Thursday, June 26, 2014
JEDRZEJ GIERTYCH ON GOA INDEPENDENCE 1954
Jedrzej Giertych was a Polish Right-Wing Politician, Journalist and Writer. He Supported Goa to be an Independent Country.
THE GOANS IN GOA – THE QUESTION OF INDEPENDENCE, 10th SEPTEMBER 1954 - BY JEDRZEJ GIERTYCH - CATHOLIC HERALD
It is obvious that the Indian Catholics would like their numbers to be increased and their position strengthened by the incorporation of Goa into India. It is also understandable that they are anxious to prove to their Non Christian fellow-countrymen that they are good Indian patriots.
The attitude of Ex-Goans (Bombay Goans) who are settled in India is naturally similar to that of other lndian Catholics: they live in India and they are absorbed into the Catholic Indian community. In the Case of an Irish-English conflict it would be similarly very likely that the English Catholics of Irish origin would take side with the English, not with the Irish.
The real issue is not the attitude of the Indian Catholics, or of the Indian Ex-Goans (Bombay Goans), but of the Goans in Goa. It is quite clear that the incorporation of Goa into India Union would mean a weakening of the position of Catholicism in Goa and probably the disappearance of Goa as a particularly strong and influential Catholic stronghold in Asia. The situation is slightly similar to that of the Papal States before 1870. We should pray for the preservation of Goa's autonomy, because Goa is a Catholic political unit threatened with absorption into a non-Christian one. But if Goa is destroyed, this will not mean that Goan Catholicism, and even its particular role, will disappear too.
Goa is not a part of India, but a separate nation, numerically four times as big as Iceland, not smaller than Luxembourg, and only slightly smaller than Estonia or Albania. It has the right to preserve its independence from India. The Indian civilisation is very old, but the Indian nation is very young; it is a product first of the Mughals, and then of the British rule. Goa has not participated in historical events which brought about the taking shape of the Indian nation. The incorporation of Goa into India would be no more justified than a similar incorporation of Pakistan or Ceylon.
If Goa were in Europe, or in South America, it would be independent. But can it be independent having such a neighbour as India? Can it part without even such a support as the Portuguese connection can give?
- Jedrzej Giertych, 16 Delmont Road, London, N.I5.