**************DEVACHEA NAVAN ANI GOEMCARANCHEA MANNANK******************* This blog is an attempt to delve into the traditions, heritage, culture, lore and ambience that spawned an enigma. A state of mind. And to perchance perform a perfunctory probe into the psyche of the Goemcar. ************************************************************************************************* GOEMCAR: Any person anywhere in the world - Goemcar rogtacho!

Saturday, March 31, 2007


Comment: Kamat-bab is very obviously erudite and he is so patently well versed in the lore and mores of nossa terra and our maim bhas. However he is biased. Haling from the Saraswat tradition he tends to see the Konkani world through Saraswat tinted glasses.

There is no doubt that the Brahmins used Konkani as their lingua de jure. But Konkani was the lingua de facto of the Catholic Goemcar masses. It is the Catholics who kept the language alive. They did so using the Roman script. Konkani-wadis must remember this and not be ungrateful. The Romi lipi must be given its due place, a place of pride and honour in the pantheon of the Konkani firmament.

The Konkani Language

Due to the tumultuous events, the Konkani community (called the Konkanis henceforth) has fragmented and spread throughout the west coast of India. Their language, Konkani had to suffer the same indignation. The Marathi community called it a dialect of Marathi and did not recognize it. The Konkani language did not receive the respect or status it deserved and it resulted in lack of literature or patronage of the language. Only Konkanis are to be blamed for this helplessness. The Konkani writers and scholars who enriched Kannada, Marathi, and English literatures have not done anything for their mother-tongue. (see related topic: Kannada Writers) Fortunately three events that occurred in recent years seem promising. First, the Central Literary Academy of India has declared that Konkani is an independent language and has set up honors and awards for recognition of works in Konkani. Second, we have recognized Goa as a state and have established Konkani as its official language. Even the government of Karnataka has established an organization for Konkani culture. Third, the ground-breaking discoveries in the Saraswati river valley have rejuvenated interest in Saraswats and their heritage. It is hoped that at least now the Konkani language will find patronage and readership that is long due..
The origins of Konkani language from the historic viewpoint are very interesting. The Aryans who migrated to India familiarized themselves in North India and established several languages based on the local influence. Depending on their geographical dispersion you can categorize two distinct groups. Punjabi, Rajastani, Gujarati, and Hindi evolved from Prakrit of Magadha and Sindhi Maithili, Assamese, Bengali originated from Shouraseni Prakrit. Konkani belongs to the second group, and hence some scholars regard Bengali or Assamese as the mother of Konkani language. However, in reality the three are siblings of the same (now nonexistent) intermediary parent language. The arguments on the matter continue to generate a lot of response among linguists. Some historians argue that it was the language of Aryans who came further south to the Konkan, and hence the name Konkani. The most important point to note here is that Konkani is first seen in the Konkan area. Early adopters used the Brahmi script, but eventually due to the local influence, Nagari (a.k.a. Devanagari) was used for the benefit of much larger audience
First Konkani inscription
Jnaneshwari is written in Konkani
Portuguese destroy all Konkani works
Konkani Bible is published
Portuguese start Konkani school
Konkani declared as a National language
There has been always sibling rivalry amongst Konkanis and the Marathis. The Marathis have condemned Konkani as, ".. a branch of Marathi; it has neither script nor literature; it is not a language." But, history has established that even when Konkani language had reached maturity, the Marathi language was not even born. There is an inscription written in Konkani dated 1187 A.D. whereas even the earliest Marathi manuscripts are of 16th century. It is no surprise that when poet Jnaneshwar wanted to create his masterpiece Jnaneshwari, he had to take up study of Konkani which was very prevalent (1209 A.D.) After 16th century both Marathi and Konkani have taken their own developmental course and it is natural that today they appear as two separate languages.
The Konkanis who settled in Goa engaged in creative literature and defined grammar for the language. Meanwhile, the Portuguese were land hungry and had started occupying the Indian west coast. They invaded the land of Parashuram and started harassing the Konkanis. These religious fanatics wanted to fill the entire universe with followers of Jesus Christ and forced their own language, customs, and religion on the residents. They even passed a law banning Konkani. In fact, they burned all the Konkani literature available at the time in 1548 A.D. The Konkanis became cultural orphans. The foreigners burnt alive the Konkanis who did not accept Christianity and forcefully converted the weaker sections of the society. They even changed their names to Christian names. So to preserve their identity the Konkanis had to migrate to different parts. This is the single most reason why Konkani has so many dialects; those who went to different parts of India were influenced by their local languages. In Vengulra, Sawantavadi, and Ratnagiri, they adopted Marathi, and Malavani was formed. In south and north Kanaras, Konkani language was influenced by Kannada, and in Kerala, the Malayalam words were integrated to the language.
In spite of persecution, the Konkanis hung on to their culture and the Portuguese thought it was better for them to learn Konkani in order to convert the Konkanis. They called Konkani the language of the Brahmins, language of the Kanarese, language of Goan Brahmins, etc. The clergy translated the Christian religious texts to Konkani with the help of the converts and a new form of Konkani literature was born. They used Roman script for the translations. Since they translated word by word, there was no beauty or literary styles. Even the sentence construction and grammar were distorted. In 16th century, this grammar was legalized by publication of a Konkani grammar book. In 17th century in order to popularize Christianity, "Christa-Purana" was published which glorified the God just as the Hindu texts did. Poems, dictionaries, autobiographies of the priests were also published. In 1808 Konkani bible was published and distributed. Even today about 500 books of the period are available for study and research. The Portuguese government started a Konkani school in 1932.

But the Hindus of Goa were devastated from the attack on their tradition and culture, and resisted the forced Christianized Konkani. They preferred the neighboring Marathi, and started creating works in Marathi. Konkanis who migrated to Maharashtra easily took to Marathi. Even the religious heads (Mathadeeshas) also started writing in Marathi. So Konkani language lost ground in its own homeland. However, those who migrated to the south preserved their lifestyle and for this, the Konkanis should be ever grateful to the people of Karnataka.
Map of South India
If one has to see the diversity of today's Konkani language, one should travel the Indian west coast. In Bombay, they speak in Marathi accent whereas in Konkan, they stretch the words so that no outsider can understand!. The Hindus of Goa liberally use the Portuguese words whereas the Christians use it as if it's a Portuguese dialect. In Karwar and Ankola (locate), they emphasize the syllables, and in Kumta-Honavar, they use consonants in abundance. The Konkani spoken by Nawayatis of Bhatkal is very melodious with smearing of Persian. People of South Kanara do not distinguish between nouns of Kannada and Konkani, and have developed a very business practical language. They sometimes add Tulu words also. The Konkani of Kerala is drenched with Malayalam, and the Konkanis of north Karnataka add Kannada verbs to Konkani grammar. The city-bred use a plenty of English. To write Konkani, Kannada, Nagari, Roman, Arabic, and Malayalam scripts are used and this way, Konkanis declare themselves as members of world family (Vishwakutumbi). There is no other language with a possible exception of Sanskrit that a language is written in so many scripts.
There are different names for the different dialects. People of Ratnagiri origin and Konkan Brahmins speak Chitpawani that is influenced by Marathi. People of Konkan speak Malavani and Goans speak Gomantaki. Tippu Sultan arrested the Christians of west coast, and transferred to Mysore as prisoners of war, and forcefully converted them to Islam. Their descendents speak Konkani with a mixture of Urdu in parts of Mysore, Coorg, and Srirangapattanam. In general, the Konkanis are skilled in multiple languages. They tend to accept other languages into their own rather than be inconvenience to others. This has served the community well as their migration from Goa to Karnataka, Kerala, and Maharashtra was easy. During the Maratha rule, Konkani families who migrated to Madhya Pradesh speak only Hindi. Sometimes I wonder if this is indeed a blessing or a shortcoming. Hindus of Goa are arguing that only works written in Nagari be recognized as Konkani literature whereas the Christian brethren want acceptance of Konkani works in Roman script. Konkanis of Karnataka consider works of Konkani in Kannada script is most authentic and superior to all others. While Konkanis of Kerala are confused on which script to use, the Konkanis elsewhere are wondering which position to take.

