Sunday, April 14, 2013


By itself, alI that has been detailed in the last chapter would have been sufficient to make the people of Portuguese lndia turno But as if this were not so, lndian Union troops at once set about unleashing a reign of terror all over the country. Ugly-Iooking bearded Sikhs and uglier-Iooking Marathas and Madrassis went about turning the place upside down, looting houses and ransacking churches, despoiling shops of their stocks and generally behaving very much like barbarians of thirteenth century whenever they swooped down from their mountain lairs on the lush fields and rich cities of their more civilized neighbours.

They robbed and devastated where they could and exacted purchases at a ridiculously cheap price where they could not, removing everything to the illegal black-markets maintained by their relations back in the lndian Union, where huge, ungodly profits would now be in the order of the day)', thanks to this loot. ln a matter of days the shops in the towns and villages of Goa presented a sorry sight, many of them taking care thenceforth to remain locked behind hastily improvised notice boards that warned the public that they were closed for stock-taking, and others remaining open but completely empty, as though a cloud of gigantic grasshoppers with human appetites had passed through, leaving this trail of desolation behind.

One might have thought that it was a case of victorious troops running temporarily out of control in a riot of merry-making. Far from it. This was organized, welI-planned plundering of a conquered territory. Every day, after sundown, caravans of huge trucks and lorries left Pangim for Bombay and other points in the lndian Union carrying loads of welI-packed antique fúrniture, luxury goods and priceless porcelain taken from government-owned buildings and establishments. The Governor General's residence, at the Cabo, was shorn of its centuries old colIections of antiques. and the finely carved furniture dating from the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries, which had evoked admiration from many a distinguished foreign connoisseur. The Churches and Convents of Old Goa were also likewise depleted of their artistic wealth. lt was a reenactment of the sack of Delhi during the days of the Mughal Empire by the Afghan invaders under Nadir Shah l

ln Pangim, Vasco-da-Gama, Margão and Mapuça, restaurants, bars and wineshops suddenly began to run dry. lndian Union soldiers removed whiskey, brandy and, in fact, alI kinds of spirituous liquors by the bottle and even by the box. The military command itself airlifted loads of alcoholic drinks by helicopter to Belgaum and to Poona. Stocks were being rushed fast  to replenish the lean bootleg markets at home; for sure, they were determined to enjoy a lush Christmas and New Year season this year, after being for so long fed on tomato juice by Nehru's prohibition-riddled government during the fifteen years of its existence.

There was apprehensive locking of doors and windows alI around as mothers concealed their daughters and husbands sheltered their wives as securely as they could. There was a complete breakdown of law and order as agents of authority joined hands with professional bandits in an orgy of madness and violence. lndian military authorities approached by Goans in search of protection from the law retorted with some gusto and certainly with a lot more conviction, giving a lie to Nehru's statements, that their army had conquered Goa and that therefore the soldiers were entitled to a spree of looting and lustful enjoyment at the expense of Goans as was customary in alI cases where one country is conquered by another with arms.

Vae victis!

The countryside was shorn of alI police posts and the people were left to fend for themselves as welI as they could in the face of. the rising tidal wave of crime in which bandit and soldier vied with one another in the perpetration of evil. lnstances became frequent in which respectable ladies were criminalIy assaulted in daylight by the lndian soldiery, after being deprived of their ornaments and pos-sessions. ln one such incident just outside the Government House at Pangim, a pretty young lady teacher, leaving the Revenue Office after collecting her month's wages was promptly relieved of them by a couple of lndian officers in uniform, at gun point. ln another, which occurred at AIto-de-Porvorim, two respectable Hindu young ladies were going kidnapped from their home when the enraged villagers rushed to their rescue and horse-whipped the lndian soldiers at the risk of their own lives.

ln Pangim, uniformed lndian officers and men paid a daylight visit to the house of a prominent and highly respected citizen, during his absence from home, under the pretence of looking for white Portuguese soldiers, and then asked for whiskey, seeking to put into execution a macabre plan of assaulting his pretty daughter in the presence of her invalid mother, before they could be persuaded to leave by a neighbour who happened to come in. Another pretty young lady teacher was criminally assaulted outside her school building in Saligão, in broad daylight, while a third was waylaid at the Margão railway station, also returning from her school, and left her dead by seven Sikh soldiers by the roadside till she was removed to the local hospital where she cried mercifully to die.

