Goa Liberation Day

Tags: Important Days

Goa Liberation Day

Goa Liberation Day is celebrated annually on 19th December to mark the success of ‘Operation Vijay’ undertaken by the Indian armed forces to defeat Portuguese colonial forces and liberate Goa in 1961.

Important facts

  • It was on 19 December 1961 that Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule.

  • It is an important day for the people of Goa and the entire country as it was after the freedom that Goa attained its statehood. 

History of Goa Liberation Day 

  • The Portuguese colonial presence in Goa began in 1510, when Afonso de Albuquerque defeated the ruling Bijapur king with the help of a local ally, Timayya.

  • The Portuguese fought frequent battles with the Marathas and the Deccan Sultanates. Goa was briefly occupied by the British between 1812 and 1815. In 1843, the capital was shifted from Velha Goa to Panaji.

  • Goa was Portugal’s most prized possession in India and the biggest territory in Estado da India Portuguesa or the Portuguese empire in India.

  • Leaders such as Tristão de Bragança Cunha, known as the father of Goan nationalism, founded the Goan National Congress in 1928 at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress. 

  • In 1946, socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia led a historic rally in Goa which became a landmark moment in the freedom struggle of Goa.

How was independence achieved?

  • After 1947, Portugal refused to negotiate with independent India on the transfer of sovereignty of its Indian enclaves.

  • The Indian government finally declared that Goa should join India “either with full peace or with full use of force”.

  • On 18 and 19 December 1961, a full-scale military operation called 'Operation Vijay' was launched, which led to the annexation of Goa by India.

  • As a result, Goa, Daman, and Diu became Union Territories of India.

  • Goa remained a Union Territory until 1987 and was then given the status of India's 25th state.

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