**************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!

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.


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