Friday, June 26, 2015

GOA - INDIA - PONDICHERY - MACAO by A. Veronica Fernandes, Candolim

A few years preceding the invasion and conquest of Goa by Nehru’s "serkar" (I say conquest because according to the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court of India, on 19th December 1961, Goa was conquered by India. Hence, the word Liberation is wrong), especially during the tenure of last Portuguese Governador Vassalo e Silva, Goa was booming and flourishing with all round development. Common man was happy because Vassalo e Silva introduced lot of developmental changes in Goa. 
To give a sense of dignity to the students he stopped corporal punishment in schools for the students. Earlier, teachers were thrashing the students like Buffalos especially if the student is coming from low category.   To spread education to all the segments of Goan society especially for the socially lower rung students, he made primary education in Portuguese compulsory for all children attaining the age of six, of course free of charge. And those who wanted to pursue higher professional education in Portugal, educational loan facilities were given to the students by the Goa government. 
To spread the gospel of education, he issued order to build Portuguese Primary Schools in every village. His wish was to make every Goan adequately educated. Then, after creating appropriate climate, he gave a call to Gulf Goans willing to return to Goa for job, to come back with a promise to provide them with the necessary employment in Goa, for English educated in the Mining sector and for Portuguese educated in the government departments. Heeding this call some Goans working at Qatar Oil Company left their jobs, returned to Goa and got employed in Goa.
Then he embarked on creating avenues for Goans to get employment especially for the Portuguese educated Goans and this move was making a very good progress. Then he made easy availability thru market reforms, of the goods and commodities for the common man like two and four wheelers and electronic gadgets. Expensive and luxury goods started flowing into the hands of common man. The prices of food items were brought down thru his personal intervention so that common man could afford best of food. To check the prices of food items, in Panjim market as a common "Paklo" he was moving all by himself in civilian dress. 
Agriculture was given a strong boost even by providing the affected farmers with necessary requirements to carry on with their farming uninterrupted. When in my village once Saline water entered the paddy fields, he personally came to inspect the affected paddy fields by interacting with the “Kaxtticar” farmers to the chagrin of Bamon Bhattkarshai. His wish was to elevate the standard of "Bahujan Samaz" and in this direction he was moving speedily.
During this time itself when Goa was doing all round progress, according to my source, Nehru got the smell that Goa is progressing at a fastest pace and if India wants to acquire Goa, this will be the only ripe time when Goa was still progressing. If India delays invasion of Goa for later on then even ordinary Goan would oppose invasion because by that time even the last strata of Goan would be developed and would not like to be a part of corrupt and filthy country India under the corrupt Indian leaders. Hence the military invasion of Goa started on 17th December and at that particular moment on 18th December 1961, UN discussed this topic and commanded India not to move an inch further into Goa till this topic is discussed and settled amicably. 
In the ensuing Security Council Vote, 7 countries including US, UK, France, China voted against invasion of Goa but Russia, Ceylon and other two tiny countries voted in favour of invasion of Goa. Since Russia wielded Veto power, the resolution went in favour of invasion. Thus Goa was hurriedly robbed from Goans by India to convert it into a colony of India or a brothel of India or a part of Maharastra since the big stalwarts of Congress Party in Maharastra were keeping their eyes on Goa, Y. B. Chawan and V.P. Naik were two of them. As a punishment for Nehru’s Congress for illegally invading Goa without taking Goans into confidence, in the first general election, Congress Party of Nehru was totally voted out by the Goans. Such a humiliating defeat Congress never got anywhere in India.
If Goa is saved till today, we must thank Governador Vassalo e Silva for not executing Salazar’s order of destroying Goa fully to the ashes instead of giving Goa on silver platter to India. If Goa is intact till today, we must pray for Vassalo e Silva and also the then Portuguese Patriarch of Goa who impressed upon Vassalo e Silva not to follow the diktats of Portuguese dictator Salazar. It was their Christian principles that made them to act the way they acted. This is the greatness of Christianity. Thru their decision they saved not only minority Christians but also majority Hindus. A few days before the invasion of Goa, the way Bombs were implanted all over Goa by the Portuguese it was really horrible. May the Christian souls of both these Portuguese stalwarts rest in peace.  
Like Goa, Pondichery in South India was also colonized not by the Portuguese but by the French and it was given freedom not in 1947 but in 1954. It took many years after independence in 1947 for India to claim possession of Pondichery from France officially and legally. At the time of surrender of Pondichery to India in a treaty and agreement signed by the French Foreign Minister and Nehru of India, a number of Clauses were put by the French government to safeguard the rights of the citizens of Pondichery and all these clauses were accepted by the same Nehru who promised mountains to Goans but none given. It took long years of negotiations for India and France to agree on these clauses and then only France agreed to hand over Pondichery to India. While Pondicherians were given all the rights and facilities to safeguards their interest by Nehru, Goans were totally neglected because Goa is a precious place for India. For this reason India robbed Goa in the name of fake lliberation.
Take the case of Macao, another colony of Portugal. When it was given to China by the Portuguese government, both the countries Portugal and China negotiated for long years the clauses for transfer of power. Like Pondicherians, Macao citizens were also given lot of facilities and rights. It is almost like an independent country now except that its sovereignty comes under China. There is no high command in Beijing for Macao, all the decisions are taken in Macao only. And to get all these facilities, Portuguese government worked hard to convince China to agree. 
While Portugal at the time of transfer of power of Macao to China protected the rights of Macao citizens, the same assurance was not given to Goans at the time of officially and legally handing over Goa to India in 1974. Before the transfer of Macao to China, Portugese took Macao citizens into confidence and then only transferred the power to China. But at the time of negotiating of officially transferring of power of Goa to India in New York in 1974, only the two persons – foreign ministers of India and Portugal – decided what is good and what is bad for Goans without even consulting Goans. Mario Soares was the foreign minister of Portugal and it was he who gave Goa on silver platter to India on behalf of Portugal. When the final agreement was signed in the same year in Delhi by both the leaders, there was nothing for Goans thus Portugal also robbed Goans of their rights and previlleges and because of this we are now suffering in Goa as orphans.
India does not care for our rights and sentiments. Special Status will never be given to Goa inspite of the lies given by Modi and Parricar. In the next election in 1922 there is a possibility of non-Goans to form government in Goa because majority of residents in Goa will be non-Goans then and because of their harsh and cruel nature they will even massacre Goans if we do not toe their line, just as Jews did for Palestinians in the occupied Palestine. Our situation will be very pitiable. Our freedom fighters who suffered so much to get rid of Portuguese from Goa will never be able to help us. They are dead issue now only. We have to forget them to do anything good for Goa and Goans. They are happy with their Tamrapatras and Pensions that Indian government gave them.
In this scenario, is everything lost for us? No, never. With some hope, we have to tell our woes to the current generation and see if we can get a new leadership from them to fight peacefully for our rights, if necessary by approaching even UN, if possible. UN Charter gives certain facilities to the indigenous people who are facing a disguised genocide in Goa. Global Goans can think over this issue because they are in better position to make their voice more audible. If possible we must conduct a hunger strike in front of Portuguese Consulate in Panjim to make Portugal aware of our sentiments and of the mistake they did by ignoring us at the time of transferring of power of Goa to India. Side by side, we must conduct peaceful “dharna” in Delhi to make Delhi “babus” aware of our grievances because our case is totally different. We were not Indian citizens till 1961/62 but we were made Indian citizens by force by Indian “dadageri”. By doing this much we may not get anything but by sleeping at home will we get something?    

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