Although originally Konkani was the language of Saraswat Brahmins, millions have adopted it as their mother-tongue. Sonar(Suvarnakar), Serugar, Mestri, Sutar, Vani, Devali, Siddi, Gabeet, Kharvi, Dalji, Samgar, Nawayati, etc. are some of the communities who speak Konkani. It is of great importance that all these people start using one script for unity of the language. I feel that as a language derived from Sanskrit, Nagari (Sanskrit script) is best suited to express the complex pronunciation of the language, and should be used by all Konkanis regardless of the geographical location. It is also important that all works available in other scripts be rapidly rewritten in Nagari. Only then Konkani will come to be accepted as a national language of India.

By Krishanand Kamat


Comment: A whimsical view, many will say a wooly headed stance. Be that as it may, Mr Mascarenhas has made a point. Right or wrong, he says it as he sees it. A different drummer's may well be the beat that Prakash marches to, but he strides forcefully.

Portugal sought out a way to the East, to India, for the following reasons: To outflank the Arabs, their bitter foes from whom they had but recently gained their independence; and To join up with the legendary Christians of the East and to bring Christianity to the eastern peoples. From the Arab colonies of East Africa, they reached to Calicut and Cochin, and then to Goa, etc. At that time, the Christians in India were lost to the Nestorian heresy, isolated from the rest of the Christians and hard-pressed by both the Hindus and Muslims. The large Christian community of the Malabar welcomed the Portuguese with open arms and, in the hope and expectation that they would provide them with relief, symbolically handed to them the royal insignia of the last, extinct Christian Kingdom in the Malabars. Nor was their hope in vain, for the Portuguese expended a great deal of their energies in protecting the ancient Christians and in zealous proselytization, adding to their numbers. The Portuguese proselytized Goa and its environments, and other cities of the Konkan country, absorbing the small, remnant Nestorian communities, and putting the New Christians on a strong footing. In all this, they acted exemplarly. However, from the very beginning, there were problems with the Portuguese. Firstly, very many of them were corrupt and indifferent Christians, who shamelessly exploited the natives, both financially and sexually, keeping retinues of native concubines. This could not but scandalize the neophytes, and bring the missionaries into conflict with these recalcitrants. Secondly, the heresy of the Franco-Helvetian apostate, John Calvin (Jean Chauvin) came to infect all of Europe gradually, as the doctrine of the white man's racial superiority, even among Catholics, and it came to colour the Portuguese attitude in India, although it never affected the Portuguese in the same deep and radical manner as it did the Anglo-Saxons. Principally, it meant that the Portuguese became ashamed of associating with the Indian Christians, and refused to admit them into their religious orders and congregations, etc., and preferred to give them only the postings that the Europeans themselves could not or would not fill. The sum of the moral corruption of the Portuguese caused them to fall out of favour with God, who deprived them of their independence, subjected them to the King of Spain and delivered them, for their sins, that they might be purified thereby, into the hands of the Calvinist Dutch. Every where, the Dutch followed the Portuguese, hounding them and overthrowing their works, in Ceylon, Goa, Malaya and the Sunda Archipelago, in South Africa and on both the coasts of Africa and in Brazil, etc. But the Portuguese did not realize and repent their fault, and instead, committed themselves the more to them. They instead turned on the Church, under the anticlericals, King Joseph and his minister Pombal, allying themselves, as the ancient Israelities did with the Assyrians and Babylonians, with the godless, Protestant English. The third error of the Portuguese was to be deluded by the notions of nationalism and imperialism. Thus, they sought to keep their dependencies, given by God, as their own possession, instead of liberating them as soon as these communities had been adequately Christianized and substantially reformed. Thus, I say that the Portuguese were not late by fifty years or a hundred years, in giving independence to the State of Portuguese India, but I say that they were four hundred years late in giving it. Our Lord taught us, "Whatsoever you do unto the least of my brethren, that you do unto Me." The Portuguese came to bring us the Good News of Jesus Christ; they stayed on to enslave us. Thus, they sinned and wronged us. And thus, by failing each and every time to do their righteous duty before God, the successive Portuguese rulers sinned and failed to witness to God and to the rights and dignity of the Christian peoples of the EIP. The Portuguese, by selfishly holding on to our territories and forcing us under their yoke, even when we had been evangelized and grown to maturity, stultified and prevented us from finding our true and natural scope by going out and witnessing freely to all India, and to other peoples. Instead, we had to expend our energies just to survive Portuguese Imperialism. The Portuguese, instead of inquiring into the reasons why Divine Providence had abandoned them to their enemies, and reforming themselves, turned more and more bitter against God and His Church and did war against Him and her. They, under successive administrations, undercut the work of the Church and bitterly persecuted it. One of the ways that the rulers of Portugal hindered the work of the Church was by the Padroado - by virtue of which Portugal claimed a semi-proprietorial right over many Christian communities in the East Indies, even when developments rendered them incapable of asserting any influence over them or of providing them any assistance. Thus, while themselves being able to aid and assist these communities, the Portuguese contemned the Roman effort to relieve these communities, and stirred up dissentions, contentions, schism and dissatisfactions. Under Salazar and Franco, the Portuguese and the Spanish fought against the usurpations of the most ungodly of these rebels and overthrowing them, sought to re-establish their nations once again on their paths as of old - the paths when they followed the God of Abraham. However, these Phalangists signally and woefully failed in their missions, and entirely because of their own faults. They became conceited, believing themselves indispensable, and monopolised the reins of power, converting what had been the mass-based Catholic Action movements of the missions of restoration into personality cults. They failed to consult and include others, thus spreading dissatisfaction, and giving the enemies victory by default. Most seriously, they failed to adhere fearlessly, zealously and faithfully, in a spirit of humility and dependence on the Omnipotence of God, by knuckling down in the face of Protestant and Freemasonic blackmail to join in the godless, inimical and brazenly treacherous United Nations Organization, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, etc. Again, because of their failings, as above, the Lord did not assist them, and allowed them to fail to recognize the mischiefs being unleashed by the Modernists under Roncalli and the robber council called Vatican 2, because of which they too have been led astray, and all their works, won by such great and bloody sacrifices, are almost entirely lost.
Portugal not only did us wrong after wrong, it capped this sequence of wrongs by making a treaty with the Indian Union by which it purported to recognize the sovereignty of the Indian Union over our country - the Estado da India Portuguesa, in flagrant violation of law, morality, the ground facts and without consulting us in the matter. Again, Portugal has not acted straightforward, but dissembles, in treating citizens of the EIP as still being its citizens, even after having signed and not having revoked its approval for this treaty. If it is the intention of Portugal to ratify and uphold this treaty, then she should say so plainly - and cease granting Portuguese passports to the constituents of the EIP. Portugal is not doing us any favour by giving us Portuguese passports; quite the contrary. We can very well do without this hypocrisy and double-dealing. Let Portugal display its true colours - whether as callous betrayers of our rights or as their fearless upholders. As it is, we have suffered enough at the hands of Portugal. Let us be done and finished with this, one way or the other, once and for all.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007


COMMENT: A brief synopsis of the origin of the Lusitanian link to the creation of the Goemcar tradition. Viva Goem.

In the beginning....
The first Portuguese encounter with India was on May 20, 1498 when Vasco da Gama landed in Calicut (present-day Kozhikode). Over the objections of Arab merchants, da Gama secured an ambiguous letter of concession for trading rights from Zamorin, Calicut's local ruler, but had to sail off without warning after the Zamorin insisted on his leaving behind all his goods as collateral. Gama kept his goods, but left behind a few Portuguese with orders to start a trading post.
In 1510, Portuguese admiral Afonso de Albuquerque defeated the Bijapur sultans on behalf of a local sovereign, Timayya, leading to the establishment of a permanent settlement in Velha Goa (or Old Goa). The Southern Province, also known simply as Goa, was the headquarters of Portuguese India, and seat of the Portuguese viceroy who governed the Portuguese possessions in Asia.
The Portuguese acquired several territories from the Sultans of Gujarat: Daman (occupied 1531, formally ceded 1539); Salsette, Bombay, and Baçaim (occupied 1534); and Diu (ceded 1535). These possessions became the Northern Province of Portuguese India, which extended almost 100 km along the coast from Daman to Chaul, and in places 30–50 km inland. The province was ruled from the fortress-town of Baçaim. Bombay (present day Mumbai) was given to Britain in 1661 as part of the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza's dowry to Charles II of England. Most of the Northern Province was lost to the Marathas in 1739, and Portugal acquired Dadra and Nagar Haveli in 1779.

