. It is learnt that Antonio’s family members used to call him ‘Babush’, a commonly used term of endearment in Konkani for ‘little boy’.
But the ‘little boy’ over the years has assumed key positions in the Portuguese government, apart from the incumbent office of Leader of Opposition and Mayor of Lisbon. Antonio has also served as the minister for internal administration, minister of justice, minister for parliamentary affairs among others in his political career which stretches over nearly three decades.
Portugal’s ‘Gandhi’, 54-year-old Antonio Costa, who has become the new Prime Minister of Portugal after the coalition of leftist parties reached a majority, has a Goan connection. Kin and supporters of the left-leaning former Lisbon mayor, who won Portuguese hearts and earned the humble moniker after he transformed the fortunes of Mouraria, a drug-infested and prostitution-ridden neighbourhood of the Capital, cannot contain their joy as Costa appears to be just a step away from taking over reins of the debt-ridden former colonial country, which ruled Goa for 451 years.
“Yes, we are definitely proud of how he has managed to reach the top echelons of the Portuguese political sphere,” Antonio’s first cousin, Anna Kaarina Jussilainen CostaImage result for Anna Kaarina Jussilainen Costa told reporters in Goa. Anna lives in the more-than-a-century-old Costa ancestral house, one of the many which line the stunning Rua Abade Faria in Margao town. Anna’s mother and Antonio’s paternal aunt Sinikka Jussilainen Costa, also has fond memories of Antonio’s Goa sojourns. “On one of his later visits, some 15 years ago, he came to Goa along with a Portuguese parliamentary delegation. He visited us here. He will succeed and ensure Portuguese does not follow the way of Greece,” she said. “Now he has made us all so proud… He was always keen on politics. There used to be endless debates between him and his father over political issues,” she says as she recalls his visits to Goa.
Antonio Costa is the son of Orlando Costa, an accomplished poet and writer.Antonio’s grandfather, Luis Afonso Maria da Costa, hailed from Goa.The appointment comes after Costa’s anti-austerity alliance with communists Greens and the Left bloc toppled the 11-day-old con servative minority govern ment in a dramatic parlia mentary vote earlier this month. Portugal’s political difficulties are being closely watched in Brussels and Costa has sought to allay fears his anti-austerity drive could propel the country back to deficit-busting policies that forced it into a three-year $83 billion bailout in 2011.
Costa, the son of the ferociously anti-colonial writer, the late Orlando da Costa, whose classic ‘O Signo da Ira’ is set in the Margao neighborhoods he grew up in the 1930s and 40s. Later, when studying in Portugal, the senior Costa became a staunch opponent of the Salazar dictatorship, member of the (then outlawed) Communist Party, and a well-known Lisbon intellectual who retained life-long affection and connection to his ancestral Goa.
His son is a political prodigy. Antonio Luis dos Santos da Costa has been Portugal’s minister of parliamentary affairs, minister of justice, and minister of internal administration. He headed his party’s list for the 2004 European elections then served on the committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs, before becoming one of just 14 vice-presidents of the European Parliament.
In 2007, Costa gambled big. He ran for Lord Mayor of Lisbon, the troubled centerpiece of an urban area where nearly 30% of Portugal’s population lives. After winning, he immediately moved his office to Mouraria, a notoriously crime-infested locality, where he started getting rid of the drug-peddling and prostitution that used to flourish all around. Similar efforts steadily extended city-wide.
Despite the prevailing wrenching national economic crisis, Lisbon has transformed: it is now the safest, cleanest, greenest, and most livable big city in Europe. Its mayor has been re-elected three times. When Costa won the right to lead his Socialist Party in September 2014, it seemed certain he would sweep to power in the 2015 elections. But despite the prime ministerial candidate’s overwhelming personal popularity, things have not quite turned out that way.


