Goa Liberation Day: 19 December

Goa Liberation Day is observed on 19 December every year in India and it marks the day Indian armed forces freed Goa in 1961 following 450 years of Portuguese rule. Goa Liberation Day is marked by an abundance of events and festivities in Goa though this time because of the pandemic the celebrations are expected to be muted. A torchlight procession is ignited from three different locations in the state, eventually all meeting at the Azad Maidan.

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History of Goa Liberation Day:

  • The Portuguese colonised several parts of India in 1510 but by the end of the 19th-century Portuguese colonies in India were limited to Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra, Nagar Haveli and Anjediva Island.
  • The Goa liberation movement, which sought to end Portuguese colonial rule in Goa, started off with small scale revolts.
  • On August 15, 1947, when India gained its Independence, Goa was still under the Portuguese rule.
  • The Portuguese refused to give up their hold over Goa and other Indian territories. Following a myriad of unsuccessful negotiations and diplomatic efforts with the Portuguese, the former prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, decided that military intervention was the only option.
  • The 36-hour military operation, conducted from December 18, 1961, was code-named ‘Operation Vijay’ meaning ‘Operation Victory,’ and involved attacks by the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Indian Army.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • Goa Capital: Panaji.
  • Governor of Goa: Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
  • Chief Minister of Goa: Pramod Sawant.

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