The Goa Inquisition
The Portuguese set up a long program to convert the native population (mainly Hindus) by torture. It was much larger and endured for a longer period than the Spanish Inquisition (this is a debatable comparison). Thousands of citizens suffered horrors and execution and led to large portions of Goa being depopulated (See Goa Inquisition[1][2]). Eventually, the Inquisition in Goa was banished in 1812 by royal decree, as a consequence of Napoleon's Iberian Peninsular campaign.

After India's independence
After India's independence from the British in 1947, Portugal refused to accede to India's request to relinquish control of its Indian possessions. The decision given by the International Court of Justice at The Hague, regarding access to Dadra and Nagra Haveli, after it was invaded by Indian citizens, was an impasse[3].
From 1954, peaceful Satyagrahis attempts from outside Goa at forcing the Portuguese to leave Goa were brutally suppressed.[4] Many revolts were quelled by the use of force and leaders eliminated or jailed. As a result, India closed its consulate (which had operated in Pangim since 1947) and imposed an economic embargo against the territories of Portuguese Goa. The Indian Government adopted a "wait and watch" attitude from 1955 to 1961 with numerous representations to the Portuguese Salazar regime and attempts to highlight the issue before the international community.[5] Eventually, in December 1961, India militarily invaded Goa, Daman and Diu, where they were faced with insuficient Portuguese resistance.[6][7] Portuguese armed forces had been instructed to either defeat the invaders or die, and though a cease-fire was decreed, an official truce was never signed. [8] The meager resistance offered was due to the fact that the Portuguese army was poorly armed and comprised of about 3,300 men, against a fully armed, British-trained Indian force of over 30,000 with full Air and Naval support.[9] [10]. The territories were annexed to India on 19 December 1961.
The Salazar regime in Portugal refused to recognize Indian sovereignty over Goa, Daman and Diu, which continued to be represented in Portugal's National Assembly until 1974. Following the Carnation Revolution that year, the new government in Lisbon restored diplomatic relations with India, and recognized Indian sovereignty over Goa, Daman and Diu.

However, due to the military takeover, and since the wishes of the people of Portuguese India were never taken into consideration (as required by UN Resolution 1514 (XV) of 1960 on "the right to self-determination" [11] -- see also UN Resolutions 1541 and 1542 [12]), the people continue to have the right to Portuguese citizenship.

However, since 2006, this has been restricted to those born during Portuguese rule.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


I have added the link to this wonderful source of Konkanni cultural heritage. Mr Kamat the creator of the site is so very obviously erudite, intelligent and extremely well versed in the history and lore of the Konkanni-wadis.

I higly recommend browsing the site, specially those whom are relatively strangers to our great tradition.

Bessanv podovn re Kamat babacher.

Xanno Moidecar

Monday, March 12, 2007

From the frying pan into the fire???

Comment: Veronica in the diatribe below makes many pertinent points . Amongst the saddest words in any language are "if only". G-D help Goem and all Goemcars. From the looters of Lisboa we have handed ourselves over to the dukors of Delhi. Goemchea Saiba amcam pav.

After India got independence, some Goan freedom fighters went to Gandiji asking him to help them to oust Portuguese from Goa. For this Gandhiji replied thus "Now you are ruled by the Portuguese but once Portuguese is ousted from Goa, I am afraid you may be ruled by the Delhi Portuguese".How prophetic were these words from Gandhiji!! When Portuguese rule ended from Goa on 19th December 1961 everything went against the interest of genuine Goans and true Goa. M. Boyer in one of his songs soon after 19th Dec.1961 said “Goykar ami nidlole, nidloleank uttoilet. Patank korun voir pavtoch modench tuttoilet. Bhav – bhav mhonon Goyenkarank bhatttoilet. Ani aplem apleak mevtoch xekim Goyenkarank fottoilet”.

Before the ouster of Portuguese from Goa, lot of promises were given to Goans by the Bharati Government but all these promises were turned into zero. According to Pe. Chico Monteiro who once confided in me said that Nehru was the most untrusworthy person, he wanted to liquidate the identity of Goa by helping merging Goa with Maharastra. Nehru was very close to V.P. Naik the then Congress Chief Minister of Maharastra. But in the Opinion Poll things surprisingly for Nehru and men like him in Maharastra and Delhi turned out to be different. Soon after 19th December well-known political trio singer tiatrists Conception-Nelson-Anthony were punished by the hired administrators of Indian Government in Goa for exposing the filthy and rubbish rule of Bharat. So also the giant of Konkani stage Kid Boxer. Their songs were screened severely as if Goa was ruled not only by dictatorial Salazar but worst than Salazar.

Lamenting on the deteriorating law and order situation in Goa in the name of fake liberation, the trio kings sang thus “Ghoram moddlint, zonelam foddlint, noxib team choranchem, tech borobor krimidoranchem” referring to the deadly crimes and worst of robberies taking place in the so called liberated Goa. What sort of liberation we genuine Goans are experiencing? The liberation of freely killing of innocent Goans thru the factors influenced by the influx of non-Goans? The liberation to rob innocent Goans of their valuables as never before during the 451 years of Portuguese rule in Goa? The liberation to use bribery in each and every segment of Goan life and thereby destroy the fabricks of immaculate Goan image? Liberation to impose non-Goan rule of Maharastra in Goa and thereby keep colonialism alive in Goa? Liberation to liberate Goa from Portugal and subjugate Goa under Maharastra and Delhi deputationist Babus whom the late Dr. Jack de Sequeira once dubbed as “Dogs”? Liberation to degoanise Goa of its culture, language, tradition, history and everything best? Liberation to damage and hurt Christians of their religious sentiments?

The late Fr. Mendonca once said “Goa was not liberated but invaded by Bharat”. Even the supreme court in its landmark judgement never used the word liberation. It is a hard fact that no body wants to live under colonial rule and that includes me. Portuguese colonialists have done lot of injustices to Goa and genuine Goans with the strong support of Bamonshahi and Bhatkarshahi but on the other hand Portuguese rule has done yeomen services for the Goans and Goa. If Goa was not grabbed by Bharat for another 5 to 10 years I am sure Goa would be much better and safer place to live in the world. It was Bharati rule that disgraced the greatness of Goa and Goans. In this Bharat that is ruled by the bloody rascal politicians everything is bad. Money power and goonda force rule India including Goa and this has happened only because Goa came under Bharati rule. We Goans may be poor in many aspects but surely we are very rich in culture, tradition, history, character and discipline. You will never find anywhere in Bharat as great hearted and as kind hearted people as genuine Goans whose number is now unfortunately dwindling. The “chor” and loafers who came to Goa with the advent of Bharati rule were the most third class and disgraceful people who helped destruction of Goa. The Malyalis and Maharastrians who started pouring in Goa soon after Goa came under Bharati rule totally spoiled the greatness of Goa, these non Goans were without any class in them. Unfortunately, if currently Goa is facing degradation of Goan character by the present generation including the politicians then it is only because they learnt everything worst from the Bharati “Bamtte”.

Will it be possible for the genuine Goans to get back those glorious days when genuine Goans used to sleep in the “bolcao” and “angonn” under the “Ambo & Tinch” Trees whole night keeping their doors and windows opened? Will it be possible for genuine Goans now to go to the beach and have medicinal bath in the month of April & May without any hindrance from the big hoteliers preventing locals from entering their own local beach? God alone know tomorrow the locals may have to pay for the tickets to go to their beaches. Will it be possible for genuine Goans to have the previllege to inhale the fresh air without having impurities spread by the toxic industries? Will it be possible for genuine Goans to get their work done from any Government department without paying bribe? Will it be possible for genuine Goans to have Hindu-Christau-Mussolman “Bhavponn” as enjoyed during the Portuguese regime? The secularism that Bharat imposed on Goa is a fake one. During Portuguese time Goa enjoyed better and best secularism in its true sense. Now Goa is not very far from Gujarat because BJP means communalism. Will it be possible for Goa any more to have in their Panchayats and Legislative Assembly any undiluted and uncorrupt member? The greatness of Goa is gone for good and it will never resurface. The future of Goa will be framed by the non-Goans who are become “dadas” of Goa and these non-Goan dadas will never protect the interest of Goa and Goans. The Panchayat of golden village of Sancoale is manned by non-Goan Sarpanch who is selling the village to Birlas and other top industrialits but with the exception of Simon Carvalho ex Kuwait, no-body in the Panchayat is doing anything to prevent Birlas from destroying Sancoale. This is just one example how Goa is destroyed by the non-Goans in the name of liberation which is nothing but fake liberation. Very few of us who enjoyed the greatness of Goa will sing Hosannas in the name of pristine Goa and how long these hosannas will be sung by us? Very many of us are coming closer to the grave and in another few years Goa will lose all its charm and greatness and current Goan will be just like many other polluted and disgraceful Indians.

