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Why Goa does not celebrate Independence Day on 15th August? History of Goa’s independence

Why Goa does not celebrate Independence Day on 15th August? History of Goa’s independence


  • GS 2 || Polity || State Government || State Legislature

Why in the news?

Goa does not celebrate Independence Day on 15th August

History of Goa:

  • The Name – Goa When the Hindu epic “Mahabharata” was written in the later Vedic period (c.1000-500 BC), Goa was referred to by the Sanskrit term “Gomantak,” a word with numerous connotations, most notably a rich region; nevertheless, it was the Portuguese who gave Goa its name.
  • The Early Period – Goa was a part of Emperor Ashoka’s Mauryan Empire. Other cultures have referred to it by various names. Indian Aparant, Gomant, Govarashtra, Goparastra, Govapuri, Gopakpuri, Gopakapattana, Gove were some of the names it was known by in the ancient world.
  • The Hindu era – The Hindu dynasties controlled Goa for the next 700 years. The various dynasties that controlled Goa during this period are, the Scytho-parthians (2nd -4th century AD), the Abhiras, Batpura, and the Bhojas ( 4th – 6th century AD), the Chalukyas ( from 6th – 8th century AD) and the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed (8th to 10th Century AD). This was followed by the Kadambas (1006 AD-1356 AD).
  • The Early Portuguese era – The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in Calicut, in present day Kerala in 1498.
  • Golden Goa: By the end of the 16th century, Goa had already reached its peak and was referred to as “Golden Goa” or “Lisbon of the East”.
  • The decline of Golden Goa: By the mid-seventeenth century, Goa’s fall as a commercial port had begun to reflect Portugal’s decline in the East, as a result of repeated military defeats by the Dutch and the British.

Independence movement of Goa:

  • In 1930: Portugal approved the “Acto Colonial” (Colonial Act) in May 1930, which prohibited political demonstrations and assemblies in all Portuguese territories. With the passage of this legislation, Goa was demoted to the status of a colony. In Portuguese India, the Portuguese also implemented a program of obligatory enlistment, which fueled rising discontent of the colonial government.
  • By the 1940s: Inspired by the Indian independence movement, which had reached a critical stage, the Goan independence movement gained traction.
  • In 1946 Indian officials focused their attention on the movements in Portuguese India and French India that aspired to join the newly independent Indian state after the British government announced India’s independence.
  • During the mid-1940s: In Goa, a number of new political parties have arisen, each with its own goal and viewpoint on obtaining Goan independence and autonomy.
  • Gandhi approach: The different independence groups should strive to unify under the broad garb of civil freedoms, Gandhi said, because an independence movement with such varied ideas would be ineffectual and may weaken the battle for independence.
  • In the year 1947: In June 1947, the various Goan political groupings convened in Bombay to publicly start a campaign asking that the Portuguese government “leave India” in response to Gandhi’s request. The Goan leadership felt that the end of British colonial authority in India would naturally lead to the end of Portuguese colonial rule in Goa.
    • On August 3, 1947, however, Lohia stated that Goa’s independence would not coincide with India’s, and that the Goans would have to continue their battle “not merely for civil freedoms, but for freedom itself.”
  • Nehru approach: The independence cause was badly harmed by Nehru’s condemnation of the Satyagraha. Following Nehru’s stated opposition to the satyagrahi, a satyagrahi plot to breach the Goan border at Terekhol Fort drew a small number of sympathizers. Despite the meager turnout, a small number of people successfully crossed the Goan border and occupied the Terekhol fort overnight.
  • Goa Independence: The anti-colonial movement lost steam without the assistance of the national Indian government, with the exception of a few satyagrahas and the operations of the All-Goa Political Party Committee. Advocacy for independence was intermittent, and few people were willing to participate in the campaign. Satyagrahis entered Goa on June 18, 1954, and raised the Indian flag.

Goa at present:

  • Goa has a well-developed social, physical, and industrial infrastructure and virtual connectivity.
  • It has an international airport that is in line with its importance as a globally-recognised leisure destination.
  • It also has significant port infrastructure.
  • The state has an established base for the pharmaceuticals industry and an emerging destination for knowledge-based industries such as biotechnology and IT.

