Sunday, May 19, 2013
GOA INJUSTIÇADA/GOA WRONGED by Valentino Viegas, Historian, Daily News Lisbon
Fast approaching is that fateful day of the 50th Anniversary of invasion of Estado Português da Índia, December 18, 1961. Of all published works on this historical fact, the Book of 1st Round Conferences of Military Cooperative entitled ‘Revisiting Goa, Daman and Diu’, published by the League of defenders; will be surely of primary importance.
I will not justify or explain the reasons that support this statement. I just finished reading its preface and felt compelled to write this text. Among the various topics covered in the rich preamble authored by General António Ramalho Eanes, one that touched me most was without any shadow of doubt, "The Injusticed Goa."
Knowing how to be prepared to take the future in his own hands, recognizing the cause and rightly written therein he who very recently was President of the Portuguese Republic said: "A different destiny Goa deserved, different from what she has suffered." Goa was wronged.
His statement was not based on bookish knowledge or vague testimonies of others, but to his experience in the land where he rendered military service, which is the reason why he could say that Goa "possessed a unity and continuity of a historical personality, of an own tradition, distinct from all the existing traditions in the Indian subcontinent." Really, it is possible that Goa had been a part of the great empire of Ashoka in the third century B C. One of empires born from the fragmentation was that of the Kadambas. Jayakesh who reigned in 1052 A.D. made Goa his capital. In the thirteenth century, it was seized by Muslims in 1367 by Rajah of Vijayanagar or Bisnagar. Somewhere between that date and 1440, Goans expelled their new invaders and became independent.
Always coveted, it returned back into the hands of the Muslims in 1473 and came to be conquered by Afonso de Albuquerque on November 25, 1510. Ramalho Eanes personally noticed that in 1950 Goa had a large elite, 37% of its total population. There was a practice of culture of tolerance and mutual respect, as " in legal coexistence, living, co-habited with different communities, be they a Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim, a Parsi and other lesser known. "
But had Goa sufficient technical staff and economic conditions necessary to be able to decide its future?
The answer was affirmative: "And the truth is that Goa had or could create all conditions to decide its future and live in peace and progress. The numerous Goan elite held numerous top positions in all social subsystems (justice, health, education, taxation, etc.) at the time that I as a military lieutenant, served in India. She possessed substantial mineral resources and a solid agriculture. She had special conditions for touristic attraction: - geographic, landscapes, human (peaceful coexistence of various communities), built heritage.
Conditions destine therefore to ensure sustainable economic future." If as corroborated, the question Goa said in respect of Goans, if she united all the conditions to be independent, if Goa, overall, but the Portuguese Homeland also deserved that the destiny should have been different of Estado Português da Índia”, why did it not materialise?
It could not have been more clear and direct, the answer. It was due to the "Salazar's geopolitical incompetence" and of the "dictatorial attitude, and colonialism and imperialism halo” of Nehru.
To the author's prologue, Salazar did not reveal having great political vision required at capital times of global history, which is why he lost the opportunity to make Goa the Brazil of the East: "Salazar could have been the author of this different and innovative destination. Opportunity should have made Goa a new Brazil, a 'Brazil of the East'. Indeed, following the end of the war of 1939-45, all conditions, internal and international had to put shoulders together to that purpose. Unfortunately, he knew not to listen to political desire - the righteous politician desire – the significant part of Goan elite.
He had no geopolitical insight to realise the unique opportunity to respond in correct geopolitics’ anticipation, the demands of the historical evolution of the world. "
From ones point of view, Salazar missed the opportunity to an important place in world history, "Salazar did not want – or was not capable – of playing a lead role in this proper and convenient gesture, he didn’t have the stroke to place himself into an important place in the history of the world." However, for Ramalho Eanes the blame is not only that of Salazar, all of us have our share of responsibility: "And the truth is that the Portuguese civil society, that it colonized and are dull, passive, immune to public national happenings; they will become non demanding. "
In fact, men leave their indelible mark on world history when born at the right time and the right place. Another destination would Goa have if António Ramalho Eanes had been President of the Republic of Portugal before December 18, 1961.
VALENTINO VIEGAS, Historian
DAILY NEWS (Lisbon) - 29/06/2010