Goa Liberation Day 2021: Did you know that Goa was not always a part of independent India? Goa Liberation Day is observed annually in India on December 19. If you were wondering why December was such a busy month in the “Union Territory of Goa“, Sunburn isn’t the only answer.
The Goa Liberation Day celebrates the liberation of Goa from Portuguese dominion on 19th December 1961.
It is seen as a momentous day, as it terminated an age-old rule that was eventually exploitative and dissatisfying. The Liberation of Goa from the Portuguese domain was quite a momentous occasion in the already checkered Goan history.
History of Goa Liberation Day:
Even though British dominion left India in 1947, Goa remained under the control of the Portuguese who refused to give up the control of the Goa state despite several requests from India. The struggle for the liberation of Goa was two-fold: from within Goa and from outside Goa (led by the Indian Government).
In late 1961, the Indian Government started to deploy the armed forces after several attempts at peaceful negotiations. However, it is also believed that the Portuguese army possessed the supersonic interceptors which can destroy the strength of Indian armed forces.
Hence, the Indian Airforce requested to reinforce the strength of the ground force. On December 17, 1961, nearly 30,000 Indian ground troops with the Indian air force and Navy invaded the 3,000 members of the ill-prepared Portuguese army. The entire operation named as “Operation Vijay” was completed with minimal bloodshed.
At last, Portuguese Governor General, Vassalo Da Silva gave up the control of Goa in late 18th December of 1961. On December 19, 1961, Goa finally became a part of India and thus why the Goa Liberation Day is celebrated on December 19. On the same day, some of the other Portuguese-controlled areas like Daman and Diu were also retrieved.
How to celebrate Goa Liberation Day:
Every year, people in Goa celebrate Goa Liberation Day with great excitement. The torchlight procession will take off from three different locations and will med together at Azad Maidan where people of Goa will gather to pay tribute to the martyrs, who lost their lives while fighting for the liberation of Goa.
After this, the celebrations will take off with several cultural activities all around Goa. From traditional dances by school girls to fairs, the parties will be conducted until late evening.
Important things related to Goa Liberation Day:
- ‘Operation Vijay’ ended 451 years of rule by the Portuguese in Goa.
- In the battle, 22 Indians and 30 Portuguese soldiers were killed.
- Kunhiraman Palat Candeth, a senior army officer was named Lieutenant Governor after Goa was regained.
- He was tasked with looking after the administration.
- Goa was given statehood status on 30 May 1987.
Interesting Facts about Goa:
- A forested land
Goa not only consists of long, sandy beaches around 20% of the land falls within the beautiful Western Ghats of India, a vast mountain range and a treasure trove of biodiversity.
- Goa celebrates two independence days
India became an independent country, free from British rule, in 1947 Goa celebrates this as well as their state independence from the Portuguese in 1961.
- Over 400 species of birds
There are six conservation areas where visitors can explore wildlife, which contain rare birds including the long-billed vulture, darter, great pied hornbill, and many more.
- Beautiful waterfalls
Goa boasts one of India’s largest waterfalls, the Dudhsagar Falls, which is 1017 feet high and can be found on the far-east side of the state.
- Ancient rocks
Some of the oldest rocks in India can be found in Goa between Molem and Anmod classified as the Trondhjemite Gneiss; these rocks are over 3,600 million years old!