India is celebrating its 75th Independence Day today, amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This day is a reminder of the sacrifices made by freedom fighters to wrest independence from the British rule. States and union territories across the country observe a holiday to commemorate this day, barring Goa. Interestingly, even after India won its independence from the British, Goa continued to be a Portuguese colony. After being invaded by the Portuguese in 1510, Goa continued to serve as a Portuguese colony for more than 450 years.
During the Portuguese rule, the state experienced several changes and trades, involving more than the sand and sea that surround it. The suppression of Konkani language, persecution of Hindus and Catholics of the state, and the destruction of Hindu temples were some of the many atrocities doled out by the Portuguese regime.
The beginning of Portuguese exodus started on 18 June 1946. The whole nation was marching towards freedom, when activist and political leader Ram Manohar Lohia visited Goa to meet with writer Dr Juliao Menezes.
Soon after, the Civil Disobedience Movement reached the state, which led to the freedom fighter’s arrest, that was motivated by the suppression of the freedom movement. This triggered a chain-reaction causing people meet, organise and strategise against the Portuguese.
The Civil Disobedience Movement, although supressed to a great extent, manage to leave a lasting impression on Prabhakar Vitthal Sinari, who soon formed a revolutionary outfit, the Azad Gomantak Dal (AGD). The group later joined hands with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to fight the Portuguese.
This resulted in a long freedom struggle, following which the state was finally liberated from Portuguese rule on 19 December 1961.