Goa Liberation Day: Its history, significance and ‘Operation Vijay’

The occasion is always, understandably, celebrated with fervour in the smallest state of India.

Goa had been an important port for trade as well as military operations of the Portuguese. (File image: IE)

Goa Liberation Day: Goa is marking its 60th Liberation Day on Sunday, and the state is celebrating the occasion with much fervour. In fact, the celebrations for the diamond jubilee of the event was set into motion on Goa Liberation Day last year itself by President Ram Nath Kovind, while he was visiting Panaji. Since then, the state government began many programmes for the event, with the Centre also announcing a grant of Rs 300 crore for Goa, according to a report by IE. The occasion is always, understandably, celebrated with fervour in the smallest state of India. But what is Goa Liberation Day and why is it important? Find out here.

Goa Liberation Day: History and Significance

Goa had been an important port for trade as well as military operations of the Portuguese, who ruled the region for over four and a half centuries. Though the area did revolt against the Portuguese, as on record, in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was on June 18, 1946, that the movement for liberation of Goa started gaining momentum as socialist Dr Ram Manohar Lohia joined Goans in their struggle. June 18, therefore, is celebrated in the state as Goa Revolution Day.

Despite this struggle, and despite India gaining Independence from British rule on August 15, 1947, the Portuguese did not liberate Goa until 14 years later. Once India attained freedom, the call for independence of Goa from Portuguese rule intensified, and while some freedom fighters led agitations, many others attempted to hold peaceful talks to get the country free using diplomacy.

At the end, however, Indian Armed Forces were sent by then PM Jawaharlal Nehru, post which the Portuguese rulers surrendered and liberated Goa on December 19, 1961.

With this, the last of the European colonisers left India.

During this liberation of Goa and Daman and Diu from Portugues, the tri-services of the Indian Armed Forces carried out Operation Vijay, a 36-hour military operation that began on December 18, 1961, and concluded on December 19, 1961. The Indian Army entered Goa from the East and North, while the Indian Air Force bombed Dabolim-based airbase of the Portuguese rulers. Meanwhile, the Indian Navy took its position and secured access to Mormugao harbour and Anjadip island to prevent the Portuguese warships from taking any action.

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