The great Goan journalist Frank Moraes felt ashamed to be an Indian because of lop sided policies carried by the Bharat Serkar. I too am ashamed to be an Indian when Bharat Serkar converted me as Bharati on 19th December in 1961 because by being a Bharati I have to be a colleague against my wishes of those people who killed their own Bharati brothers in Gujarat in the name of religion. The religion that shows hatred to others is not a religion. I am ashamed to be a Bharati because my countrymen the Bharati politicians who rule Bharat are corrupt, I don’t like to be equated with these corrupt rogues who destroy the nation. I am ashamed to hold the same citizenship as that of third class politicians like Laloo Prasad & Jayalalita. Otherwise I am proud of Bharat which is a great nation having great cultural heritage and thousands of years history. Bharat otherwise is a great nation which gave to the world the great epics Ramayana and Mahabarata and invented the game of Chess. Bharat otherwise is a great nation that produced great men like Tagore – Swami Vivekananda and Mahatmah Gandhi.

In present Bharat there are no great men nor great thinkers and great leaders. Current leaders are sowing the seeds of discord among the citizens on religious grounds and it is they who will split Bharat once again as they have done in 1947. If Bharat splits once again it will be only because of the present day communal leaders of India and if one analysis this point very impartially the day of further split of India is not far, it may be today or tomorrow, if not tomorrow then the day after tomorrow but surely it will come, may be during my life time or my children or grand children life time if our leaders are not going to change their habits of dividing the people on religious lines. The acquisition of Atomic weapons is not a safeguard to protect the integrity of Bharat.

The super power the Soviet Russia with all its atomic and hydrogen arsenals within a split of a second got splitted into pieces, so atomic weapons is not the safeguard of any country’s integrity. Pakistan and China are not the enemies of Bharat. The greatest enemy of Bharat is communalism propagated by its own communal Bharati citizens and it is thru this communalism that Bharat will further split. That will be the sad day for Bharat and all the great Bharati people and thinkers. My regret is that as a Bharati due to forcibly acquisition of Goa by Bharat I will have to face lot of problems in Goa too which was acquired by Bharat in the name of fake liberation. I don’t want this fake liberation, I want true liberation. But will I ever get it?

A. Veronica Fernandes

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Goemcars and Portuguese Nationality

COMMENT: Securing Portuguese citizenship is I believe a way for Goemcars to cling to the strings that spawned niz Goemcar traditions and way of life. Lusitania was the catalyst that stirred the cauldron that was Gomantak and bore fruit to the enigma of Goem.
To those whom claim that attaining Portuguese citizenship is disloyal let me point out that willingly or otherwise, Goemcars are citizens of Hindustan. There is as much similarity between a Kashmiri or a Punjabi and a Goemcar as with a citizen of Lusitania . In fact the last five hundred years have impacted upon Goem enough to add to the Goemcars affinity to the Portuguese. Goemcarponn is an unique state of mind and being. We are not Indian, just as a Bihari or a Uttar Pradeshi or a Keralite or a Maharastrian is not one. We all belong to the Indian sub-continent, but each nationality within this landmass is unique. That we are one political entity with India today, does in no way detract from the fact that khorem Goemcarponn is an unique state: physical, mental, spiritual, , lingual, political, cultural, culinary, et al.

So let us celebrate our linkage to Portugal while retaining, willingly or otherwise, our Indian citizenship. For is not the Goemcar an amalgam of the two great traditions - the occidental and the oriental?

