Goa celebrates 57th Liberation Day

Goa Liberation Day is being celebrated today. Goa was liberated on 19th December 1961, from around 450 years of Portuguese rule. Various functions have been organized across the state to mark the occasion.

At the state-level Goa Liberation Day programme held in Panaji in North Goa this morning, speaker of Goa legislative assembly Pramod Sawant unfurled the tricolour, reviewed the parade and addressed the gathering. Mr Sawant shared the thoughts of chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who was unable to attend the celebration due to illness.

Portuguese were the first ones to colonize parts of India and were the last to leave. The Portuguese invaded Goa in the year 1510.

Operation Vijay began on December 17, 1961, when the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ordered the invasion. With a force of almost 30,000, the Indian attack overpowered the ill-prepared Portuguese 3,000 member army. With minimal bloodshed, the attack was successful and was carried forward to retrieve the other Portuguese-controlled areas, Daman and Diu.

At this point on December 18, the Portuguese Governor General Vassalo da Silva gave up control of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu. Three days after the attack began, Goa finally became a part of India.

Referendum and Statehood:

The Goa Opinion Poll was a referendum held in the state of Goa, India, on 16 January 1967, to decide the future of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu within the Indian Union. Although popularly called an opinion poll, it was in fact, a referendum, as the results of the poll were binding on the government of India. The referendum offered the people of Goa a choice between continuing as a union territory or merging with the state of Maharashtra. It is the only referendum to have been held in independent India. The people of Goa voted against the merger and Goa continued to be a union territory. Subsequently, in 1987, Goa became a full-fledged state within the Indian Union.

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