Goa’s Liberation Day: history and significance


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Goa was not always a part of independent India. It became an Indian state after it got liberated in 1961. It is said that the whole military operation took around three days to successfully do the job well and right. Thus the celebration of Goa’s Liberation Day.

When does India celebrate Goa’s Liberation Day?

The Goa Liberation Day celebrates the liberation of Goa from Portuguese dominion on 19th December 1961. People see this day as a momentous day. It is because it terminated an age-old rule that was eventually exploitative and dissatisfying. India sees the Liberation of Goa from the Portuguese domain as quite a momentous occasion in the already checkered Goan history.

Why do people celebrate Goa’s Liberation Day?

It is in commemoration of this, that the people of Goa celebrate Goa Liberation Day. It was a point in Indian history that made India completely free from the foreign rule that had lasted centuries.

History of Goa’s Liberation Day

On August 15, 1947, when India gained its independence, Goa was still crumbling under 450 years of Portuguese rule. The Portuguese were among the first to colonize parts of India and refused to give up their hold over Goa and other Indian territories, even in the wake of India’s independence.

After failed negotiations and diplomatic efforts with the Portuguese, the former prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, decided that military intervention was their only option. ‘Operation Vijay’ was the name of the 36-hour military operation that took place from December 18, 1961. It involved attacks by the Indian navy, air force, and army.

During the historic moment, Indian troops reclaimed the Goan territory with little resistance, and General Manuel António Vassalo e Silva signed the certificate of surrender. 451 years of Portuguese rule in the region officially came to an end. Along with it, India took back the territory on December 19, 1961.

However, the action incited mixed responses internationally at the time. Though many praised the move and backed India, others, including Portugal, criticized the Indian forces’ “invasion” of Goa.

Significance of this day

The day is also particularly important for recognizing the achievements Goa has made in recent years, accomplishing milestones in the tourism sector, and maintaining its position as having the highest per capita income among all the states and union territories of India.

Now, a large number of events and festivities in Goa mark this huge day known as Goa’s Liberation Day. Various cultural programs like Sugam Sangeet (an Indian musical genre with poetry in the Kannada language) take place. This happens to honor the occasion.

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