Antonio Costa's Goan kin popped the bubbly to celebrate his becoming Portugal PM

Anna Costa, Antonio's first cousin in Margao, Goa, is excited at the news that he has become the new Prime Minister of Portugal
Antonio Costa, who traces his paternal roots to Goa, and is the leader of Portugal's Socialist Party was named prime minister on Wednesday.
Antonio's grandfather, Luis Afonso Maria da Costa, hailed from Goa. Antonio's father Orlando and uncle Joao were born in Mozambique to parents of Goan origin, and spent their childhood in Goa before moving to Portugal. While Orlando stayed on in Portugal, Joao returned in 1965.
Anna Costa, Antonio's first cousin in Margao, Goa, could barely contain her excitement at the news that he has become the PM.
Costa’s Uncle Joao da Costa’s Finnish wife Sinikka Jussilainen  Costa(right), and his first cousin Anna Costa. Pic/Joseph Zuzarte
Costa’s Uncle Joao da Costa’s Finnish wife Sinikka Jussilainen  Costa(right), and his first cousin Anna Costa. Pic/Joseph Zuzarte
She said they received confirmation, through Whatsapp, of the news from Antonio's half-brother in Portugal, Ricardo, who is director of a newspaper in Lisbon.
ALSO READ: We're just waiting to celebrate, say Portuguese PM Antonio Costa's Goan family
"We've interacted (with Ricardo) a little bit since this news broke. He's very busy, as you can imagine. Ricardo's the one who confirmed the news for us," Anna said.
"We're very happy and wish him all the very best."
Portugal's new PM Antonio Costa
Portugal PM Antonio Costa
And how do they plan to celebrate the swearing-in of her first cousin later tonight? (Goa gets the Portuguese RTP satellite channel)
"I've already popped the champagne! And we're going to pop more champagne tonight and the next few days," she said, laughing giddyly.

Did Nehru really delay Liberation of Goa?


On 15th January, Goa’s BJP Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant, made a remark that India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was responsible for delaying Goa’s liberation by 14 years. Is it true?

Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule by Indian army on 19th December 1961, 14 years after India’s independence on 15th August 1947 from the British rule. It was a military action and thus called Liberation.

Dr Sawant took an opportunity of Army Day function in Panaji and made the following statement:

“Truth be told, India got Independence in 1947, the people of the entire country got the fruits of Independence. But unfortunately for Goans, we had to wait 14 years to taste freedom. The Prime Minister at the time Jawaharlal Nehru was responsible for this. And because of him we got liberation 14 years later. If he had the political will, if he was really concerned about Goans then, and really felt that Goa should have been liberated from the Portuguese then we would have got liberation 14 years earlier. Never mind in 1947. He should have thought about us at least in 1950.”

But Dr Sawant is not the first BJP leader who made this statement. On 18th August last year, during his Goa visit for party work, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and BJP national vice president Dr Shivraj Singh had also made a similar statement.

“Former Prime Minister late Jawaharlal Nehru's "wrong" policies not only led to prolonging of the vexed Jammu and Kashmir problem, but also delayed the liberation of Goa from Portuguese yoke.”

And much before this, on 10th February 1998, Prakash Jawadekar, then BJP member of Maharashtra Legislative Council and now India’s I&B Minister, had demanded apology from Congress for Goa’s delayed liberation.

During the Lok Sabha election campaign, Jawadekar had said:

"If Vallabhbhai Patel's advice had been heeded by the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, then Goa would have been part of the Indian Union by 1948 itself. Therefore, the Congress must apologise for the 14 extra years of Portuguese imperialism that the Goans had to bear.


But the most elaborate explanation given in this regard is a book published by Govt of Goa, Directorate of Art & Culture, written by Dr Nishtha Desai, who has attained doctorate by researching on Dr T B Cunha vis-à-vis Goa’s liberation. The name of the book is “Liberation v/s Armed Aggression: The Media Response to Goa’s Liberation”, published in 2011.

Book published by Govt of Goa in 2011

Book published by Govt of Goa in 2011

goanews.com has tried to put the facts & official quotes mentioned in the book, in brief, but in a chronological manner, from 1946 to 1961:


Goa’s Marathi edition of Lokmat gathered and published opinions of learned people on this. Few among those were as follows:

Damodar Mauzo, Writer

CM’ immature statement needs to be condemned by all. The Sangh Parivar has always been degrading Nehru.

Gurunath Kelekar, Freedom Fighter

It’s half-truth that Goa liberation got delayed due to Nehru. Nehru did not favour armed action to liberate Goa. He was trying to persuade USA. But when USA sided with Portugal, he sent army to liberate Goa.

