Friday, April 12, 2013
THE PORTUGUESE AND INDIA by Adv. Antonio Lobo
The debate over the visit of NRP Sagres to Goa and the simultaneous protest of some 30 or less BJP/RSS/FF protesters is to be viewed also in the context of the send off given to the very same ship by a flotilla of fisherman from Vasco, people who decided to discard the vacuous and false propaganda of the so-called Freedom Fighters such as Karmali etc all as well as what is taught today in the schools in Goa under the garb of history with regard to the period from 1510-1961.
Let me put before you the following facts, as food for thought, which may help all of us refrain from mindless repetition of untruths which only help in perpetuating them:
It is an irrefutable truth that less than 13 years after the annexation of Goa by India all the colonies of Portugal attained their true freedom by becoming independent countries.
That Goa, Daman and Diu would have attained the same freedom as all the other colonies of Portugal were it not for “Operation Vijay” conducted by the armed forces of India.
That the so-called freedom fighters did not ask India or Jawarharlal Nehru to conduct a plebiscite in Goa, Daman and Diu to decide the question of independence or merger with the Indian Union. Since such choice was not given, the claims by the so-called “freedom fighters” and by India that 19.12.1961 signaled the “liberation” of Goa is false and meaningless as it was nothing but an exchange of one colonial master for another.
That Goa, Daman and Diu had to be kept under martial law for over a year after 19.12.1961, contradicts the claims by propagandists that Goa, Daman and Diu were “liberated”. A liberated population would not have been under martial law.
That instead of a plebiscite, the Indian Government foisted upon Goa, Daman and Diu the Opinion Poll in 1967, which was a choice between becoming an Union Territory or disappearing politically altogether, forgetting the solemn promises made, pre-annexation, in the Indian Parliament by Nehru et al that Goa, Daman and Diu’s identity would be preserved at all costs.
That, in this poll, even Goans resident outside Goa but within India were not given the right to vote in the Opinion Poll with a clear intention to tilt the balance in favour of the merger lobby led by Dayanand Bandodkar and the Maharashtrawaddi Gomantak Party.
That Portugal signed a treaty with India recognising India’s sovereignty over Goa, Daman and Diu without any consultations with its populations, acting thereby exactly as the dictatorial regime under Dr. Salazar would have acted and not as a newly democratic nation led by alleged “democrats” such as Dr. Mario Soares, who signed the treaty as the foreign Minister of Portugal, giving away our land as if it was their chattel.
The fact that India required a treaty with Portugal in order for the International Community of Nations to legalise the annexation puts paid to the argument that Goa was an integral part of India.
That erstwhile colonies of any country have a right to independence is a fact recognized by the United Nations. For that reason East Timor, though annexed by Indonesia, was not recognized as part of Indonesia by the world community mainly due to the refusal of Portugal to sign a treaty with Indonesia recognizing it’s sovereignty over Timor. That Portugal therefore betrayed the population of Goa, Daman and Diu is an undeniable fact.
That the entity pre-annexation known as “Estado da India” and post-annexation as the Union Territories of Goa, Daman and Diu with its geographical borders and its way of life had come about in part 450 years ago and the entire geographical unit as it exists today, about 250 years ago (upto 1961), with it’s own distinct culture, way of life and ethos. It came into existence even prior to the existence of the political entity known today as the Union of India whose existence is, in great measure, owed to the British. It’s existence is not as old as that of Goa, Daman and Diu. Where is the question therefore that Goa, Daman and Diu were always a part of India? India is not akin to the Indian Subcontinent which includes Pakistan, Bangladesh and others.
That true Goans have been at the forefront of seeking to preserve the unique identity of Goa and fighting for its survival. This has been a thorn in the side of those who would wish that Goa could be dissolved and merged as was sought to be done earlier. Concerted efforts were made from 1962 onwards to ensure that the true Goan would be deprived of government jobs and left without means of sustenance. This is one of the reasons for the mass migration of Goans to foreign lands.
That Goa’s demographic makeup was actively sought to be diluted by encouraging non-Goans to settle in Goa, beginning with the 20 point programme whereunder all non-Goans were given land and houses, coupled with the parallel programme whereunder all government servants not having land in Goa could obtain plots of the Comunidades without any competition, clearly having in mind the hordes of non-Goan government servants brought in by Bandodkar and his daughter Sashikala Kakodkar and later by successor Governments in Goa.
The programme of Marathisation of Goa and glorification of Shivaji(who incidentally invaded Bardez and Salcete on several occasions and destroyed not only churches but also took away thousands of heads of cattle on the way out) was started by Bandodkar with the full blessings of the Center solely with the purpose of starting the process of building up a new cultural identity. This programme went hand in hand with the mass import of Marathi teachers, Mamlatdars, Collector and Deputy Collectors, Surveyors and police and the humiliation of the then existing government cadre which was, not only efficient and capable, but also had a superior calibre. This was also necessary in order to implement draconian legislation such as the Tenancy Act and the Mundcar Act that had been ushered in by Bandodkar.
That the majority of the so-called “Bahujan Samaj”, with notable exceptions, does not care whether other “Goans” are protected or not by the Goa Government. This “special class” of people was favoured during Bandodkar and his daughter’s time in the government to the detriment of all other Goans (this same community was the backbone of the pro-merger lobby) and this is evidenced by many instances, one of which is the gifting by Ravi Naik, the then Chief Minister of Goa, of the Anjediva Island to the Indian Navy despite the fact that this island has a special place in the hearts of the Catholic community for religious reasons.
That the democracy ushered-in with such grandiloquent rhetoric post 1961 is nothing but a sham where votes of non-Goans are purchased thereby marginalizing the “modlacho Goencar” only serving to legitimise the “election” of goons and Mafiosi elements and collaborators to form governments.
Goans – THINK, PONDER and ACT!