Location advantage of Goa:

  • Strong presence in mining, tourism and pharmaceuticals:
    • Abundant reserves of iron ore.
    • Established base for the pharmaceuticals industry and an emerging destination for knowledge-based industries such as biotechnology and IT.
    • High inflow of international tourists driving tourism revenue.
  • Facilitating infrastructure :
    • Goa has a well-developed social, physical and industrial infrastructure, and virtual connectivity.
    • It has an international airport that is in line with its ambition to be a globally recognised leisure destination.
    • It also has significant port infrastructure.
  • Rich labour pool:
    • Goa’s high rate of literacy has attracted knowledge-based industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and IT.
    • A large proportion of the population can speak English, which helps boost the state’s tourism and ITeS industries.
  • Goa has 255 km of rivers & canals, providing an economical mode for goods transport.

Key Sectors:

  • Logistics and warehousing: The state is in the process of developing the logistics sector in Goa by forming a special logistics group and constructing several bridges to address the existing deficiencies regarding logistics and warehousing.
  • Tourism in state: In 2020 (till August 2020), Goa witnessed arrivals of 876,358 domestic tourists and 282,022 foreign tourists. This was much lesser than the previous year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Export of marine products: Goa has a coastline of about 104 kms and inland waterways of about 250 kms. The coast is full of creeks and estuaries formed by rivers. 125.6 thousand tonnes of marine fish were harvested in 2019. In 2019-20, exports of marine products from Goa stood at Rs. 288.5 crore (US$ 39.70 million).
  • Goa Statehood Day: On May 30, 2021, Union Shipping Minister Mr. Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the second floating jetty at Old Goa on the occasion of Goa Statehood Day
  • Electrification programme: In May 2021, Goa Chief Minister Mr. Pramod Sawant launched a solar-based electrification programme for rural households in the state. This project will bring electricity through renewable energy to areas in Goa where grid connectivity is not feasible.
  • Fishing Infrastructure: On February 7, 2021, Union Fisheries Minister Mr. Giriraj Singh announced an investment of Rs. 400 crore (US$ 55.30 million) in Goa. These funds will be used to improve the fishing infrastructure of the state
  • Mining in Goa: Goa currently has a total of 38 operational mining leases with a reported production of 9.84 million tonnes in 2018-19. Exports of iron ore from the state reached US$ 130.26 million in FY21 (as of November 2020). Mormugoa Port (Goa) handled 3.27 million tonnes (MT) of the total iron ore1 traffic between April 2020 and November 2020.

Issue with Mining in Goa:

  • After a series of court orders, mining in Goa came to a halt in February 2018. Mayem, a village in north Goa that was once rich with fields of paddy, kokum, chilli and beans has witnessed its farming land and fields being destroyed because of mining.
  • Silt from the excavation and screening process has choked the fields, rendering them useless for the growth of crops. The farmers have been waiting for compensation and restoration of degraded land since 2012.
  • The open cast technique used in mechanised mining extracts iron/manganese ore by forming benches on a hilltop and the slopes and extending the pit.
  • Iron ore mine was located in the catchment of the Salaulim water reservoir, the only water source for south Goa.

Recent Developments in Goa:

  • A new Goa tourism policy 2020 has been framed Offer a uniquely Goan experience to visitors by presenting a versatile concoction of historic, natural, ethnic, cultural locations and attractions.
  • A second greenfield international airport is being developed in Mopa, Goa with an annual capacity to handle 30 million passengers by phase IV.
  • A new export policy for the state is also being prepared to promote exports for manufactured goods and surplus agricultural produce.
  • Merchandise exports from the state reached US$ 2.30 billion between April 2020 and March 2021.
  • As of October 2020, Goa had seven formally approved and three notified special economic zones (SEZs). However, there are no operational SEZs in the state and no in-principle approved SEZ.
  • The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has identified five islands in Goa, namely St George Island, Grande Island, Pequeno Island, Conco Island and Bhindo Island to carry out holistic development.

Mains oriented question:

What are the key reasons for the development of Goa? What more can be taken to bring back more of the economy to the state after reopening all sectors after covid-19 pandemic? (200 words)