O General Vassalo e Silva, Governador Geral da Ìndia com o General Pran Nath Thapar, CEME indiano, no campo de prisioneiros em Panjim, Goa.
Natal de 1961
Com uma semana de atraso sobre a data da invasão de Goa, aqui fica uma posta longa do independentista goês indiano VAlmiki Faleiro; uma lição de como a história deve ser vista de todos os Ângulos.
Para Faleiro, Goa obteve a sua primeira independência em 1510 contra os muçulmanos de Ismail Adil Khan, o Hidalcão das crónicas portuguesas contra o qual lutaram o grão-capitão de mar e guerra Afonso de Albuquerque e sua frota, auxiliado pelos hindus do capitão Thimmayy. As profecias indianas diziam que, de paragens distantesa, a libertação viria de *firangis* , nome de todos os europeus no próximo e Médio Oriente.
Goa teve a sua segunda independência em 1961. O que para Portugueses é a "invasão de Goa", para os indianos é a Operação Vijaya, assim chamada para evocar o Império Hindu de Vijayanagar, para nós op Reino de Bisnaga, comandando por um general Goês, o Vice Marechal do Ar Pinto, da família Pinto do Rosario de Porvorim.
E segundo FAleiro, Goa aguarda a terceira independência , desejavelmente sem uso da força ou de conquista militar ... para a livrar do que chama os "frutos da democracia": corrupção total, valores públicos falhados e desgoverno.
Assim se move a história, para eterno desmentido do inadvertido americano que disse que a história chegara ao fim. E como nota pessoal, lembro-me que a minha primeira memória política, tinha eu 7 anos, era a dos sinos da catedral de Goa que soavam compulsivamente na "Emissora Nacional" no longínquo Natal de 1961.
18 December 1961 Early morning, two Indian Air Force planes strafed the Emissora de Goa, the powerful radio
transmitting station, at Bambolim and the civilian airfield at Dabolim. The previous night, mechanized columns of the
Indian Army had crossed the international border and now advanced towards Panjim, as retreating defenders dynamited bridges to delay their advance. An Indian Navy fleet, led by INS Brahmaputra, sailed up the Zuari estuary to take on a lone frigate berthed at Mormugao and, unexpectedly, on a spirited sea observation post at Sada Headland, Vasco da Gama.
Goa’s 'Second Liberation' was well and truly underway. Achieved, like the first in her checkered modern history, by
military might, but mercifully, with little bloodshed. The 'Third Liberation', with any hope, shall come about bereft of
Lest my multiple 'Liberation' theories be summarily dismissed as FF (flights of fantasy) by Goa’s extant FFs (Freedom
Fighters) -- yes, extant, and heaven bless, they will remain so for another two and three-quarter centuries! -- may I elucidate.
But not before noting an oddity. *Freedom fighters* did not accomplish Liberation. 'Operation Vijay' staged by the Indian Armed forces, did. Under the command of a Goan, Air Vice Marshall Erlich Pinto, of Porvorim's illustrious Pinto do Rosario stock. Have *tamarapatras* been doled out to the families of Naval sainiks and Army jawans who lost their lives at Mormugao, Nani Daman and Anjediva?
Goa's *First Liberation* had come precisely 451
years before, almost to the month, on 25th Nov.
1510. Unable to bear the confiscatory taxes and
other crushing miseries heaped upon Hindu Goa by
Muslim Bahamanis from 1469 and by Adil Shahis from
1498, our ancestors conspired to throw them out.
And awaited deliverance. By *firangis* from distant
shores, as foretold by a soothsayer.
The only bulwark to the ascendant Muslims -- the Hindu Vijayanagar Empire -- was crumbling in the face of the
onslaught. They could barely hold fort around their home base in Tamil Nadu. Far-flung territories like Goa had fallen to the Muslim sabre and lay forsaken.
Beaten but not broken, a Vijayanagiri sea captain lay licking his wounds in Honavar. Our Hindu ancestors approached Thimmaya to canvass help from the Portuguese, by then established on the Malabar coast.
On 17th February 1510, Thimmayya guided Afonso de Albuquerque's small fleet up the Mandovi. The assault was
vicious, but the victory brief. On 23rd May 1510, Ismail Adil Khan, the ruling prince of Goa, fending off Marathas
with 60,000 soldiers, pushed out Albuquerque and his ragtag band. The *firangis* anchored off Penha de Franca/Aguada, where Hindus of Taleigao helped them with provisions, and thence, in August that year, with receding monsoons, to the isle of Anjediva. Awaiting reinforcements.
It was a long wait. Sail vessels took five months
to reach India from Portugal. Food and water were
soon exhausted. Every rat on board was hunted and
relished. When rats were extinct, Albuquerque and
his men chewed on leather and abominable stuff, to
stave off starvation. Sails were laid out to
A buoyant flotilla of six vessels finally arrived. Captain Thimmayya urged immediate attack, while Ismail Adilcao was
again away. By dusk of 25th November 1510, after three days of fierce battle, Albuquerque had 6,000 Muslims put to the sword. The streets of Old Goa turned into rivulets of blood. But Goa was Liberated! As *liberated* as the eventual need for a *Second Liberation*.
It's beyond this column's space to dwell on the 451 years. Be it only clear that I've grown by the advice: keep the
windows open; retain what is good, chuck what is not.
>From 1787, our ancestors attempted to chuck the Portuguese. Goans, some now converted to Catholicism -- but not, as ignorantly perceived, to anti-nationalism -- clamoured for freedom (see box, below.) Goa’s pro-Portugal fringe was not a Catholic monopoly, if you please; anti-nationalism, if so it can be dubbed, transgressed barriers of creed and embraced those of class, like the largely Hindu mineowners and the landed gentry. But that's beside the point.
Goa could have been freed two centuries before, but neither Marathas nor the Peshwas obliged. In 1668, Shivaji tried but gave up easily. In 1683, Sambhaji surrounded vital forts and almost went for the jugular. But as the Portuguese viceroy lay supine before St. Francis Xavier’s relics, the Moghuls unexpectedly attacked the Marathas and Sambhaji retreated.
In 1739 the Peshwa, BhajiRao-I strategized a three-pronged attack: by Jayrama Sawant Bhonsle from the North, Rajah of Sondha from the South and his own Maratha general Venkat Rau from the East. Venkat captured most of Salcete but when within striking distance of the capital of Portugal's empire in the east, traded Goa's freedom for a tribute of eight lakh rupees!
Some Goans still profess undying love for
Maharashtra. Their dreams of replacing one yoke
with another -- thro' merger with Maharashtra --
were foiled by people like Purshottam Kakodkar and
Dr. Jack de Sequeira, the real FFs of modern Goa.
The Portuguese could have been forced out even as late as in 1956, before the "Goa Issue" boiled into a major spat at the UN. But Nehru, more concerned with his pacifist image abroad, preferred diplomatic persuasion. Western nations, particularly the USA, worked towards peaceful resolution (had Salazar accepted one US initiative, Goa might have turned into another HongKong -- but then, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride!)
My thoughts today go to Air Vice-Marshall Pinto. And his men who died subduing a vastly outnumbered, outflanked and ill-equipped adversary ... even as the ghost of Afonso de Albuquerque, the *Liberator* of 1510, lay beached near Siridao, now in the form of a frigate.
But Goa was, again, Liberated! As *liberated* as the need *for a Third Liberation*. This one, heaven permit, without *the use of force or a military takeover ... to deliver us from the *fruits* of democracy: all-pervasive corruption, plummeting public values and gross mis-governance. Amen!
Goan Catholics, clergy and laymen all, dear *Desh-premis*! -