Goa Liberation Day: December 19

Every year, the Goa Liberation day is celebrated on December 19 in India. The day is celebrated to mark the victory of Indian armed forces to free Goa from 450 years of the Portuguese rule.

Background

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

After India gained its independence from the Britishers in 1947, Goa was still under the rule. 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 United Nations. India was reluctant to put pressure over the issue as Portugal was a member of NATO.

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

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

Goa Liberation movement

The movement was built on small-scale uprisings in the 19th Century. It grew powerful between the period 1940 and 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.

About 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, Bahmani Sultanate and Bijapur Sultanate. Goa was invaded by the Portuguese during the rule of Bijapur Sultanate.

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

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