In Canácona, troops with machine guns paid a midnight visit to the local parish Church and threatened the resident priest with death unless he consented to hand over to them the keys of the coffers. An identical incident occurred at the Seminary of the Virgin Mary at Saligão, where the treasurer, a young priest convalescing from recent fracture injuries to his legs, was similarly treated by midnight visitors, who finally escaped taking with them a number of transistor radio receivers, watches and cam eras belonging to seminarians absent on vacation. Not far away in the same village, another respectable citizen, a retired businessman from East Africa, was unceremoniously relieved of a substantial sum of money at gun point and forced to submit himself to indignities because he could not come forth with a bigger sum.

There was indiscriminate shooting down of innocent civilians, and Goan blood ran generously, shed by the hand of these invaders who professed to be their kindred come to liberate them from oppression.  A care free, young primary school teacher, Germano de Sousa, father of three infants, was mown down by lndian rifle fire at Calangute  while returning home from church service, merely because he did not understand what the soldiers asked hill) in Hindi. On a similar pre-text a young lad of twelve was riddled with bullets at Cansaulim, while returning home from a shopping errand on which his mother had sent, him. Trigger-happy Indian Union troops appeared to be just on a hunting spree. Yet their victims were, according to Jawaharlal Nehru "just a few inevitable casualties necessary in a great war of liberation.

“Characteristically, not a word was permitted to appear concerning these and other similar occurrences in the press. Of course, the world must not on any account come to know of them. But truth will always come out into the open. The editor of The Free Press Journal of Bombay, T. S. George, commenting on this aspect of the situation in Goa, in February 1962, made veiled references to "other instances of violence and rowdyism" on the part of the lndian Union troops that had gone to liberate the people of Goa.

On January 16, at the seashore resort of Bogmaló, near the town of Vasco-da-Gama, vengeful Sikh soldiers, glutted with wine and overindulged lust, threw a hand grenade in the dead of night into the house of a restaurant keeper with whom they had previously had a petty dispute over the cost of a packet of cigarettes, killing his daugh-ter and severely injuring his wife, and provoking widespread resent-ment against Nehru and his liberators. That evening, over five thousand black-clothed Goans coming from all points of the country attended the funeral service of the ill-fated Luisa Rodrigues, to mark their protest, forcing a reluctant expression of regret from the military governor for this "regrettable incident"; but the bandit soldiers who, by the code of any other civilized country would have had to submit themselves to trial and punishment by court-martial, were permitted to escape into the Indian Union and eventually to join their families, as returning heroes. Once more, the lndian press and the All lndia Radio-infamous information agencies of a democratic country that prides itself on freedom of expression and on so-called free dissemina-tion of information-remained strangely silent.

ln Goa, a brief press note was issued from Government House, in view of the gravity of the situation provoked by the occurrence, and in Bombay only The  Free Press Journal referred to it in passing. Strange that only a month before, the entire press of the Indian Union-some hundreds of news-papers, published in English and in the vernacular languages-and the All lndia Radio were so vociferous about the fancied atrocities of the Portuguese authorities, whereas now they were struck dumb. Even the usually fearless and independent editor of The Current weekly of Bombay, D. F. Karaka, could persuade himself to refer to the tragic incident of Bogmalo, only on February 3, and that also as part of his anti-Menon election propaganda!

But the vanquished must be grateful for being permitted to breathe and stay alive.  ln the religious sector, the more orthodox among the lndian Union Hindus, especially those hailing from the surrounding regions of Maharashtra bordering on Goa, have long been nursing hostile sentiments towards the Roman Catholics inside Goa. By a strange and warped process of reasoning they have always held the Goans respon-sible and answerable for fancied wrongs which were aIlegedly' inflicted during the sixteenth century by the Holy Inquisition on the Hindus  of Goa.