Dr Mukul Pai Raiturkar, Social Activist

Goa’s liberation got delayed due to international situation. Portugal had approached NATO on Goa issue. Nehru had to struggle to convince the United Nations Organisation that India is not a terrorist state as portrayed by USA. Nehru cannot be held responsible for delayed liberation of Goa.



* Dr Ram Manohar Lohia initiates Civil Disobedience Movement on 18th June 1946 in Madgao, which lit the fire of liberation movement in Goa.

* Congress Working Committee notes the contrast between the attitude of France and Portugal. France agrees to hand over its colonies in India. Portugal says Goa is Portugal.

People gathered for Lohia's speech on 18 June 1946 in Madgao

People gathered for Lohia's speech on 18 June 1946 in Madgao



* India gains independence on 15th August 1947. Begins negotiations with France to integrate with India the French pockets of Chandernagore, Mahe, Yanam, Karaikal and Pondicherry.



* Congress passes resolution on 18th December 1948 to integrate surviving pockets of colonial rule with India.



* On 4th February 1949, PM Nehru tells the Parliament that the problem of foreign possession would be settled according to the wishes of the people through referendums.

* In a lecture delivered in Lisbon on ‘The Rights of Portuguese India’, Alberto Xavier dismisses Nehru’s idea of a plebiscite. “Our law does not permit it and the Portuguese Govt, based on law, is not disposed to consent to it.



* Portugal amends its Constitution in June 1951, declaring Goa’s status as a ‘province’ of Portugal and not a colony.

Portuguese PM Salazar & India PM Nehru

Portuguese PM Salazar & India PM Nehru



* General Assembly of UN classifies ‘overseas provinces’ as non-self-governing territories (including of Portugal) and only a plebiscite approved by UN would decide its recognition.

* Portuguese delegate to UN maintains that Portugal has no colonies and the constitutional status of the overseas provinces is absolutely equal to the status of European provinces.



* Referendum held among municipal councillors in French colonies of Pondicherry & Karaikal goes in favour of India.

* Portugal approaches a military alliance of countries, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), as the treaty guaranteed the ‘territorial integrity’ of its signatories.

* On 14th May 1954, in Rajya Sabha, PM Nehru warns that neither NATO nor the Anglo-Portuguese alliance concerns any foreign settlement in the country.

* Dadra liberated on 21st July by United Front of Goans, Nagar Haveli liberated by Goan People’s’ Party & Azad Gomantak Dal on 2nd No resistance locally but Portugal through NATO seeks support of USA.

* On 15th August 1954, 47 Goan Satyagrahis enter Goa from Banda, Terekhol and Karwar. 15 Satyagrahis capture Terekhol fort for one day, Portuguese recapture it next day while killing one and wounding 12 Satyagrahis. All Satyagrahis arrested.

Satyagrahis enter Goa from Karwar

Satyagrahis enter Goa from Karwar



* All French pockets integrated with India.

* Portuguese minister Antonio Ferro says Goa is not Indian, but Portuguese, in its stones, in the hearts of inhabitants….. just as such as ours as Lisbon. That is why we shall not renounce Goa.

* On 22nd July 1955, Portuguese council of ministers rules out possibility of transferring Goa through peaceful means.

* On 15th August 1955, over 3000 Indian Satyagrahis cross borders of Goa (1700), Daman (1249) & Diu (81). Portuguese opens fire, kill 49 including 22 in Goa, 28 among them were Goans. 630 arrested, including 454 Goans.

* On 18th August, Govt of India led by Nehru withdraws Indian Consulate in Goa and tells Portugal to shut down its consulates in Mumbai, Madras and Calcutta. Also imposes economic blockade to Goa.

* Premier of Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev (Russia) visits India, supports Indian sovereignty over the disputed territory of the Kashmirregion and over Portuguese coastal enclaves such as Goa.

* Condemning Soviet Union statement, USA Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and Portugal Foreign Minister Paulo Cunha issue a joint statement in Washington on 2nd December that Russia is attempting to foment hatred between East & West and Goa is a province of Portugal.

* Portugal admitted to UN as a member on 19 December, same day files a case before International Court at The Hague seeking passage between its territories of Goa, Daman & Dadra Nagar Haveli of transit for persons and goods including armed forces.