Xanno Moidecar

Portuguese Nationality

Many Goans have been asking details about the Portuguese Nationality Law and how to apply for Portuguese Nationality. They often refer to it as "Portuguese Passport". The term "Portuguese Passport" is not correct. One should not address it as merely a passport. No. It is much more than that.
It is important that people realise this before applying. If you decide to apply for it, you will be applying for a Nationality and not merely a passport.
Why can Goans apply for Portuguese Nationality ?
I remember Mr. Alfredo de Mello posted long time ago a very good historic introduction to this in GoaNet mailing list:
"Under the government of the Prime Minister, Marquês de Pombal, around 1757, by a Royal Decree signed by King D. José I, all Portuguese Indians (Goa, Damão and Diu) were granted Portuguese Citizenship, and equal status under the law, with the Metropolitan Portuguese.
This was unique. No other colonial power ever granted such a status to the inhabitants of their colonies. Not in the 18th, 19th or 20th century! In that respect, Portugal was unique. Neither the British, nor French, nor Dutch, ever granted such a status as far as their Asian possessions were concerned. When Portugal became a Republic in 1910, the new Constitution granted the Portuguese Indians (not so to the African colonies) exactly the same prerogatives and status, as Portuguese Citizens. (During the monarchy, they were subjects, just as any Portuguese from Lisbon was a subject).", said Mr. Alfredo de Mello.
Perhaps this is the reason why so many Goans feel they are different from the rest of the Indians. Maybe that is why Goans can integrate so well in the western societies. I feel there is in many cases a strong inherited sentiment of distinction and most Goans are proud to be Goans not only because of their own achievements but also because this feeling has been transmitted from generation to generation. In the British and Portuguese African colonies, the distinction was quite visible. The reality today is different and majority of Goans born in Goa after 1961 naturally identify themselves with India.In Portugal, Goans are fully integrated in all fields of the Portuguese Society and refuse to identify themselves as a minority group and indeed they are not officially recognised as such. The total number of people of Indian origin living in Portugal today exceeds 100,000 (Catholics, Hindus and Muslims) and they are the second largest Indian Community in Europe (after the UK). Majority of these 100,000 people is of Goan origin and it is believed to be the largest Goan community in the world living outside Goa. For some strange reason, one hardly hears about the Goans living in Portugal and it almost looks like they hardly exist but the figures prove exactly the opposite.In 1926, Portugal ended more than a century of liberalism and 48 years of authoritarianism began with a military dictatorship under President General Oscar Carmona. Prof. Dr. Oliveira Salazar became a dictator in 1930 and his first highly racist Colonial Act of 1930 discriminated Portuguese Indians, differentiating them from the Metropolitan Portuguese. With the 1930 Colonial Act, Portuguese Indians became a sort of second-class citizens, losing a great deal of perks, such as free trips to Portugal for furloughs, emoluments became lower than those of the white officials, and other facilities that the white Portuguese had overseas were not available to Portuguese Indians.This discriminatory Portuguese Colonial Act of 1930 was repealed only in 1950, in part thanks to the contribution of Prof. Dr. Froilano de Mello (Mr. Alfredo de Mello's father) who was a brilliant Goan doctor and independent MP in Lisbon, representing Goa in the Portuguese Parliament. He openly and bravely fought for the rights of Portuguese Indians. From 1950, Goans recouped their status and were treated again in equal terms just like any other white Portuguese citizens from the metropolis.On 18th December 1961, the Indian Army invaded Portuguese India and the Portuguese forces in the territories commanded by Governor General Vassalo e Silva surrendered, violating strict orders from Salazar to resist until the last man. Salazar wanted Portuguese Indians to feel that Portugal did not abandoned them and provided laws to keep them as Portuguese Citizens. Many Goans left Goa at that time and were welcomed in Portugal. This helped Portugal to take the case to the United Nations. Portugal kept fighting diplomatically in the United Nations for Portuguese India until 1974. Only in 1975, Dr. Mario Soares, representing a new Democratic Portugal, recognised the annexation of Goa, Damão and Diu and re-opened diplomatic relations with the Republic of India. After the Portuguese Democratic Revolution of 1974, independence was officially given to all overseas territories (except to Macau because China declined the offer) and the Portuguese Nationality Law became very important in order to determine who retained Portuguese Nationality. It is important to say that after 1975, the "Antigo Estado da India" (Goa, Damão, Diu e Dadrá e Nagar Avelí before 19 December 1961) was given somehow a special status under the Portuguese Nationality Law. Decreto-Lei n. 308-A/1975, 24th June - "Lei da Nacionalidade Portuguesa" – Arttiicle 1º. Clause (e), clearly says that all those born in the "Antigo Estado da India"(Goa, Damão, Diu e Dadrá e Nagar Avelí before 19 December 1961) who declare their intention to retain their Portuguese Nationality are entitled to do so. Other ex-Portuguese colonies’ citizens were given a period of time to decide if they wanted to remain as Portuguese citizens or if they wanted to adopt the nationality of the new independent countries (examples: Angola, Mozambique, etc). The citizens from Antigo Estado da India, on the other hand, were not given a period of time to decide if they wanted to continue being Portuguese citizens, which means that they are still entitled to declare they want to continue being Portuguese Citizens today.After 1961, many Goans burnt their Portuguese passports in public freedom fighter demonstrations. Others mastered the art of writing against the Portuguese rule like there was nothing else more useful to do in Goa. It was very much in fashion to be a freedom fighter and it paid quite well as well in all sort of benefits, privileges and public recognition. They seemed to be quite happy with their new Indian citizenship. But Portugal suddenly changed after joining the European Community in 1986. The old and “poor” country suddenly transformed itself from night to day and became modernised, advanced and much more European. So, many of the individuals who wrote and demonstrated against Portugal actually turned their coats and shameless claimed back their Portuguese Citizenship in a savage call for opportunism. Suddenly, a door to Europe was opened and the opportunity was too good to be wasted. The number of applications increased exponentially after 1986 and Portugal started receiving pressures from Europe to change Portuguese Nationality Law but everything remains unchanged so far. The Portuguese Nationality Law also grants citizenship to descendants of Portuguese citizens. Therefore, even if one was only born yesterday, but had a grandfather or grandmother who was born in Portuguese India before 1961, this person can apply for Portuguese nationality.Unfortunately, a large number of false applications was detected. People from outside ex-Portuguese India were impersonating Portuguese Indians (through false birth certificates) and claiming Portuguese citizenship as well. The whole process became with each passing day, more and more complex and today, there is a very strict and lengthy process to check the veracity of all submitted documents. It is not so rare anymore for Indian origin people to have a Portuguese passport. In fact, many people of Indian Origin (other than Goans) have one because they were living and working in the ex-Portuguese African Colonies. The Hindu community in Lisbon is large and most of them came from Mozambique and Angola.Taking advantage of that fact, lately, many other Indians have succeeded in obtaining false Portuguese passports. There are people ready to pay lakhs of rupees to have a false one. I have personally met in Paris some Indians from Gujarat who managed to buy these false Portuguese documents for lakhs of Rupees. They were happily selling French souvenirs on the roads of Paris and apparently doing very good business. You might be surprised how I got this information from them. Well, my wife Bernadette started talking to them in Hindi and they felt so much at home that they have told us their most important secret. They had entered Europe through Poland and Germany with a false Portuguese passport and are aware of the big risk they are taking but they did not seem to be worried at all. It was recently made public in the Portuguese press that Masood Azhar, the famous Islamic Kashmir leader demanded to be released by the December 1999 Indian Airlines hijackers, was in possession of a false Portuguese Passport when he was arrested in 1994 in India. FAQ - Frequent Asked Questions: Note: “Antigo Estado da India” is the legal term for the following territories: Goa, Damão, Diu e Dadrá e Nagar Avelí before 19 December 1961.Q1. Under what law can the descendants of former Portuguese Citizens claim Portuguese citizenship? The 1975 legislation refers to a person born in the Antigo Estado da India. Does it cover the children or grandchildren who may have been born elsewhere?A1: If you were born after 1961 (anywhere in the world) or born before 1961 but outside the Antigo Estado da India, it is necessary for you to prove that your parents/grandparents were born in the Antigo Estado da India. Once you have proved that, you need to register your parents/grandparents as Portuguese Citizens in Lisbon (even if they are already dead) and only then you can apply for Portuguese citizenship based on the fact that you are the descendent of a Portuguese citizen fully registered in Lisbon, Portugal. Q2: Is the birth of a person in Antigo Estado da India sufficient requirement?A2: No. In addition, you also need to prove that you were not residing in the Ex-Portuguese African colonies during 1974-1976. This is because those that were residing in the ex-Portuguese African colonies were given a short period of time to decide if they wanted to remain Portuguese citizens. So, if you were residing during the 1970’s in the Ex-Portuguese African colonies given independence in 1975 (Angola, Mozambique, Guiné-Bissau, Cabo Verde, São Tomé e Principe), the chances are that your application will not be accepted.Q3: Did the parents/grandparents (born in Antigo Estado da India) have to hold a Portuguese passport at all? What evidence is required to be submitted by the child or grandchild?A3: No. Portuguese passport was never a requirement for citizenship. A birth certificate of your parent/grandparent is necessary along with a detailed list of other requirements that can be found further on in this text.Q4: What if the person switched passport to Indian or British, Canadian, American, etc. Does this prejudice or nullify the applicant’s case?A4: Not at all. Portugal allows dual Nationality and according to the Portuguese law, you can keep your second and other nationalities. The only restriction is that you will not be able to claim Portuguese consular protection if you require help in the country of your other nationality. Some countries do not allow dual nationality (example: India). According to the Indian Law, it is a serious offence to keep your Indian Nationality/passport if you acquire another nationality. Q5: Do I have to travel to Lisbon to apply?A5: No. You should contact your nearest Portuguese Consulate and refer to the Portuguese Nationality Law. If they fail to give you information or if they do not know enough about it (which is the sad reality sometimes), then you should contact a Portuguese lawyer (there are several experts in Portuguese Nationality Law) and request help.Q6: What is the background of this special case?
1. It is important to note that between 1961 and 1975, according to the Portuguese Constitution of that time, the United Nations and International Law, the state comprising of the Portuguese territories of Goa, Damão, Diu, Dadrá and Nagar Avelí was still under Portuguese Administration and Portugal was the de facto administrative power of the said territories according to the United Nations. In fact, the government of Portuguese India and the Goan Members of Parliament were still in existence, working in exile from Lisbon. The Portuguese State of India was, therefore, a state in international dispute, with Portugal officially recognised by the UN as the de facto administrative power and the Indian Union seen as an illegal occupier of the territories.
2. Following the democratic revolution of 1974, in Portugal, the Indian occupation of the Portuguese territories was finally acknowledged and recognised by Portugal. In 1975, the Portuguese minister of Foreign Affairs, Mario Soares, personally visited New Delhi and re-established diplomatic relations with the Republic of India. Mario Soares, representing a new and democratic Portuguese Republic, withdrew any claims the Portuguese Government still had over the said territories in the United Nations and officially recognised the occupation and annexation backdating it to 19th December 1961.3. The new 1975 Portuguese Nationality Law took into consideration that people born in those territories before the Indian occupation and annexation were forced to take Indian Citizenship, i.e., people did not take Indian citizenship voluntarily. Instead, Indian citizenship was imposed on them.
4. Hence, those citizens were given the option to retain their Portuguese Citizenship provided they officially declare their intention to retain it by registering their births and marriages in Lisbon. In other words, when India annexed the Portuguese territories, the Portuguese citizens from those territories did not lose their Portuguese Citizenship even though India imposed Indian citizenship on them. No timeframe was given in the law, which means that those citizens can declare even today, nearly 42 years after, their personal decision to retain Portuguese Citizenship.
5. The only real problems at the moment are based on the fact that many non-eligible Indians are managing to get false birth certificates and through impersonation and fraud are transforming themselves into Portuguese citizens with a free licence to live and work in all countries of the European Union. Also, a large number of agents are making a fortune out of it. While some are doing it legitimately, others are involved in networks of corruption and serious organised fraud with personal follow-up contacts in Lisbon.
6. The cases of fraud are increasing with each passing day and will ultimately lead to the irreversible change in the Portuguese Nationality Law. So, sooner or later, it will all be over…