These feelings now found expression in aêts of disrespect to the Roman Catholic hierarchy and to the Catholic cult in general. At the Cortalim ferry-boat crosisng, anti-Catholic Hindus joined communist elements in an attempt to lay violent hands on the Patriarch, Archbishop of Goa, Dom José de Vieira Alvernaz, and smashed to bits the photographic camera of a Brazilian journalist who dared to intervene in defence of the aged and unprotected prelate. Many churches and shrines were broken open and several cases of desecration were registered. ln Pangim, Hindu mobs escorted by lndian Union troops, carrying arms, raided the Hall of Christ the King, a religious and recreation center reserved for the use of the army, and tore up and cast to the winds priestly vestments, missaIs, crucifixes and other devotional objects, to the horror of the local Catholic population. A similar and still more revolting performance was witnessed at the ChapeI of St. Francis Xavier, near the Police barracks at Altinho, a few hundred kilometers away.

Religious statues and other sacred objects removed by sacrilegious hands from the church altars and homes of fleeing Goans were later discovered in the most unseemly places, like city gutters, dustbins and open garbage dumps, after being despoiled of their gold and silver trimmings. That alI these demonstrations of anti-religious hooliganism were not isolated outrages perpetrated by an undisciplined mob, but were part of a vicious anti-Catholic communal campaign that carried with it the patronage of the lndian Union authorities, is evident from the following information published amid protestations of horror in the Pangim daily Reraldo in its edition of February 9.

n the principal Church of our city may be seen exposed an image of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which it is presumed represents him carrying an olive branch in his hands.  The independent Heraldo was subjected to a long series of persecutions in which lawless elements in the pay of the lndian Union authorities joined the lndian police in Goa to make its publication impossible with dignity and honour. lts editor, Alvaro Santa Rita Vaz, was compelled to suspend its publication on April 15, 1962, and subsequently to seek refuge in Lisbon, from where he vowed to carry on his fight for truth.

The fact is that politicaI activities in any form inside' Goa are today strictly under the control of Nehru's Police Department, of which an experienced senior official, Mr. Handoo, is attached to the Government of Goa which has passed into the civilian phase since June 1962. The change from the military to civilian rule is hardly more than in name, intended to fool the outside world. In reality it is this Handoo gentleman who runs the government of spoliation and exploitation in Goa. Besides him, there are present in Goa, Damão and Diu, 6,000 uniformed police drafted from the lndian Union, 5,000 plain-clothes police, not to mention the thousands besides who have been locally recruited to serve as agents and informers. Every government office is full of such individuals who find themselves compelled by hunger and necessity to sell their souls for a mess of daily pottage, and it is estimated that for every ten employees there is a police agent in attendance. Now at last the Goan people have come to know what exactly is meant by the expression Police State.

Even those enthusiasts among Goans, who but yesterday had been chafing in impatience at some of the healthy curbs calculated to stern any tendency to the abuse of freedom in expression, now feel bitterly disappointed, awakened to the truth that the lndian brand of democracy is not exactly the same as that preached and practiced in England, and that it has more in common with the people's democracies set up in communist countries towards which Nehru and his acolytes have long been steering their country.

The lndian Union press and radio, where thought is cleverly con-trolled by brainwashing and a subterfuge censorship, are presently engaged in a gigantic campaign intended to make the world outside believe that all is well inside Goa under the occupation of the lndian Union, and that Goans have no complaints to make. Facts, however, go to prove otherwise, even though today Goa is sealed more or less water-tight by means of traveI restrictions imposed by lndian authorities. The country is like a cauldron seething in discontent, boiling up in resentment and hate. Disillusionment and discontent are snowballs.

This image was discovered on one of the roads, thrown into the garbage, near a house from which the inmates have fled to Lisbon....  The image was found with the Indian tricolour in its hands, and with a legend Jai Hind.  ln the villages, Indian troops made it a point to pay nightly visits, in groups, on the Catholic Churches, ostensibly "for the purpose of looking for concealed white Portuguese soldiers, and then to threaten the priests with reprisals in case they refused to accede to their demands and hand over all the cash and valuables belonging to the congregation. For this reason, during the Christmas that followed the conquest, few parish priests dared to hold the time-honoured midnight services in Goan churches.