India PM Nehru addressing United Nations General Assembly

India PM Nehru addressing United Nations General Assembly



* UN International Court decides case of Portugal in April, granting passage for private persons but not for Portugal armed forces between Goa, Daman and Dadra Nagar Haveli.

* UN passes a resolution, tabled by 43 Afro-Asian nations, on 14th December 1960 titled ‘Declaration on the Granting of Independencies to Colonial Countries and Peoples’. Portugal pressured further, but remains adamant.



* On 16th August 1961, Nehru tells Rajya Sabha & Lok Sabha that use of Indian Army in Goa cannot be ruled out.

* In October 1961, a seminar hosted in Delhi by Indian Council for Africa urges India to take decisive action to liberate Goa.

* On 13th November 1961, UN General Assembly’ Trusteeship Committee endorses a 33-nation move to condemn Portugal’s refusal to transmit information about its overseas territories, requests member states to deny Portugal any help to subjugate the people of non-autonomous territories.

* On 15th December 1961, UN General Assembly approves this resolution and calls on Portugal to submit such reports without any delay. 17 nations abstain including USA and Britain.

* On 16th December, USA intervenes & contacts Portuguese ambassador in Washington with a request to negotiate with India.

* On the midnight of 17th December 1961, PM Nehru sends Indian Army to liberate Goa.

* Portugal surrenders, Goa liberated on 19th December 1961.

Operation Vijay: Indian Army entering Goa

Operation Vijay: Indian Army entering Goa



* On 19th February 1962, Portugal decrees that ‘Portuguese India’ would continue to have representation in the Portuguese National Assembly, refuses to recognise Indian rule over Goa, Daman & Diu.

* On 16th August 1962, United Nations issues official notification that Goa, Daman & Diu had become part of India.

On page 44 of the book,  author Dr Nishtha Desai observes:

India’s position was delicate since she, on the one hand,  was publicly committed to world peace and on the other had to deal with an unyielding colonial power. India had won for herself the unique distinction of having won her independence through a non-violent struggle in which thousands of people throughout the country actively participated. World-wide, India was acknowledged as the apostle of peace; ‘ahimsa’ and ‘panchasheela’ being contributions to the political lexicon of the time.

The following cartoon, published at that time in one of the publications abroad, says it all:





Russia: From Russia, with love | Goa News - Times of India

timesofindia.indiatimes.com › City News › Goa News
Dec 18, 2016 — India's economic blockade of Portugal, the colonizers shooting at peaceful Indian ... from Goa to the positions prevailing prior to December 17, 1961, Russia's ... of the West's 'double standards' at that time ensured Goa's liberation. ... powerful criticism of the western nations to veto Portugal's resolution that ...
Dec 30, 2011 — Goa: Fifty years after liberation from Portuguese rule, the loss of regional identity ... ON December 19, Goa completes 50 years of its liberation from ... In 1961, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru decided to send the Indian armed ... Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies and the United Nations Security Council.

Goa liberationHow Russia vetoed the West

Goanese local citizens gather to welcome Indian troops after the successful invasion of the former Portuguese colony, in Panjim, now Panaji, in 1961. Source: AP

In December 1961 Russia stood by India as it liberated Goa and whacked Portugal, a NATO member, which left many in the West with red faces.

The Portuguese were the first European colonisers to come to India and the last to leave. While the British were evicted in 1947, no action was taken against the Portuguese occupation of Goa until 1961 when an Indian military operation ended 450 years of foreign rule.

As former Goa chief minister Manohar Parikkar said last week, it was the indifference of independent India’s leaders that delayed Goa’s freedom. Typical of Jawaharlal Nehru’s cavalier attitude towards the country’s defence and security, India’s first prime minister did nothing. This was despite torture and killing of Indians and Goans involved in a small but spirited freedom movement in the enclave.

On one occasion in 1946, the Portuguese mercilessly beat up a group of Indian women who had organised a peaceful march through Goa. Not only were the women beaten in police custody but the Portuguese also threatened to strip naked the little daughters of the marchers.

