Annexation of Goa

Portuguese were the first to come to India as traders followed by the Dutch, the British and the French. Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama arrived at Calicut, an important sea port located on the South-West India on May 20, 1498 AD. The rise of Portuguese in India took place in 1505 AD, Francisco de Almeida was appointed as first Portuguese Governor in India. His policy to control the Indian Ocean was known as the Blue Water Policy.

Goa was captured by the Portuguese Governor Alfonso de Alberqueque in 1510 AD and he is considered the real founder of Portuguese power in India. Goa subsequently became the headquarters of Portuguese settlement in India. The Portuguese hold over the coastal areas and superiority in naval power helped them significantly. By the end of 16th century, the Portuguese captured not only Goa, Daman, Diu and Salsette but also vast stretches of land along the Indian coast.

The Goa Inquisition

The Portuguese colonial administration enacted anti-Hindu laws with the intent to humiliate Hindus and encourage conversions to Christianity. They passed laws banning Christians from employing Hindus and making the public worship by Hindus a punishable violation.

The Goa Inquisition refers to the office of Inquisition acting in the Indian state of Goa and the rest of Portuguese empire in Asia established in 1560.

Post Independent India's View on Goa

After India's independence from the British in 1947, Portugal refused to accede to India's request to relinquish control of its Indian territory. From 1954 the Portuguese brutally suppressed peaceful Satyagraha campaigns by Indians, aimed at forcing the Portuguese to leave Goa. The Portuguese used force and took actions.

As a result India closed its consulate which had operated at Panjim since 1947, imposing an economic embargo against the territory of Portuguese Goa. The Indian government adopted a 'wait and watch' attitude from 1955 to 1961 with numerous representations to the Portuguese Salazar regime and attempts to highlight the issue before the International community.

In 1961, India launched Operation Vijay and liberated Goa from the Portugeuse. The Salazar regime in Portugal refused to recognize Indian sovereignty over Goa, Daman and Diu and continued representation in Portugal's National Assembly until 1974. Following the Carnation Revolution that year, the new government in Lisbon restored diplomatic relations with India, recognizing Indian sovereignty over Goa, Daman and Diu.

Due to the military takeover, and wishes of the people of Portuguese India were not taken officially, the people continue to have the right to Portuguese citizenship. Since 2006, that has been restricted to those born during Portuguese rule.

Operation Vijay

The liberation of Goa was the process in which the Republic of India annexed the Portuguese occupied Indian territories of Goa, Daman and Diu. It started with the action carried out by the Indian Armed Forces led by General Chaudhari on 13 December 1961. This action is referred as the "Liberation of Goa".

The armed action was code named 'Operation Vijay' by the Indian Armed Forces. The operation involved air, sea and land strikes for over 36 hours, and it was a decisive victory for the Republic of India, ending 451 years of rule of Portugal over its remaining enclaves in India. The engagement lasted two days and twenty-two Indians and thirty Portuguese were killed in the fighting.

The brief conflict drew a mixture of worldwide praise and condemnation. In India, the action was seen as liberation of Indian territory, while Portugal viewed it as an aggression against national soil and its citizens.

The strategy employed was very successful as the Indian Army sealed main land routes connecting Goa and India and co-ordination with Air Force and Navy was the backbone of success. With Indian Air Force bombarding radio station at Bambolim and the airport at Dabolim and the Navy placing its advance force comprising frigates INS Betwa, INS Beas and gigantic aircraft carrier INS Vikrant along the coast of Goa, the blockade was complete.

Finally on 19th December 1961 Indian national flag was hoisted by Major General K.P.Candeth and at 6 PM the operation came to halt with Portuguese Governor Salo deSilva formally surrendering to Brig. K.S. Dhillon under headlights of the car of Portuguese Governor.