Goa Liberation Day
Every year, the Goa Liberation Day is celebrated on December 19. It was on this day in 1961, the Indian Armed Forces freed Goa from the Portuguese rule. With this, India completely became free from European rule. Thus, it is said that India obtained its complete independence from the European rule on December 19, 1961.
The Portuguese ruled Goa for around 450 years. They captured several parts of India in 1510. However, by 19th century their rule was limited to Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman, Diu and Anjediva Island.
After India gained independence, it requested the Portuguese to cede their territories. However, the Portuguese refused. Alongside, the Goa Liberation Movement that started in 1940, reaching its peak in 1960. After the failure of diplomatic efforts, the Indian Government launched Operation Vijay in 1961.
The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru believed that the Liberation Movement in Goa and the world public opinion will force the Portuguese to grant its independence. But they did not. Thus, Nehru decided on liberating himself and launched Operation Vijay. The operation involved air, land and sea strikes. The engagement lasted for two days.
What happened after Operation Vijay in Goa?
The GoI established a military rule for a short period of time. On June 8, 1962, this military rule was replaced by a civilian government. Goa was made a Union Territory. A Lieutenant Governor was nominated and other 29 members assisted him.
The only Referendum of Independent India
In 1967, a referendum was held to decide if Goa will remain as a Union Territory or merge with Maharashtra. Till date, it is the only referendum held in independent India. The people of Goa voted to remain as a Union Territory. The referendum came in place due to the differences between people speaking Marathi and Konkani. There were also political issues from Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party that strongly wanted the merger. After the referendum, Nehru announced that Goa will remain as UT for ten more years. Later Goa was formed as a full-fledged state in 1987.
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