- The fight for freedom began in the 1940s as India inched closer to independence from British rule. But Goa remained a Portuguese colony until 1961, straining relations between India and Portugal as the former’s support for the anti-colonial movement in Goa grew. In 1955, India even imposed an economic blockade on Goa.
- In 1961, the Indian army invaded the state after the Portuguese fired at Indian fishing boats, killing one fisherman.
- After 36 hours of air, sea and land strikes by the army, General Manuel Antonio Vassalo e Silva, governor general of Goa, signed the “instrument of surrender”, handing over Goan territory to India.
- While India attained independence from the British Raj on 15 August, 1947, Goa was still languishing under four and a half century of Portuguese rule.
- The Portuguese were among the very first to colonise parts of India, and were the last to leave.
- Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule in 1961, on this day, 19 December. Armed guerrillas, satyagrahis, journalists and even legendary film artists fought for Goa’s independence.