Again, in 1955 when the Goa military shot dead 20 Goan and Indian liberation marchers, all Nehru did was institute a blockade, which the Portuguese regime evaded easily by flying supplies from Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Six more years dragged on, with Nehru allowing this colonial sore to fester. He was concerned only about international opinion and did not want to break with his non-violent approach inherited from his mentor M.K. Gandhi. India’s strategic interests, the protection of Indian lives, and even the honour of Indian women were not at all a priority for Nehru. So what if the Portuguese were killing Indians. The followers of Gandhi mustn’t use force.

As the tension built up, Portuguese dictator Antonio Salazar sought help from the US, UK and other countries sympathetic to his cause. The British were reminded that under the terms of the 1899 Anglo-Portuguese Treaty they were obliged to come to Lisbon’s assistance if any Portuguese colony was attacked. US President John F. Kennedy – who had a few months earlier attempted an invasion of Cuba – wrote to Nehru, asking him not to use force.

In November 1961, emboldened by Nehru’s inaction, the Portuguese opened fire on Indian coastal steamers and fishing boats. Finally, on December 17, India mounted a military, naval and air attack on Goa using overwhelming force.

Global reactions

Western nations led the chorus of criticism against India. Leaders and official spokesmen in many countries, including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands, Spain and West Germany deplored the Indian action. So did Pakistan. On the other hand, India got the full support of Russia, Yugoslavia, the Arab States, Ghana, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

The British were the first to come out all diplomatic guns blasting. On December 18, the Commonwealth Relations Secretary Duncan Sandys told the House of Commons: “Her Majesty’s government deeply deplore the decision of the Government of India to use military force to attain its political objectives.” “In addition,” he said, “we are particularly concerned about the wider repercussions which the action taken by the Indian Government may have upon other problems that face the world to-day.”

Here was British hypocrisy at its height. Just five years prior, Britain and France had jointly invaded Egypt to seize the Suez Canal.

China’s reaction was interesting. The Chinese Communist Government issued a statement on December 19 expressing “resolute support” for India's action in Goa, the Hong Kong Communist newspaper Ta Kung Pao (regarded as reflecting the views of the Chinese Government) described the attack on Goa as “a desperate attempt by Mr Nehru to regain his sagging prestige among the Afro-Asian nations”.

At the United Nations the US, UK, France and Turkey proposed a resolution condemning the Indian invasion. It called upon India to withdraw its forces immediately to “the positions prevailing before December 17, 1961”.

Moscow backs India

Moscow’s veto blew away the resolution. S.R. Sharma writes in India-USSR Relations – Volume 1: “The (Russian) veto saved India from a very awkward situation as the West was determined to get a ceasefire and withdrawal resolution passed in the Security Council.”

President Leonid Brezhnev, who was on a State visit to India at the time of the Goa crisis, said in Bombay on December 18 that Russia had “complete sympathy for the Indian people's desire to liberate Goa, Daman, and Diu from Portuguese colonialism.”

Brezhnev urged Indians to ignore Western indignation as it came “from those who are accustomed to strangle the people’s striving for independence…and from those who enrich themselves from colonialist plunder”.

Nikita Khrushchev sent a telegram to Nehru, saying that “the resolute actions of the Government of India to do away with outposts of colonialism in its territory were absolutely lawful and justified”. He said the Russian people “unanimously approve of these actions”.

Crossfire at the United Nations

Adlai Stevenson, the US representative at the UN, strongly criticised the Indian action. Invoking Gandhi, he said: “India is led by a man whom I regard as a friend –who has been a lifelong disciple of one of the world's great saints of peace – whom many have looked up to as an apostle of nonviolence – who only this year addressed the Assembly with a moving appeal for a UN year of international co-operation. These facts make the step which has been taken today (the attack on Goa) all the harder to understand and to condone.”

This is a typical reaction from Western governments, which want to box India within a peacenik framework, making sure India remains high on rhetoric and low on military power.

Moscow’s message

Valerian Zorin, Moscow’s permanent representative to the UN, said Russia stood by India in its fight for liberation from colonial domination.

He said the Goan question was entirely within India’s domestic jurisdiction and could not be considered by the Security Council. If discussion was necessary, however, the subject of discussion should be “the question of the violation by Portugal of the declaration on granting independence to colonial countries and peoples”. “Portugal does not fulfill and is not going to fulfill this declaration, and she is thereby creating a threat to peace and security in various parts of the world,” he said.

