Liberation of Goa

The Liberation of Goa was quite a momentous occasion in the already chequered Goan history. December 19th is celebrated as Goa Liberation Day. The liberation of Goa led to its release from the Portuguese dominion by the Indian Navy. It is seen as a momentous day, as it terminated an age old rule that was eventually exploitative and dissatisfying.

After the British Left India, Goa remained the only part of India under foreign control. The Portuguese, not willing to give up so soon, held on to its last but bountiful colony, Goa, despite repeated requests from India.

The struggle for Goa's liberty was two fold - from within Goa and from the outside Goa - which was conducted by the Indian Government. In late 1961, several failed negotiations later, the Indian government deployed armed forces. However, there were some problems as it was suspected that the Portuguese possessed supersonic interceptors. The unavailability of the strength of their air-force posed a big fear as well. As a result of this the Indian Air Force was requested to provide reinforced support to the ground force.

Finally on the orders of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the military invaded Goa on December 17, 1961. On December 17, 1961 some 30,000 Indian ground troops, with the Indian air force and navy, overpowered the 3,000 member ill-prepared and Portuguese army. There was some more military action after that. The other Portuguese colonies of Daman and Diu were also recovered. The total amassing of the Portuguese colonies formed the "Union territory of Goa, Daman and Diu". The entire military operation -"Operation Vijay" was conducted almost without any bloodshed. At last, Portuguese Governor General Vassalo da Silva gave in on 18 December.

Three days later, after the operations began, on December 19th 1961, Goa finally became a part of India. So December 19th is celebrated as Goa Liberation Day.

Last Updated on : 20th March 2013