Response to several inaccurate articles published in the Goan Press - January and February 2004:
Portuguese Citizenship from a historical perspective.
By Paulo Colaço Dias.
03 March 2004
I have recently come across several inaccurate articles in the Goan press relating to Portuguese citizenship and the process to acquire Portuguese citizenship.
It is clear that there is a lot of confusion and many of these articles are based on misconceptions and wrong interpretations. Some ask how can Goans who do not know a word of Portuguese become Portuguese citizens. Others ask how did Abu Salem acquire Portuguese citizenship.
This article is an attempt to explain the process from an historic and facts based perspective.
There are three clear ways to acquire Portuguese citizenship.
1. The easiest to understand is the acquisition of Portuguese citizenship by virtue of blood relation - Jus Sanguinis - (through one’s mother or father who must be registered Portuguese citizens):
This is how Goans born after 1961 are eligible - by Jus Sanguinis. As the reader must know, full Portuguese citizenship rights have been granted to the people from Portuguese India since around 1757, by a Royal Decree signed by King José I and his Prime Minister, the Marquês de Pombal. All people from Estado da India Portuguesa (EIP) comprising Goa, Damão, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Aveli, were granted Portuguese Citizenship, and equal status under the law, with the Metropolitan Portuguese. This was then commonly known as Jus Solis - citizenship by right of birthplace. Portugal is known to be unique in this decision. Neither the French, nor the British, nor the Dutch did the same to their colonies in the east.
In 1952, in response to UN resolutions for the self-independence of the still existing colonies of the world, Portugal decided to rename all Portuguese colonies to overseas provinces and made them all integrant part of territorial Portugal. During those years, (after 1952 and until 1975) the internationally recognised map of territorial Portugal was 20 times larger in size than the size of Continental Portugal, comprising of the 5 African overseas provinces (Angola, Mozambique, Cabo Verde, São Tomé e Príncipe, Guiné Bissau), Timor Leste, Macau and Estado da Índia Portuguesa (EIP).
The EIP was, therefore, not a colony in 1961 but a Portuguese province and an integrant part of territorial Portugal and recognized as such officially and internationally (by UN treaties which even the Indian Union had officially signed and acknowledged). The people from EIP obviously enjoyed full Portuguese citizenship rights by Jus Solis (right of birthplace). In the same way Portuguese birth records were recorded in birth registry offices in Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, Faro, etc., births were also recorded in Panjim, Margao, Mapuca, etc. The EIP was indeed internationally recognized as an integrant part of territorial Portugal so, records were kept there and there was no reason to send them to Lisbon.
In 1975, a new democratic Portugal re-established diplomatic relations with the Indian Union, withdrew all international disputes with India in the UN and acknowledged and recognized the annexation of the EIP by India, backdating it to 19 Dec 1961. It was then necessary to legislate what would be the future of those who were born Portuguese citizens in the EIP (all those born before 19 Dec 1961 in the EIP). As you must know, even though the Indian invasion of EIP was not officially recognized by international law up until 1975, immediately after 1961, India forced everyone to take Indian Citizenship if they wanted to remain living and working in the EIP or register as foreigners and apply for periodical visas, residence permits, police reports and clearance, etc. in their own home land. Some challenged the legitimacy of that law. The reader will probably be aware of the famous case of Fr. Mons. Francisco Monteiro, a man of principles, from Candolim, who was arrested and suffered torture because he refused to take Indian citizenship. A considerable amount of our Goans left and they were welcomed in Portugal but those who remained in the EIP were typically forced to acquire Indian Citizenship. Portugal was aware that this was happening. The Portuguese government even paid for defense lawyers to protect the interests of some of these Portuguese citizens. Some cases were even addressed by the Geneva Convention and international courts of law, but India decided to have the last say in the matter and gradually the issue faded away.
So, this is to say that in 1975, when Portugal issued an alteration in the Portuguese Nationality Law, the people from EIP were assumed by Portugal to have acquired Indian citizenship on a non-voluntary basis, i.e., it was assumed they were forced by the Indian Union to acquire Indian citizenship in order to remain free of problems in their own homeland.
In a genuine attempt to protect the interests of people from the EIP who might wish to remain Portuguese by their Jus Solis status (right of birthplace), the Portuguese law allowed them to retain their full citizenship rights ad eternum (indefinitely). What this means is that the people from EIP who were born Portuguese citizens (before 19 Dec 1961) never lost their Portuguese citizenship rights. The Portuguese nationality law granted them full citizenship rights indefinitely according to their Jus Solis status. Because they were born in what was considered by Portugal to be an integrant part of territorial Portugal.
The only problem was that the birth records were left in the EIP. In the events that followed the 18th December 1961, all civil registry records remained in Goa. This is why our Goans need to register in Portugal today if they want to be recognised as Portuguese citizens. Therefore, it is wrong to say those born before 1961 are acquiring Portuguese citizenship. In effect, they are not. Those born before 1961 in the EIP are simply registering in Portugal their officially declaration that they wish to remain Portuguese citizens after the events of 1961. The Portuguese law still recognizes them the right to full citizenship by Jus Solis (birthplace in EIP) but there are no records of their existence in Portugal (the records were left in the EIP).
The children (born anywhere after 1961) of these can apply for Portuguese citizenship and, if granted, they will have acquired Portuguese citizenship by virtue of blood relation (Jus Sanguinis). As far as I know, no country in the world is known to impose language restrictions on citizenship granted through Jus Sanguinis criteria. Citizenship by virtue of blood relation is known to be a human right. Most civilized (if not all) countries will grant citizenship to their citizen's children without any conditions whatsoever. It would be impossible for Portugal to impose that Goans need to know Portuguese in order to acquire Portuguese citizenship by virtue of blood relation.
2. Acquisition of Portuguese citizenship by virtue of marriage to a Portuguese citizen: Here there is a requirement that the interested spouse *has* to be fluent in Portuguese language and possess knowledge of Portuguese culture. Also, it is a requirement that the spouse needs to prove connection to the Portuguese community. If the couple does not live in Portugal, it is almost impossible to acquire Portuguese citizenship through marriage.
3. Acquisition of Portuguese citizenship by virtue of residency in Portugal - Naturalisation. There is a requirement that you need to be fluent in Portuguese language and have lived and worked in Portugal for 6 consecutive years (if your country of origin is a PALOP - Official commonwealth group of Portuguese language speaking countries) or 10 years (if your country of origin is not a PALOP country).
Portuguese language requirements do exist for those applying for Portuguese citizenship and are strictly enforced, except for the case of blood relations, because it could probably be seen by a violation of human rights.
You will probably find interesting to know that 140,000 people from Macau and Hong Kong are registered Portuguese citizens (by virtue of having been born in Macau before 1987 - the year of the Sino-Portuguese joint declaration on the future of Macau) and do not talk a word of Portuguese.
Because Portugal allows dual nationality, these people were allowed to remain Portuguese citizens. China does not allow dual nationality, but Macau is an exception and China basically said they are free to use their Portuguese citizenship outside China, which is, according to me, fair enough.
Portuguese language is not shrinking. As you must know, independent East Timor has adopted Portuguese as official language of the new country (much to the opposition from Australia and US who have strong interests there). Portuguese is still the 3rd European language most spoken in the world, after English and Spanish, and the 6th or 7th world language most spoken in the world in pair with Russian.
Abu Salem and Masood Azhar were found in possession of false Portuguese passports. So, they have not actually acquired Portuguese citizenship. Instead, they purchased a false (forged) Portuguese passport. Forged European passports are known to be on sale for huge amounts of money. Some British and French tourists have been killed abroad for their passports.
Paulo Colaco Dias.
London, UK

