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Goa Liberation 1961 - A Tale of Peoples' Movement

#GoaLiberation1961 Saga of Goa's liberation is one that showcases the power of the peoples' movement, be it indigenous or from neighbor states. While decisive military action sealed the liberation finale in 36 hours, the contribution of ordinary folks helped the region of Goa attain freedom after 451 years of Portuguese rule. Goa had a slightly different story compared to most parts of India as it had a more brutal Portuguese colonization and did not taste freedom for 14 years after Indian independence. As we celebrate the #DiamondJubilee of #GoaLiberation1961 may we unite our hearts with the travails of countless brave fighters of an erstwhile era from different parts of the country who supported Goa and its' people. The Malabar "Jathas" or marches, ran parallel to the main narrative of Indian Independence.

Our founder & CEO, Cmde (Dr) Johnson Odakkal in a recent talk at the Goa Liberation Seminar by #IndianNavy on 14th December 2021 highlighted stellar work by veteran journalist, Late M.B. Singh, Shri Narayanan Nair, and his own inspirational father Odakkal Master of Kondotty, Malappuram, Kerala. In 1955, three marches of "Jathas" from the Malabar region of Kerala found solidarity with the Goan indigenous freedom movement. The talk in addition mentioned Dr. Tristao de Braganza Cunha, in addition to local women warriors - Sindhu Deshpande, Libia Lobo, Shashikala Hodarkar, Sharada Padmakar Savaikar in the peoples' movement. They were an assertive resistance against the colonial European power and sent a strong message to the Portuguese, that it was time for them to leave. He spoke of how they were reluctant to give up Goa with flimsy arguments. The changing global scenario, the peoples' movement, and the military action by Indian Armed Forces, all combined to pave the way for a free Goa.

A period of 15 long years since Ram Manohar Lohia raised a public protest, Goa was free. The takeaway was the zeal and spirit of the idea of “India” that may not have had a Republic or Constitutional tag prior to 1950 and yet has had a civilizational legacy for many millennia.

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