Advent of Muslims in Goa

Advent of Muslim

Though the advent of Muslims in Goa took place much later in history, there are old Arab geographers, referring to Goa as Sindabur. The Arabs held the opinion that Goa had one of the best ports in Western India. In AD 554, Sidi Ali Kodupon wrote the Turkish book "Mohit". In the book Goa is referred to as Guvah-Sindabur - an amalgamation of the names Guvah (Goa) and Sindabur (Chandrapur). The Arab voyager, Al-Masudi, too held the opinion that Sindabur was the leading coastal city in Malabar.

The Delhi Sultanate took over Goa in 1312. However, they were forced to surrender it by 1370 to Harihara I of Vijayanagara. The Vijayanagara monarchs ruled Goa for the next hundred years - till 1469. From them it passed on to the Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga. After the empire of the Bahmani sultans collapsed, the Adil Shahis of Bijapur took over. They made Velha Goa their ancillary capital. During this era, Muslim pilgrims from all over India embarked on their journey to Mecca from here. A permanent settlement was established by the Portuguese in 1510, in Velha Goa or Old Goa, when the Portuguese admiral Afonso de Albuquerque defeated the ruling Bijapur king, Yusuf Ali Adil Shah, on behalf of a local sovereign, Timayya. One of the defences that the Portuguese built during their reign was the Fort Aguada in north Goa. It was a gruesome fight that terminated with the massacre of majority of the Muslims. To further spurn the Muslims, the Portuguese appointed a Hindu Governor. Henceforth, relations were established between the Vijayanagara and Portuguese empires strengthened and the Muslims came to be despised as a common adversary.

Goa after independence

Lot of action has happened in Goa after independence. Goa, initially, straight after Independence was included into India as a Union Territory along with other the other Portuguese colonies of Daman and Diu. However, Goa has come a long way since then. It has had its first election, then its statehood. The Statehood of Goa finally delivered its actual independence. In 1963, the first assembly elections took place in Goa making Dayanand Bandodkar, of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), the first Chief Minister.

After the Liberation and the elections, the most important concern that came to the front was the issue whether Goa should remain a political unit in itself or whether it should merge itself with the existent Indian state of Maharashtra. This concern was steered by the two principal parties of the state of Goa at that time - the Maharastrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the United Goans Party (UGP). The ruling party - the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party - wanted to merge Goa with the neighboring state of Maharastra because of the similarities of culture. The United Goans Party, led by Dr. Jack Sequeira, held an opposite view; they wanted to maintain and preserve Goa's distinctive identity.