goa liberation day
DatesStart Date: 19-12-2021 End Date: 19-12-2021
Even after Independence of India from British rule, Portuguese refused to give up on then colonized Goa. Goa had been under 450 years of Portuguese rule and was liberated from Portuguese rule on 19 December 1961. In the history of Goa, this day is regarded as one of the most significant days. 19 December is celebrated commemorating the often forgotten war of freedom and complete independence of the Indian subcontinent.
The Goa liberation movement began in the early 20th century. In the 1940s the movement gained momentum along with the Indian Independence Movement. There was an exchange of dialogue between Indian leaders and Portuguese which did not produce any desirable results. The diplomatic attempts with Portuguese were also in vain. Then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru considered military intervention as the only viable option to liberate Goa. The military operation was decided to be conducted on 18 December 1961. The armed action code-named 'Operation Vijay' was planned. It involved combined strikes by the Indian Navy, Airforce, and Army over a course of 36 hours.
Indian troops faced little resistance and were able to reclaim Goan territory. General Manuel Antonio Vassalo e Silva was forced to sign the certificate of surrender facing the attack by Indian troops. This victory ended 451 years of Portuguese rule over the territory on 19 December 1961. Despite all the planning and precaution 'Operation Vijay' claimed the lives of 22 Indian soldiers and 30 Portuguese soldiers. Goa Liberation Day commemorates the martyrs who lost their lives while fighting valiantly for the freedom of Goa and subsequently complete freedom of the Indian Subcontinent.
After the victory in Goa, Major General Kunhiraman Palat Candeth was appointed as the military governor of Goa. In 1963, the Parliament of India finally passed the 12th Amendment Act. This act formally integrated the territories of Goa, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli into the Indian Union. These territories were given the status of Union Territories. In 1962, first-ever Panchayat elections, as well as Assembly elections, were held in Goa. There were talks of merging Goa with Maharashtra, but in the 1967 referendum, the people of Goa voted against it. After the victory of the Indian Armed Forces in Goa, there was a mixed reaction from International communities. Many countries praised the stand taken by India and stood by it, while many others including Portugal frowned upon the act of military action by the Indian troops.
The day is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm in Goa. There are a plethora of activities across Goa to take part in. The celebration kicks off with torchlight procession from three different locations. The parade following the torchlight is spectacular, one can just wish to witness all three parades at once given their stupendous splendor. All three torchlight and parades culminate at the Azad Maidan. Here, tribute and respects are paid to the martyrs who fought in the war. Various cultural programs are also organized to honor the occasion. Sugam Sangeet is one such famous event, during which an assortment of classical instruments and classical songs are performed enriching the hearts of all listeners.