Modern Indian History-Events and Personalities

60th Goa Liberation Day


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Liberation of Goa

Mains level: Decolonization of India

Goa hosts PM for the celebration of its 60th liberation day.

Goan Liberation

  • An important port for trade and military operations, Goa was ruled by the Portuguese for more than 450 years.
  • Historically, revolts against Portuguese rulers and their policies were recorded in the 18th and 19th century too.
  • On June 18, 1946, the movement of Goa’s liberation gathered momentum after socialist leader Dr Ram Manohar Lohia plunged himself into the freedom movement with many young Goans.
  • The day is now observed as Goa Revolution Day.

Freeing from Portuguese Rule

  • Even as India became independent on August 15, 1947, Goa continued to be under Portuguese rule 14 years after that.
  • After independence, the calls for Goa’s Liberation again gathered steam.
  • After multiple agitations by freedom fighters, India made peaceful attempts for Goa’s liberation through diplomatic channels.
  • However, as a last resort, the Indian government then led by PM Nehru, sent in its armed forces to the coastal state after which the Portuguese surrendered and Goa was liberated on December 19, 1961.
  • This moment also marked the exit of the Portuguese (the first-comers), the last of the European colonizers to leave India.

Contribution of T.B. Cunha

  • Cunha (1891-1958) was a prominent Indian nationalist and anti-colonial activist from Goa.
  • He is popularly known as the “Father of Goan nationalism”, and was the organiser of the first movement to end Portuguese rule in Goa

What was ‘Operation Vijay’?

  • Perhaps the first tri-service operation of the Indian armed forces, Operation Vijay was about the liberation of the Portuguese territories of Goa, Daman and Diu.
  • It was a 36-hour military operation that started on December 18, 1961 and concluded on December 19, 1961.
  • While the army advanced into Goa from the North and the East, the Indian Air Force bombed the Portuguese airbase at Dabolim.
  • The Indian Navy was tasked with preventing hostile action by Portuguese warships, securing access to the Mormugao harbour, and securing the Anjadip island off Karwar.
  • By the evening of December 19, 1961, Portuguese Governor General Vassalo De Silva had signed the document of surrender after Indian armed forces.

What happened after the liberation of Goa?

  • Goa was annexed into the Indian Union and was the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu.
  • In 1967, however, the question of whether the state should merge with Maharashtra or not was answered through a plebiscite in which the majority of the Goan people voted against a merger.
  • It continued to remain a Union Territory until 1987 when it was accorded statehood.
  • Goa became India’s 25th state even as Daman and Diu continue to be UTs.


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