This year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, India will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day on Sunday, 15 August. The day reminds every citizen of the sacrifices that many freedom fighters made to get independence from British rule.
It is a national holiday that is observed throughout the nation. The day is also commemorated with the hoisting of the tricolor, parades, and cultural events that take place around the country.
However, even after India got independence, Goa was still under the Portuguese colony. The Portuguese ruled the tiny state for over 450 years for its beautiful land and scenic beauty. Among the traders, Portuguese were the first to colonise or capture India, and the last to leave the country.
History of Goa's invasion:
Having been invaded by the Portuguese in 1510, Goa witnessed several changes and trades much more than just its sand and sea. Also, for over four centuries, people in Goa were subjected to diabolic torture.
From the suppression of the Konkani language, persecution of Hindus and Goan Catholics to the destruction of Hindu temples and prohibitions on Hindu marriage rituals were seen and faced during 1540.
The beginning of the end of the Portuguese rule started in India on 18 June, 1946. When the rest of India was marching towards freedom, activist and political leader Ram Manohar Lohia came to Goa on a visit with writer Dr Juliao Menezes.
After getting to know about the plight of Goans, Lohia launched the Civil Disobedience Movement in the state. Following that, he was arrested and the movement was suppressed by the concerned rule. Due to this, people started to meet, organise and strategise against the Portuguese.
Among the many young leaders and fighters in Goa, the Civil Disobedience Movement left a lasting impression on Prabhakar Vitthal Sinari, who was only 13-years-old then during the movement.
How did Goa win back its freedom?
Sinari and his close men formed a revolutionary outfit called the Azad Gomantak Dal (AGD), which later joined hands with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to fight the Portuguese.
With time and word of mouth, Nana Kaajrekar (wrestler from Pune), Sudhir Phadke (music director), nationalists from Bombay, and others came together with AGD and formed a bigger coalition called the United Front of Liberation.
As a big group, they carried out attacks and broke into outbreaks to first liberate the Portuguese colonies of Naroli, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli, before taking on Goa.
For the unversed, even popular singer Lata Mangeshkar performed at a concert in Pune during that time to help raise money to purchase arms to free Goa, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli from the Portuguese.
When did Goa get its freedom?
After much long struggle and wait, Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule on 19 December, 1961. Along with journalists, satyagrahis, armed guerrillas, even legendary film artists took part in Goa's independence.