The Russian representative went on to say that neither Britain nor America had denounced Portugal when she was “annihilating scores of thousands of people in Angola”, nor had they suggested a cease-fire in Angola and the withdrawal of Portuguese troops from that territory and other Portuguese colonies. As soon, however, as “the question comes up of supporting the liberation from colonial dependence of peoples and territories which constitute an integral part of India, high-falutin pronouncements are immediately made of violations of the UN Charter….”

What’s remarkable about the liberation of Goa is that Portugal was a NATO member and yet the US and other NATO members failed to come to its rescue. And that happened at the height of the Cold War when NATO’s motto “an attack against one member is an attack on all” was taken in all seriousness. Clearly, the US was not prepared to risk Pittsburgh for Portugal.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.



Sunday, June 2, 2013


The NRP Afonso de Albuquerque was a warship of the Portuguese Navy, destroyed in combat on 18 December 1961, defending Goa against the Indian Armed Forces invasion. The ship was the first of the Afonso de Albuquerque class, which also included the NRP Bartolomeu Dias.

These ships were classified, by the Portuguese Navy, as avisos coloniais de 1ª classe (colonial aviso 1st class) and were designed to maintain a Portuguese naval presence in the Overseas territories of Portugal. They had limited capacity to combat other surface vessels, as they were intended, mainly, to support amphibious operations and troops on land. After the Second World War, the Afonso de Albuquerque class ships were reclassified as frigates.

In her career, the NRP Afonso de Albuquerque served, mainly, in the Indian and the Pacific oceans, protecting the Portuguese territories of Mozambique, India, Macau and Timor. In 1945, she was part of the Portuguese Naval and Military Force that regained the Portuguese sovereignty over East Timor, after that territory had been occupied by the Japanese, during the Second World War.

The ship NRP Afonso de Albuquerque was virtually the only military unit with minimal conditions to offer any resistance against the Invasion of Goa state carried out by troops of the Indian Union in December 1961.

Its final combat

In late 1961, the NRP Afonso de Albuquerque was based in Goa as the leading naval unit of the Portuguese India Naval Command, with Captain Cunha Aragão as her commanding officer. After repeated attempts by India to convince Portugal to relinquish its colonies in India failed, an armed conflict was imminent. In the early morning of the 18 December 1961, the Afonso de Albuquerque received information that the Indian Armed Forces had launched Operation Vijay (1961) to invade Goa, Daman and Diu. The crew entered battle stations. As the land communication infrastructure was bombed and destroyed by the Indian Air Force, the Afonso received the responsibility to maintain radio communications between Goa and Lisbon. At 09:00, the Afonso de Albuquerque sighted 3 Indian Navy ships, led by INS Betwa, just outside the Mormugao port. The 2 frigates and a minesweeper were an advance group of an Indian Navy task force which included the aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant and about ten cruisers, destroyers, frigates and minesweepers. At 12:00 noon, as the Portuguese commanders refused to surrender, the Indian frigates INS Betwa and INS Beas forced the entrance into the port, and opened fire on NRP Afonso de Albuquerque. The Afonso moved in the direction of the enemy ships and responded to the fire. At the same time, the final radio message was sent to Lisbon: We are being attacked. We are responding.

However, the Afonso was hit by the enemy fire. At the 12:20 when she tried to manoeuvre to a position in which she could use all its guns, the command bridge of Afonso was hit, killing the radio officer and seriously wounding Captain Cunha Aragão. The captain ordered the first officer to assume command of the ship with instructions not to surrender. Under heavy fire directed at the ship, some of the crew evacuated the injured commander to the shore, and transferred him by car to medical facilities at Panjim. At 12:35, under massive fire and, already, with the boilers and the machines destroyed, the Afonso crew ran it aground onto the beach to be used as a fixed battery. The crew continued to resist and fight until about the 13:10, after which they surrendered. The crew was then taken prisoner by Indian. During her last combat, it is estimated that the NRP Afonso de Albuquerque fired almost 400 shells. 5 of her crew died, and 13 crewmen, as well as some officers, were injured. The advantage of the enemy was significant, as their ships were more modern and armed with quick firing guns. The Afonso lay grounded at the beach near Dona Paula, until 1962 when it was towed to Bombay.

The ship was renamed Saravastri by Indians.

