Goa Liberation Day is observed on December 19 every year in India
- The Portuguese colonized several parts of India in 1510 but by the end of the 19th-century Portuguese colonies in India were limited to Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra, Nagar Haveli and Anjediva Island.
- On August 15, 1947, when India gained its Independence, Goa was still under the Portuguese rule.
- The Portuguese refused to give up their hold over Goa and other Indian territories.
- Following a myriad of unsuccessful negotiations and diplomatic efforts with the Portuguese, the former prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, decided that military intervention was the only option.
- The 36-hour military operation, conducted from December 18, 1961, was code-named ‘Operation Vijay’ meaning ‘Operation Victory,’ and involved attacks by the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and Indian Army.
Ram Manohar Lohia’s effort
- In June 1946, Ram Manohar Lohia, an Indian Socialist leader, entered Goa on a visit to his friend, Julião Menezes, a nationalist leader, who had founded the Gomantak Praja Mandal in Bombay and edited the weekly newspaper Gomantak.
- Ram Manohar Lohia advocated the use of non-violent Gandhian techniques to oppose the government.
- On 18 June 1946, the Portuguese government disrupted a protest against the suspension of civil liberties in Panajiorganised by Lohia, Cunha and others including Purushottam Kakodkar and Laxmikant Bhembre in defiance of a ban on public gatherings, and arrested them
- His efforts were followed by diplomatic efforts by Indian government which failed and led to armed action against the Portuguese rule
About Operation Vijay: The liberation of Goa
- Operation Vijay marks the day Indian armed forces(with armed action)freed Goa, Daman & Diu in 1961 following 450 years of Portuguese rule.
- In India, this action is referred to as the “Liberation of Goa
- The Goa liberation movement, which sought to end Portuguese colonial rule in Goa, started off with small scale revolts.
- Operation Vijay involved air, sea and land strikes for over 36 hours, and was a decisive victory for India, ending 451 years of rule by Portugal over its remaining exclaves in India
- According to the Indian Navy, Indian troops reclaimed the Goan territory on December 19 with little resistance and the deposed governor general Manuel António Vassalo e Silva signed the certificate of surrender thus bringing Portuguese rule in the region to an end.
- This made India completely free from foreign rule.
- The War Memorial at Indian Naval Ship Gomantak was constructed in memory of seven young gallant sailors and other personnel who laid down their lives on 19 Dec 1961 in the “Operation Vijay” undertaken by the Indian Navy for the liberation of Anjadip Island and Territories of Goa, Daman and Diu
- Following the end of Portuguese rule in 1961, Goa was placed under military administration headed by Kunhiraman Palat Candeth as Lieutenant Governor.
- On 8 June 1962, military rule was replaced by civilian government when the Lieutenant Governor nominated an informal Consultative Council of 29 nominated members to assist him in the administration of the territory