Thursday, June 6, 2013


On December 17, 1961, the Army of the Indian Union Invaded – with No Declaration of War - the Portuguese Estado da India. The reasons for the Invasion of Estado da India are multiple, and all of them subject to several interpretations.
Se Cathedral : The Largest Church in Asia and symbol of Portuguese Presence
This brief analysis attempts to be just another contribution to facilitate the understanding of what happened. In a world where the Internet is increasingly important when accessing to the information, it is important to have a Portuguese version of what happened, purged of much of what we know today was just a propaganda used to justify the actions of the Indian Union.

Many Historians, in 2011 commemorate 50 years on the event, and consider the Invasion of the Portuguese positions in that territory was the beginning of a process of deconstruction of what some have called the Portuguese Empire. It should be, however, considered that various theses argue, with a valid argument, that the Estado da India was not part of any empire, but a National reality with almost five centuries of its existence.


The Portuguese Estado da India, being Goa its main territory, flourished into the twentieth century as the remnant of the large number of Portuguese squares and forts along the coasts of the Indian subcontinent.

It is important to remark that the concept of ‘INDIA’ for the Portuguese did not necessarily correspond to the Indian Subcontinent. In many cases, the designation ‘INDIA’ was used to refer to the Indian Ocean coast and the Portuguese fortresses of both the East African and Arabia Coasts or Persian coasts. The Indian Union just took the name of Indian Subcontinent or Indian Ocean when it was born on 15th August 1947.

Unlike other Portuguese possessions, the Portuguese Estado da India had a different status compare to other Portuguese Overseas territories. Goa had the right to elect its own representatives to the courts of the kingdom and had representation in parliament in Lisbon since 1822.

At the time of its conquest in 1510, Goa was a territory controlled by Muslims (called “Moors” by the Portuguese) against which the Portuguese were at war. Islam had begun its expansion on the west coast of the Indian subcontinent as early as the seventh century. The relationship between the Arabs and western coasts of Indian Subcontinent were indeed long before even the advent of Islam. The Portuguese control of Goa was the result of political alliances between Portugal and the Hindu kingdoms in the Indian Subcontinent, who also fought against Muslims.

The Portuguese possession of Goa, thus resulted from an act of war between Muslims and Christians, the latter having the support of Hindus. However, Portuguese possession of Goa has not been established since 1510, although Portugal had conquered the city at that time, making Goa one of the busiest Cities in the Indian subcontinent, the city would follow the Portuguese decline in Asia during the seventeenth century.

Already after the secession of Portugal's domination of the Filipe Habsburgs, the Dutch took possession of several Portuguese territories in the Indian Subcontinent. Portugal ceded Bombay to the British as a way to get support from them to defend what remains of Portuguese Asian possessions.

In 1683, the Marathas attacked the city of Goa, which comes to be occupied the following year. This leads to the Portuguese to move to the Mormugão peninsula, south of Old Goa, where the capital becomes Vasco da Gama. For ninety years a war with the Marathas was fought. Portugal regain Old Goa, as a result of much pressure and money from Goans.

But only after the conquest of Ponda to the Maratha empire in 1773, the northern part of the territory will pass into the possession of the Portuguese, also because of pressure from the British on several other fronts weakened Marathas tremendously .

One can therefore say that such ownership resulted from the "Right of Conquest”, Internationally accepted until many centuries after the conquest of Goa in 1510.

The Borders between the territories occupied by the Portuguese and the British in the Indian Subcontinent were delineated by Britain. Britain had given the possession of the various territories on the Indian Subcontinent which they controlled up to 40 years to new entities that meantime were formed, one of which would be known as ‘UNION OF INDIA’. This new Political entity, this new Country, ‘UNION OF INDIA’ will represent a problem for Portugal in the Indian Subcontinent.

The Partition of British India

The Disappearance of the British Empire

The British presence in the India Subcontinent began in the seventeenth century with the establishment of trading posts in various parts of the Indian Subcontinent. But the first city that the British effectively controlled was ceded to them by the Portuguese in 1661 as a wedding dowry to renew the bonds of alliance between Portugal and England.

After the end of World War II, Hindu Nationalism had shown that India would not accept the continuation of British rule and Britain, exhausted by the conflict had no possibility to ensure its continued possession of those territories.

The Catastrophic British Decolonization

Already in 1946, it was perfectly clear that the British Empire, would not be able to achieve their theses and maintain a Unified India.

The British usually used to delineate the boundaries without respecting ethnic cases and differences between their various Liegemen. When in 1946 Britain said that British India could be Independent, acceding to independence as a unified state, the resistance of the Muslims begins.

Across British India Muslims put black flags in the windows protesting against the denial of the right to Independence of Muslim India. The hatred came to a head with retaliation by the Hindus and the clashes resulted in 5,000 dead.

The situation was falling outside the control of Britain that showed be unable or unwilling to control British India.

On February 20, 1947, Britain decided the final withdrawal of British troops would take place in June 1948, a way to escape quickly to the problem.

After several attempts and remained deadlocked, Britain finally agreed in June 1947 the division of British India into two states: a Hindu majority ‘UNION OF INDIA’ and another Muslim majority ‘PAKISTAN’.

The process followed was pathetic, with referendums held in haste in many regions of Indian Subcontinent, with semi-literate people to be consulted about the country that they wanted to belong.

The British drew the borders of the two new states 'PAKISTAN' & 'UNION OF INDIA' based on completely outdated and antiquated maps, using the rivers as a basis for the borders, in areas where these same rivers completely change places every monsoon. The blundering actions of a British further increased the already a great confusion.

The resulting division in which many Hindus found themselves suddenly in Muslim areas and vice versa, resulted in the hasty escape of 14 million people between June and September 1947. Only during the exodus of those months, at least 600,000 people died, murdered by extremists on both sides. It is estimated that the number of dead rose to over 1,000,000.

Do not run the risk of ending up with India before starting!

When we try to understand the reasons that led to the most remote Indian Independence in 1947, in the terrible conditions under which it took place, it is not difficult to conclude that the Indian Union - or the Hindu Nationalists - interpreting the history and considering that the separation of the Hindu kingdoms and Hindu principalities in the past was the reason for their downfall, they did everything to prevent the fragmentation of the Indian Subcontinent that in thier view would weaken the very existence of the newly formed nation called ‘UNION OF INDIA’.

The Disunity among the various peoples in the Indian Subcontinent that the imagination of the Hindu Nationalists called Unified India - having created an officially designated State ‘UNION OF INDIA’, was a mortal danger to the country. There could be no more Unified India.

The fate of Goa, even against the desire of the people of Goa and against the principles of International Law, had been sketch.

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