Parts of the ship were recovered and are on display at the Naval Museum in Bombay. The remainder of the ship was sold as scrap.


by Michael Patrick O'Leary

A  version of this article appeared in the November 2013 edition of Echelon magazine


I have only once in my life had a gun pointed directly at me. The man who took exception to me was a Portuguese soldier on guard outside the Palácio Nacional de Belém in Lisbon. This was in 1968. I had sat down on the wall opposite and the soldier found this disrespectful because the dictator, António de Oliveira Salazar, who had ruled Portugal from 1932 to 1968, was dying inside the palace. Or so it was thought – he did not actually die until two years later. His rule ended in 1968 when he suffered a brain haemorrhage after falling in the bath, but he died in 1970.

salazar and francoIberian dictators – Salazar(PORTUGAL) and Franco(SPAIN)

My left wing friends and I had some qualms about holidaying in a fascist dictatorship but managed to put them aside. We had booked an apartment in Albufeira (on the same street as Tom Jones and Ringo Starr) in the Algarve, but had not arranged accommodation for our stopover in Lisbon. As soon as we got off the plane, a representative from a student hostel greeted us and took us to comfortable and clean quarters. We spent evenings listening to his views on the political situation in his country -and talking about Manchester United.

We shared a room with a heavily moustachioed Swedish hippy called Viljo, who was on his way to Afghanistan. We had a vacant space in our Albufeira apartment so he decided to travel there with us. When I got back to England, I received a postcard from Afghanistan.

Before we headed off to the Algarve by train, Viljo showed us around Lisbon, which he knew well, for a few days. Viljo arranged for us to get cheap lunches at the University. While were queuing in the cafeteria, Viljo pointed out the sinister men in suits and shades who seemed to be lurking everywhere.

These were representatives of the PIDE (Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado), which had been created in 1933 under the direct orders of Salazar himself. During World War II, the PIDE (PVDE as it was then called) experienced its most intense period of activity. Portugal was neutral and Lisbon was a thriving centre of espionage as well as home to exotic exiles, like the Duke of Windsor and the King of Spain. Ian Fleming was based there. Britain recruited Spaniard Juan Pujol Garcia, (Codename Garbo), in Lisbon as a double agent.


PIDE came to be one of the most effective secret services in history, using a wide network of covert cells, spread throughout Portugal and its overseas territories. They exerted control over almost every aspect of Portuguese daily life. PIDE encouraged citizens – the so-called bufos (snitches) – to denounce suspicious activities. Torture was one of PIDE’s tools.

Despite the ever-watchful eyes of the PIDE, there were signs of a thaw and of the outside world impinging. I saw in shop windows, alongside albums of Portuguese polyphony and fado, the works of Joni Mitchell and Frank Zappa.

black soldiers 

Portuguese soldiers(FROM AFRICA?) in Goa

A depressing sight in the Lisbon of 1968 was the large number of black soldiers in army uniform. By April 1974, black soldiers constituted over 50% of all government forces fighting against liberation movements in Africa. The Portuguese Empire was particularly brutal. It was the first and the longest-lived of the modern European empires, spanning almost six centuries, from the capture of Ceuta in Morocco in 1415 to the handover of Macau to China in 1999. The empire spread throughout a vast number of territories that are now parts of 53 sovereign states.

While one might celebrate the maritime achievements of Vasco da Gama, Bartolomeu Dias, and Pedro Álvares Cabral under the sponsorship of Prince Henry the Navigator, one must not forget that Portugal was involved in the slave trade right from the beginning. Forced labour, including labour contracts with forced relocation of people, continued in many regions of Portuguese Africa until it was finally abolished in 1961. Dum Diversas was a papal bull issued on 18 June 1452 by Pope Nicholas V that is credited with ushering in the West African slave trade.  The Bull authorized Afonso V of Portugal to conquer pagans and consign them to perpetual servitude. The Papal Bull permitted the enslavement and conquest of all lands south of Cape Bojador in Africa. As well as  encouraging the seizure of the lands of Saracen Turks and non-Christians and gave permission for the enslavement of such peoples. The bull’s primary purpose was to forbid other Christian nations from infringing the King of Portugal’s rights of trade and colonisation in these regions. The Papal bull Romanus Pontifex of 1455 has served as the basis of legal arguments for taking Native American lands by “discovery”, and continues to do so today. The logic of the rights of conquest and discovery were followed in all western nations including those that never recognised papal authority. This continued under the Americans after they established the United States.

