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Goa liberation diamond jubilee seminar

by Raju Vernekar
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By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, Dec 15:

A seminar to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the liberation of Goa from Portuguese rule organised by Indian Navy at Raj Hans auditorium, Dabolim in Goa on Tuesday, December 14, 2021. The seminar was attended by eminent speakers and senior delegates from the military as well as the academia.
Goa Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai, was the Chief Guest and delivered the keynote address at the inaugural session. Flag Officer Commanding Goa Area, Rear Admiral Philipose G Pynumootil, delivered the welcome address, setting the tone for the proceedings.
In his keynote address, the Governor appreciated the Navy’s initiative of delving into the history of the liberation of Goa, and pointed out that such deliberations are needed to enhance awareness in the public, especially the youth, on the sacrifices made by previous generations, including the armed forces, in nation building.
Addressing the seminar, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Western Naval Command (WNC) Vice Admiral AB Singh, brought out that the growth of Goa and the Indian Navy in the region has been synonymous, the liberation happening simultaneously with commissioning of INS Vikrant, the first aircraft carrier of Indian Navy, and the Navy’s effort in developing Dabolim airfield into a full-fledged air station.
The first session featured a broad analysis of sea power in liberation of Goa by Rear Admiral SY Shrikhande (Retd). This was followed by an expose on the role of Indian Army in the liberation of Goa by Brigadier AS Sawhney and Colonel Manvendra Nagaich of the 2 Signal Training Centre, Goa.
The second session saw an interesting mix of papers, starting with “Goa’s Struggle for Freedom: Azad Gomantak Dal and Gunpowder Resistance” by Dr Seema S Risbud, Associate Professor, Dept of History, Goa University. Commodore Johnson Odakkal (Retd) spoke on the geopolitical context and national churns of Goa liberation, bringing out a Malabar connection. The seminar ended with an overview of post-colonial Goa and its political economy of transformation presented by Parag D Parobo, Asst Professor of History, Goa University.
Papers of both sessions sparked discussions on history, liberation and development of Goa. All discussions were moderated by Commodore Srikant Kesnur, Director, Maritime Warfare Centre, Mumbai. On the occasion, the Governor also felicitated veterans of the Goa liberation struggle.
The Goa was liberated by Indian armed forces from Portuguese after a battle between December 17 and December 19, 1961. The Indian Government annexed the “Estado da India”, the then Portuguese Indian territories of Goa, Daman and Diu, after the Salazar dictatorship of Portugal refused to leave. The “armed action” code named Operation Vijay was launched. It involved air, sea and land strikes for over 36 hours, and was a decisive victory for India, ending 451 years of rule by Portugal over its remaining exclaves in India. This action is referred to as the “Liberation of Goa”. The annexation of Goa completes 60 years this year.
FOC-in-C, WNC vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, who visited Goa for the seminar, also had a meeting with the Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai at Raj Bhawan. The C-in-C briefed the Governor on role and assets of the Indian Navy at Goa and under WNC, and also Indian Navy’s operations to enhance overall maritime security. Various events planned towards Diamond Jubilee of the Liberation of Goa were also discussed.

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