Portuguese Nationality Law
Decreto-Lei n. 308-A/1975, 24th June - "Lei da Nacionalidade Portuguesa"
Diário do Governo I Série - Número 143 – Terça Feira 24 de Junho de 1975
Please read translations to English in blue italic font.
Artigo 1º.
1. Conservam a Nacionalidade os seguintes portugueses domiciliados em território ultramarino tornado independente:The following citizens residing in overseas Portuguese territories now independent, will retain their Portuguese Nationality:
Os nascidos em Portugal continental e nas ilhas adjacentes. All those born in Continental Portugal and adjacent islands (Madeira and Azores).
Até à independencia do respectivo território, os nascidos em território ultramarino ainda sob administração portuguesa. All those born in overseas Portuguese territories before the date of the independence of those territories.
Os nacionalizados.All those who acquired the Portuguese Nationality.
Os nascidos no estrangeiro de pai ou mãe nascidos em Portugal ou nas ilhas adjacentes ou de naturalizados, assim como, até à independência do respectivo território, aqueles cujo pai ou mãe tenham nascido em território ultramarino ainda sob administração portuguesa. All those who were born in a foreign country but whose father or mother can be considered Portuguese by either a), b) or c).
Os nascidos no Antigo Estado da India que declarem querer conservar a Nacionalidade Portuguesa. All those born in the "Antigo Estado da India"(Goa, Damão, Diu e Dadrá e Nagar Avelí) who declare their intention to retain their Portuguese Nationality.
A mulher casada com, ou viúva ou divorciada de, português dos referidos nas alíneas anteriores e os filhos menores deste. The wife married to, or the widow of , or the divorced wife of, a Portuguese citizen refered to in either a), b), c), d) or e), and all of their children under the age of 18 years.
2. Os restantes descendentes até ao terceiro grau dos portugueses referidos nas alineas a), c), d), primeira parte, e e) do número anterior conservam também a nacionalidade portuguesa, salvo se, no prazo de dois anos, a contar da data de independência, declararem por si, sendo maiores ou emanecipados, ou pelos seus legais representantes, sendo incapazes, que não querem ser portugueses.All descendents until the 3rd generation of any descendents of Portuguese citizens refered in number 1 in either a), c), d) or e), will also retain their Portuguese Nationality except if they declare within the period of two years following the independence of the territory that they do not wish to continue being Portuguese Citizens.
Artigo 2º.
1. Conservam igualmente a nacionalidade portuguesa os seguintes individuos:The following citizens will also retain their Portuguese Nationality:
Os nascidos em território ultramarino tornado independente que estivessem domiciliados em Portugal continental ou nas ilhas adjacentes há mais de cinco anos em 25 de Abril de 1974. All those born in overseas Portuguese territories now independent who can prove they have been residing in Continental Portugal or in the adjacent islands (Madeira and Azores) for more than five years prior to 25th April 1974.
A mulher e os filhos menores dos individuos referidos na alínea anterior. The wife and children under the age of 18 years of a Portuguese citizen refered to in section 1.a) .
2. Os individuos referidos no número anterior poderão optar, no prazo de dois anos a contar da data de independência, pela nova nacionalidade que lhes venha a ser atribuida.All individuals refered in section 1 a) or 1 b) of Artigo 2º can choose, in the period of 2 years after the independence of the territory, if they wish to retain their Portuguese Nationality.
Artigo 3º.
Para os fins do presente diploma, e salvo prova em contrário, presumem-se nascidos em Portugal continental, nas ilhas adjacentes e nos territórios ultramarinos os individuos ali expostos.All individuals living in Continental Portugal or in the adjacent islands of Madeira and Açores or in the overseas Portuguese territories are presumed to be born there, until proven otherwise.
Artigo 4º.
Perdem a nacionalidade portuguesa os individuos nascidos ou domiciliados em território ultramarino tornado independente que não sejam abrangidos pelas disposições anteriores.Any individuals not included under Artigo 1º and Artigo 2º are not entitled to retain their Portuguese Nationality.
Artigo 5º.
Em casos especiais, devidamente justificados, não abranjidos por este diploma, o Conselho de Ministros, directamente ou por delegação sua, poderá determinar a conservação da nacionalidade portuguesa, ou conceder esta, com dispensa, neste caso, de todos ou alguns dos requisitos exigidos pela base XII da lei nº. 2098, de 29 de Julho de 1959, a individuo ou individuos nascidos em território ultramarino que tenha estado sob administração portuguesa e respectivos cônjuges e descendentes.In special and justified cases, the Board of Ministers can decide directly or by delegation whether an individual born in Portuguese overseas territories can or cannot retain or be granted his/hers Portuguese Nationality. The same applies for the spouse of this individual and/or his/hers descendents.
Artigo 6º.
1. É obrigatório o registo, na Conservatória dos Registos Centrais de Lisboa, das declarações previstas nos artigos 1º., numero 2, e 2º. Numero 2. It is absolutely necessary to register in the Conservatória dos Registos Centrais de Lisboa the declarations refered in Artigo 1º - number 2, and Artigo 2º - number 2.
2. A declaração de opção prevista no artigo 2º., numero 2, será instruida com documento que prove ser o declarante nacional do novo Estado Independente.The declaration refered in Artigo 2º, number 2 must be submitted with a proof that the individual declaring is a citizen of the new independent state.
Artigo 7º.
O pedido de registo de nascimentos dos individuos que conservam a nacionalidade, nos termos deste diploma, quando necessário, será instruido com prova dos factos de que depende a conservação da nacionalidade.The application to register the birth certificates of the individuals who retain the Portuguese Nationality according to this law, is to be submitted, when necessary, with the documents that prove all the requirements for the success of the application.
Artigo 8º.
São gratuitos todos os actos, processos e registos resultantes da aplicação deste diploma, bem como os documentos necessários à sua instrução.The registry of the birth certificates and the process for declarations for Portuguese Nationality is free.
Visto e aprovado em Conselho de Ministros - Vasco dos Santos Gonçalves – Álvaro Cunhal – Francisco José Cruz Pereira de Moura – Joaquim Jorge Magalhães Mota – Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares – António de Almeida Santos – António Carlos Magalhães Arnão Metelo – Francisco Salgado Zenha – Ernesto Augusto de Melo Antunes – Jorge Correia Jesuíno. Promulgado em 21 de Junho de 1975. Publique-se. O Presidente da Républica – FRANCISCO DA COSTA GOMESApproved and signed by the Board of Ministers - Vasco dos Santos Gonçalves – Álvaro Cunhal – Francisco José Cruz Pereira de Moura – Joaquim Jorge Magalhães Mota – Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares – António de Almeida Santos – António Carlos Magalhães Arnão Metelo – Francisco Salgado Zenha – Ernesto Augusto de Melo Antunes – Jorge Correia Jesuíno, and the President of the Portuguese Republic, FRANCISCO DA COSTA GOMES, 21st June 1975.
All applications for Portuguese Nationality should be submitted to the nearest Portuguese Consulate of your area.
The following documents will be necessary for the Application:
1. For those born in the Antigo Estado da India before 18th December 1961:
Birth certificate and Marriage certificate (if applicable) issued by the Conservatória do Registo Civil de Goa, Damão, Diu e Dadrá e Nagar Avelí.
Same documents for the spouse (if applicable).
Legal Identification Documents (current passport). If submitted in Goa: valid Indian Passport or identity certificate with attached photograph issued by Mamlatdar/Sarpanch. Other identity cards can include a ration card or a voter identity card or a driving licence.
Certificate of Residency with full address and photograph.
Certificate of Residency indicating residency between January 1974 and December 1975. If you were residing in the ex-Portuguese territories in Africa you do not qualify to apply.
2. For those born after 18th December 1961:
It will be necessary to prove that their parents were born in the Antigo Estado da India (Goa, Damão, Diu e Dadrá e Nagar Aveli) and got married there before 18th of December 1961.
Birth certificate of the parents, marriage certificate of the parents, death certificate if any of the parents is deceased, all issued by the Conservatória do Registo Civil de Goa, Damão, Diu e Dadrá e Nagar Aveli.
Birth certificate and marriage certificate (if applicable) of the individual applying.
Legal Identification Documents (current passport). If submitted in Goa: valid Indian Passport or identity certificate with attached photograph issued by Mamlatdar/Sarpanch. Other identity cards can include a ration card or a voter identity card or a driving licence.
Certificate of Residency with full address and photograph.
Certificate of Residency indicating residency between January 1974 and December 1975. If you were residing in the ex-Portuguese territories in Africa you do not qualify to apply.
3. For those born after 18th December 1961 whose parents were born in the Antigo Estado da India before that date and got married after that date or got married outside the Antigo Estado da India:
It will be necessary to register their parents first or at least one of the parents according to number 1.
The Nationality Application of the individual can only be submitted after the full registration (birth and marriage certificate) of the individual’s parents (or at least one of the parents) as Portuguese in the Registo Civil Português.
If the birth and the marriage certificates of the parents (or of at least one of the parents) of the individual are already registered in the Registo Civil Português, the individual just has to submit the respective references (numbers and year of the birth and marriage certificate).
All documents written in English or any other language must be translated to Portuguese.
All documents issued in Goa must be certified by a) Public Notary, b) Collector, c) Under Secretary (Home)
All documents issued in Damão and Diu must be certified by a) Public Notary, b) Mamlatdar and Joint Secretary (Home).
All documents issued in Bombay must be certified by a) Public Notary, b) Mantralaya.
Incomplete documents or documents not following these instructions will not be accepted.
NB: These are not legal/professional translations.
The reader must consult and refer to the nearest Portuguese Consulate and ask for detailed and up to date information before proceeding. It would be advised to search for professional help as well (lawyer or solicitor).Please note that Portugal allows dual nationality but not all countries allow and you should be aware of this before applying.Search for more information about the Portuguese Nationality Law.
Last updated: 03/03/2004
For comments and/or questions please contact : Paulo Colaço Dias
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Monday, March 05, 2007