The Empire eventually brought down the dictatorship. While the rest of Europe granted independence to colonies after World War 2, Salazar doggedly hung on to what Portugal had left. Portuguese leaders attempted to stave off calls for independence by defending a policy of assimilation, multiracialism, and civilising mission, or Lusotropicalism, as a way of integrating Portuguese colonies, and their peoples, more closely with Portugal itself. Whatever the theory of colour blind assimilation, strict qualification criteria ensured that less than one per cent of black Mozambicans became full Portuguese citizens and  a system of apartheid was the reality.

When Marcelo Caetano took over from Salazar in 1969, he changed the name PIDE to DGS (Direcção-Geral de Segurança, “General Security Directorate”).  Caetano attempted some democratization, in order to avoid popular insurgency in Portugal itself. This resulted in a decrease in the perceived level of violence used by the secret police and a consequent reduction in its effectiveness.


The Carnation Revolution in April 1974 brought down the long-established Estado Novo regime. The young army officers who carried out the coup did not use direct violence to achieve their goals. Holding red carnations (cravos in Portuguese), many people joined revolutionary soldiers on the streets of Lisbon, in apparent joy and audible euphoria. The military officers were soon supported by an unanticipated and popular campaign of civil resistance. The only victims of the coup d’état which were four demonstrators shot by PIDE agents on a rooftop.


After 1986, Portugal’s economy progressed considerably because of EEC/EU structural, cohesion funds, and Portuguese companies’ easier access to foreign markets.

Prosperity hit the buffers with the financial crisis in 2008. Economic disruption and an unsustainable government debt led the country to negotiate loans. Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho was a charismatic officer whose face became the symbol of the Carnation Revolution. Carvalho was a product of the Portuguese Empire. He spent many years in the colonial wars in Africa, and was born of humble parentage  in Mozambique of some Goan ancestry. Carvalho is still an icon for activists of the left in Portugal, and is hated by many people who consider him a terrorist who tried to seize the country to become Portugal’s Fidel Castro.


In 2011, Carvalho said, when Portugal gave in to the Troika’s austerity demands in order to bail out the economy,  that he would not have taken part in the revolution if he had known it would come to this. He said that the country would need a man as honest as Salazar to deal with the crisis, but from a non-fascist perspective

Lisbon City Guide

Navigating from Empire to EU and Beyond

Sri Lankans might still enjoy a holiday in Lisbon, despite what the Portuguese invaders did to their ancestors. General Don Jeronimo De Azavedu and his soldiers allegedly threw children to crocodiles in the Kelani River, raped the women and tortured the men. In spite of this, many Sri Lankans proudly bear Portuguese names.

Portugal was in the vanguard of European overseas exploration from 1419. In 1498, Vasco da Gama led the first fleet around Africa to India, opening a maritime route from Portugal to India. By 1571, a string of outposts connected Lisbon to Nagasaki along the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, India, and Asia. This commercial network brought great wealth to Portugal.

While one might celebrate the maritime achievements of Vasco da Gama, Bartolomeu Dias, and Pedro Álvares Cabral under the sponsorship of Prince Henry the Navigator, one must not forget that Portugal was involved in the slave trade right from the beginning. A series of papal bulls in the 15th Century gave Portugal authority to enslave, and convert the heathens to Christianity. Forced labour, and  forced relocation continued in many parts of the Empire until it was  abolished in 1961.

Imperial wealth decayed into fascist dictatorship, with Portugal becoming the poorest country in Europe. The Empire brought the dictatorship down in 1974. The EU brought prosperity but the downturn has hit Portugal badly. The nation came out of its worst recession since the 1970s, but the economy will continue to shrink in 2013 before returning to feeble growth in 2014. For holidaymakers, Portugal is now cheaper than anywhere else in Western Europe. Revenue from tourism accounts for around ten percent of gross domestic product.


Sagat Singh: Liberator of Goa with a Price on his Head

Sagat Singh: Liberator of Goa with a Price on his Head

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Sagat Singh: Liberator of Goa with a ...