From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Goan liberation from Portuguese
Mains level : Decolonization in India
On 18 December 1961, the Indian government took military action against the Portuguese rule in Goa culminating in the liberation of Goa and its merger with the Indian Union.
- Goa is located on the southwestern coast of India within the region known as the Konkan, and geographically separated from the Deccan highlands by the Western Ghats.
- Capital: Panji.
- Official Language: Konkani which is one of the 22 languages from the Eight Schedule.
- Borders: It is surrounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its western coast.
- Portugal conquered Goa in 1510 and made it a colony.
- In 1950, the Indian government, in a bid to start diplomatic measures to free Goa, asked the Portuguese government to start negotiations for the independence of Goa. However, Portugal refused.
- The Goan movement was supported by Indian independence leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia and Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli was annexed by India in 1954 with the support of the United Front of Goans, the Azad Gomantak Dal and the National Movement Liberation Organisation.
- The commander of the Indian forces was Major-General K.P. Candeth. The operation for Goa liberation was codenamed “Operation Vijay”.
- After the fall of Goa, Portugal terminated all diplomatic relations with India and only in 1974 Portugal recognise Goa as a part of India and resume diplomatic relations.
- The USSR had steadfastly supported India in this matter and also vetoed a resolution condemning the Indian invasion in the UN Security Council.
- The highest point of Goa is Sonsogor.
- Goa’s seven major rivers are the Zuari, Mandovi, Terekhol, Chapora, Galgibag, Kumbarjua canal, Talpona and the Sal.
- Most of Goa’s soil cover is made up of laterites.