And yet, this was just the beginning. lndian democracy has yet to show its secularism in full working for the people of Portuguese lndia to be able to appreciate it. ] ust now, for instance, they were assured that they had all the freedoms. The press was freed from what they thought was an obnoxious form of censorship. But it was subjected to something far more stringent and odious, regular sessions of brainwashing. Every morning, the editors of Goan newspapers were summoned to a compulsory "briefing" by the official Press Adviser to the new Government, and harangued broadly on what were according to that personage the right principles of modern journalism, and told what to print in their next edition and what to omit from its pages discreetly. ln short there was unlimited freedom to write and rave about everything except the truth.

One newspaper, A Luta, which camee out with its first issue jubilantly on the day of Goa's liberation, as though its youthful editor wished to celebrate the event in a signal fashion, had to suspend its publication after only three or four issues had been published, because contrary to official advice he dared to criticize the new administration for dismissing half a dozen Goan medical officers attached during Portuguese days to the local military hospital, including the editor of A Luta himself. The "Price of Freedom" was the title of the article in which that editor had criticized the new administration imposed by the conquerors on Goa, and he found it to his cost that the price of freedom for Goans was indeed very heavy. .

Other Goan newspapers were bludgeoned into a veritable "bed of Procrustes" and trimmed to size by the Indian Union satraps in Goa.

Being the latent resistance moves. ln the months that followed the occupation, clandestine meetings under cover of night and demonstrations and incidents expressive of anti-lndian feelings became frequente The green and red Portuguese flag, symbol of the resistance, is hoisted at night on public buildings in widely separated towns and villages, in the place of the lndian Union tricolour which is often dishonoured publicly. The police forces, are as a role reluctant to venture far into the countryside after sunset, knowing the temper of the Goans; but they swoop down in large numbers in the early morning in order to arrest the suspects and reassert the wrongfully usurped sovereignty of the country, and very frequently the village priest, the sacristan, the primary school teacher or the village postmaster find their way to the jail.

A significant commentary on the state of affairs under lndian Union administration was offered by the fact that hardly two months after the occupation, on January 26, 1962, the military governor found occasion to declare a general amnesty, in celebration of lndian Union's Republic Day, to benefit all Goans detained as politicaI offenders after December 18, 1961, and such other persons as had legal processes served on them in connection with politicaI offences. Subsequent to that date, more serious anti-lndian incidents have taken place inside Goa and even the lndian press could not ignore them. ln June 1962 a bomb exploded in the administrative offices at Vasco-da-Gama just before the military governor was scheduled to appear for a meeting with the local people's representatives who had arranged a reception for him. Soon after, when the civilian governor took over from him, at least four other bombs were discovered providentially before they could explode inside the Government Rouse at Pangim.  Goans can scarcely be said to be contented or happy with the lndian Union take over of their country. The fact that the Brazilian Embassy in New Delhi, watching over the interests of Portugal in the lndian Union, issued not less than 5,000 Portuguese passports to Goans intending to abandon their ancestral homes because of lndian harassment within a month of the occupation, is a far more eloquent commentary on the state of affairs in the Portuguese province now under lndian Union occupation, than all that is being printed in the lndian Union newspapers or broadcast over the AII  India Radio.

Since then the Brazilian Embassy has been handling many more thousands of applications from Goans desirous of leaving Goa for Portugal and the Portuguese provinces overseas. What is now taking place inside Goa and inside the rest of the Portuguese State of lndia goes to prove the truth oI the prophetic words in which Prime Minister Dr. Salazar summed up his address to the National Assembly in Lisbon on January 3, 1962: We cannot Iorecast what wiIl be the procedure of the lndian Union as regards this and many other questions which wilI arise from the de facto occupation of these Portuguese territories. It is quite likely that at first the occupying authorities’ will adopt a policy of allurement and ingratiation.

Difficulties wilI arise for both sides when the programme of lndianization of Goa begins to clash with the Goans' culture and when the Prime Minister dis-covers that a definite individuality has been formed there down the centuries by the interpenetration of cultures and by the crossing of various races I believe that violence will be exerted in direct proportion to the difficulties which make themselves felt and that if the reintegration of Goa is not effected soon, spoliation and forced equality in poverty will be followed by a loss of liberty which will place the Goans at a disadvantage as to their language, their religion and their culture.  It is therefore to be expected that many will wish to escape the inevitable consequences of the invasion, and shall be made welcome at any point within national territory. Only, the prediction carne too true without any intervening period of "allurement and ingratiation” of the Goans by their new and arrogant rulers.

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