Sobit Xitoll Uskoi

Xerkamcho Ghontter

By Joel D'Souza

Quite early, on a misty morning in October, the smell of newly harvested paddy had already filled the air, in the picturesque Ucassaim village in Bardez. Paddy fields stretch across the low-lying northern half of the village, which virtually ends in what looks like a silvery gem embedded in the fields. It's actually a rivulet branching inland from the Mapusa river.
An extensive range of typical, bottlegreen hills strewn with cashew trees arch protectively in the South, and the residential area of Ucassaim lies sandwiched comfortably between hills and fields, drawing sustenance and lineage from agriculture.
When the first settlers descended there, probably half-a-dozen centuries ago, they must have decided that it would be an ideal place to dwell, with wood from the hillocks for their fireplace and rice from the paddyfields in the cooking pot. Of course, they did not live by bread alone. They had to go about developing a complex social set up, with all its trappings, to make the place move livable.
So, along with agriculture, they also developed horticulture and floriculture. Walk around the Friday Bazaar in Mapusa, and you are sure to spot Uskoikaram selling potted plants, some sporting beautiful local blooms. These folk are really industrious, and unlike culture-shy Bardezkars elsewhere. They don't mind being seen right amidst their traditional, rural professions--men in the fields or at their kadnni (fishing) and women tending chillie-onion patches in the fields or flowering plants in their compounds, or selling their traditional produce at Mapusa.
Having set up the basic necessities of life, they had to go about setting up other social institutions like churches, schools, etc. They did all that so wonderfully that in course of time, the petite village, came to acquire the sobriquet mistirincho ganv.
According to the parish priest, Fr Francisco Athaide, who hails from Chinchinim, there are 1500 Catholics in Ucassaim, living in wards with names like Bela Flor, Souzavaddo, Coutovaddo, Dhumpem, Paliem, Punola and Pelovaddo. The majority of the Hindu population is found in and around the Punola ward. The overall population of Ucassaim will be just about 3000 to 3500, according to most estimates.
Fr Athaide says that he found here friendly people and associations of small communities with a co-operative spirit. He, however, feels that there is a serious lack of socio-economic development in the village. There is no school, or any sort of noticeable industry here. Of course, in times gone by, at the ancestral house of the Rasquinhas was a loom on which cloth was woven locally.
The nearest school--Holy Cross High School--is in Bastora. But the parents in the village prefer to send their wards to the schools and colleges in Mapusa, because the town is barely a couple of kilometres away.
Ucassaim nestles cozily amidst the villages of Nachinola, Moira, Bastora and Vaddem-Socorro. The twitter of weaver-birds welcomes you to Ucassaim the moment you reach the vicinity of the church of St Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal. Several expertly knit nests dangle from the palm fronds in front of the churchyard.
Being a Sunday, some Uskoikars were rushing for mass and others were returning home. Their tiny church of St Elizabeth, built around 1619, does not rise from the ruins of a Hindu temple. However, it stands on a patch of land donated by a local Hindu. It was damaged by a storm in the monsoon of 1718.
In front of the church, stands a majestic statue of Christ the King. The feast of the patron is actually on July 4, but the day being in the thick of the monsoons, Uskoikars club the feast with those of St Sebastian, Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Health, and celebrate it in February with great festivity. After a festive lunch of sorpotel, sannam and the rest, everyone prepares to go for the village dance, football match and the tiatr.
Neighbouring Bastora belonged to the parish of Ucassaim, from whom it broke away when it got its own parish. Ucassaim has two Comunidades--Ucassaim and Punola-Paliem. Rather than breakaway Bastora on the east, Ucassaim seems more attached to its eastern neighbour--Nachinola. The representatives of the Confraria of Nachinola come for the Saude feast--feast of Our Lady of Health--in February, and the local Confraria goes to welcome them to the village border. The same, unique gesture is reciprocated by the Nachinolkars during their village feast.
Of all its neighbours, Moira, across the fields, enjoys the best view of bewitching Ucassaim. It's green grandeur radiates at its best in the monsoons with the lush paddyfields carpetting the fertile cultivable region.
Among its natural landmarks is a cave called Vagbiu up on the hill. A stream emerges from the cave, creeping over moss and fern, bubbling and tumbling its way down the rocks. Here the running water and birds chirping make the only sounds. The water eventually flows down to water the plantation. But many miss the ideal picnic spot as one has to scramble up a steepening path to reach the rather damp, aqueous and green spot, from where one gets a spectacular view of the village spread below. Quite a few Uskoikars don't even realise that the cave exists though they quite often talk about a famed legend.
Just behind the cave, the giant boulders seem to split into a narrow slit to form a hollow tunnel below it. This is believed to be the entrance of the tunnel leading to the Pomburpa church. They even recount the tale of the priest, who dared to explore the tunnel with a torch and his faithful dog in tow. The dog returned but without its master.
Dainty houses, with neat compound brimming with multi-coloured flowers, line the serpentine roads of Ucassaim. Recent riches have brought in a lot of new, modern villas. However, compared to even the simplest of the old houses, the new villas look rather gaunt, wood-starved concrete blocks.
Uskoikars are quite an interesting and a friendly folk, with several stalwarts gracing a bloating roll of honour. I often meet Arnold Joseph Saldanha, who teaches music in Mapusa and was a teacher and later Dean of Studies, Kenya Conservatoire of Music. If you would like to know who's who of Saldanha's village, just begin a conversation with the affable musician.
The list of honour, which will tell you why Ucassaim is called Mistirinho Ganv, can be read elsewhere, but I mention here the erudite Mariano Saldanha, who was often described as a walking compendium on matters Goan. His fabulous collection of books on Goa are regularly referred to by many researchers. He taught Marathi, Sanksrit and Latin at Panjim's Lyceum. At the Arts Faculty and Higher Colonial School in Lisbon, Dr Saldanha taught Sanskrit and Konkani.
One also recalls the tragic Air India plane crash at Mont Blanc in 1966. The late J T de Souza from Ucassaim was a co-pilot of this ill-fated plane. Just two years earlier, he had had the privilege of flying Pope Paul VI to Bombay for the historic Eucharistic Congress. De Souza's palatial house at Coutovaddo has been donated to the Poor Sisters of Our Lady, who run the Eventide St Joseph's Home for the Aged since 1984.
Ucassaim is longing for development and Uskoikars looked up to so many of their earlier MLAs in vain. Sit for a chat with any of the elders here and he or she will talk about the old times with nostalgia. One of them also remarked, "Will the time ever dawn here, when our educated sons and daughters won't have to roam the world in search of livelihood?"
Like several lonely elders in Goa's umpteen villages, she too has sons and daughters earning well in the Gulf and the UK, and providing her with everything that she needs. "But will they ever return to Ucassaim, the village of their forefathers? Unlikely, unlikely…," she added sadly. I quietly left the place…the village, barely managing to wave her goodbye.
ROLL OF HONOURProf Marian Saldanha; Linguist and Sanskrit scholarRt Rev Joseph Couto; Bishop of Lahore Late Dr Ernest Borges; eminent cancer surgeon Dr Eric Borges; consulting cardiologist at Bombay HospitalLate Dr Menino D'Souza; Neurologist and Professor at the J J Group of Hospitals Prof Aloysius Soares; Knight Commander of St Gregory, educationist and founder chairman of the Goan Liberation Council and founder editor of The Goan Tribune Late Joseph D'Lima, Teacher, pianist and member of the Dorian Quartet. He was the first piano teacher of internationally known conductor Zubin Mehta Late Maestro Manoel Saldanha, Director of Music, Royal Indian Navy, Western music (1900). Late Prof Pascoal John Saldanha, Pianist and teacher Arnold Saldanha; Dean & Senior Professor of Music at the Kenya Conservatoire of Music Myra Menzie Shroff; Violinist and teacherMercedes Lobo: Singer Leon D'Souza; Pianist and music arranger Irene Gomes; Music teacher Alex Rasquinhas; Dy Superintendent of Police Finton D'Souza; police officer Adolf Olegario Nazareth; a pioneer in poultry Dr Anthony Nazareth; leading pediatrician of Mapusa Cecil D'Mello; executive with Air India .

Comment: The beautiful village of Ucassaim. Long may it flourish and prosper.