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Goa Liberation Day 2020: Date, Significance and History of Goa’s Freedom Struggle Against Portuguese

December 19 is observed as Goa Liberation Day commemorating the role of India’s armed forces in liberating Goa from Portuguese rule. Goa was ruled by Portuguese for 450 years. The state was freed on December 19, 1961.The Goa liberation movement, which sought to end colonial rule of Portuguese in the state, started off with small scale revolts.

When India gained Independence on August 15, 1947, Goa was still under Portuguese rule. The Portuguese colonised several parts of India in 1510 but their presence was limited to Goa, Daman and Diu, Dadra, Nagar Haveli and Anjediva Island by the end of the 19th-century. However, even after India’s freedom, the Portuguese declined to free up Goa and other regions. After a series of negotiations and diplomatic efforts failed, former Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru decided that military intervention was the only option.

The military operation named ‘Operation Vijay’ meaning ‘Operation Victory’ was conducted on December 18 and 19, 1961. The 36-hour military action involved attacks by the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

The Indian forces reclaimed the Goan territory on December 19 with the deposed governor general Manuel Antonio Vassalo e Silva surrendering to the then Chief of Army Staff (CAS) General Pran Nath Thapar.

“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,” the Indian Navy website said.

To mark Goa Liberation Day, several programs and cultural events are held across the state. However, this time, celebrations are expected to be muted due to the covid-19 pandemic.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 18, 2020 10:43 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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