Goa to go back to villages which saw anti-Portuguese revolt

Panaji: Fifty years after Goa's liberation from Portuguese rule, like-minded individuals and freedom fighters who took part in the struggle will tour 200 villages that saw rebellion against the foreign power.

A committee, headed by veteran freedom fighter Flaviano Dias, has been formed to chalk out an elaborate programme to spread awareness about the freedom struggle which had led to Goa's liberation on December 19, 1961 (rpt December 19, 1961).

"We have noticed that the patriotic spirit amongst the youth is on the wane," Subhash Velingkar, Working President of the committee, told reporters here today.

When a Portuguese Navy ship arrived here in November last year to celebrate 500 years of Goa conquest, there were public rallies welcoming the vessel, he said.

"In fact, there should have been protests as the ship was a grim reminder of the arrival of Portuguese, who ruled and tortured us."

There are at least 200 villages where freedom fighters launched brave rebellion against the Portuguese, he said.

"We want to visit villages and places where rebellion took place and organise functions there. The aim is to make locals aware about the importance of these places and ignite spirit of nationalism among the current generation."

If possible, local freedom fighters who participated in the rebellion would be honoured, he said.

Veteran freedom fighter Flaviano Dias said nearly 60 per cent of the freedom fighters have died. "Those who are alive would be ceremoniously brought to a pre-decided place in villages and honoured."