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As Goa CM announces the inclusion of Goa Revolution Day in class 11 syllabus, read about the Goa Inquisition and the Portuguese brutality against Hindus

By 1559, more than 350 temples were destroyed in Goa, and idol worship was banned even in private. Lakhs and lakhs of Hindus were converted forcefully leading to crypto-Hinduism (secretly practising Hinduism while posing as Christians). Those accused of crypto-Hinduism were imprisoned, tortured, and sentenced to death.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on 18 June, Sunday announced that the state’s class 11 syllabus will include chapters on Goa Revolution Day. 18 June marks the day when Dr Ram Manohar Lohia gave a clarion call to the people of Goa to fight against Portuguese oppression.

The Goa Revolution Day, also known as Kranti Din, was commemorated at Panjim’s Azad Maidan on Sunday. CM Sawant said, “The importance and history of Goa Revolution Day will be included in the 11th standard curriculum. The chapter on Cuncolim Revolt has also been added to the school curriculum.”

88-year-old veteran freedom fighter Gurudas Kunde, President of the Goa Freedom Fighters’ Association was also present at the event. It was following his appeal on stage to the govt to include in textbooks the history of Goa’s freedom struggle that the CM announced the decision.

Kunde also asked the BJP govt to not delay freedom fighters’ pensions. He said, “There are hardly 15-20 surviving freedom fighters. We might not be having votes, but our principles are still intact,” said Kunde.

What is the Goa Revolution Day?

On the evening of 18 June 1946, distinguished nationalist and freedom fighter Dr Ram Manohar Lohia arrived in Margao. His rousing speech calling for action by Goans against the persecution by Portuguese tyrants echoes in their hearts to date.

Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, freedom fighter

Defying the order of the Portuguese regime, he held a public meeting. Dr. Lohia’s speech against the Portuguese regime sowed the seeds of revolution which flourished into the tree of liberation 15 years later on 19 December 1961.

Dr. Lohia’s friend Juliao Menezes writes in his book ‘Goa Freedom Struggle” the account of what followed before his speech:

“At this sight, Capt Miranda with his Latin blood and excitement straight took out his revolver and pointed it at the unarmed civilian Goans who were approaching us with garlands in their hands. Lohia, at this moment, acted quickly. He caught hold of the hand of the captain in which the weapon was held, ordered him to be calm, brushed him aside, calmly proceeded to the place of meeting, and started to address the people.”

For the first time in 451 years of Portuguese dictatorship, someone had dared to throw an open challenge. Himself recuperating from ill health after his release from the British prison, these were Lohia’s words that resuscitated the state of Goa.

“A conspiracy has sought for decades to turn Goa into an island of imperialist safety where the law has proved inadequate. You (people of Goa) cannot form organisations. Not to talk of political organisations like Indian National Congress, even organisations, for study or sports or village uplift, require previous sanctions of the government and must obviously work under police watch. You cannot hold meetings not to talk of political meetings, even social and private gatherings, require permissions, and come in for police inquiry,” he lamented.

Chants of “Dr. Lohia zindabad,” “Bharat Mata ki Jai,” “Jai Hind” reverberated the skies and land of Goa. This was followed by Dr. Lohia’s arrest from the venue. Freedom fighters accompanying Dr. Lohia were also arrested.

Amongst those arrested was author Shefali Vaidya’s grandfather, Trivikram Vishnu Vaidya, who had driven Dr. Lohia to the venue. She is the daughter of Goa’s revered freedom fighter Prabhakar Trivikram Vaidya who was a member of the revolutionary movement called Azad Gomantak Dal. Her grandfather’s brother Vyankatesh Vishnu Vaidya was jailed for fighting the battle for freedom.

“He (Trivikram Vishnu Vaidya) was arrested for driving Dr. Lohia along with other people on the stage. Later Dr. Lohia was escorted out of Goa borders by the cops. My grandfather was let out on bail,” she said.

Goa inquisition: Goa’s dark history with the Portuguese

The Portuguese inquisition of Goa started when Vasco Da Gama returned to Portugal after he discovered the route to India via Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. Upon his return to Portugal in 1510, Gama told the Portuguese royals about the undiscovered route to India, which gave them an opportunity to colonise the Western coast of India and particularly Goa.

Vasco Da Gama

Pope Nicholas V soon issued a diktat which gave the kingdom of Portugal a monopoly on forcing Christianity upon the locals of the newly discovered areas (and mainly India), along with the monopoly to trade on behalf of the Roman Catholic Empire in Asia. Soon after, the Portuguese sent troops to capture a portion of Goa and set up a colony in the coastal city.

Aghast by the local traditions followed by Hindus, the Portuguese were angered by the locals following a religion other than Christianity and ordered all temples within the colony to be shut; this marked the beginning of the bloody Goan inquisition that comprised of gross human rights violations and mass executions of the local Hindus and Jews.

Missionaries, forced conversions, confessions, and ethnic cleansing of Hindus

Most of the Inquisition’s records were burnt by the Portuguese after it was abolished in 1812 depriving the Indian people of learning about their exploitation. Author Richard Zimler has documented the persecution of non-Catholics at the hands of the Portuguese in his book ‘Guardian of the Dawn.’

He says, “It was a machinery of death. A large number of Hindus were first converted and then persecuted from 1560 all the way to 1812!”

Hindus were tied up and their feet were burnt slowly with sulfur

The sadists built hundreds of prison cells in order to accommodate fresh victims. 71 records of public penance (“autos da fe”) were recorded. In the initial years, over 4000 people were arrested and 121 were burnt at the stake alive. This is from the data that survived; the real numbers are sure to surpass the human imagination.

Hindus were publicly burnt at the stake outside Cathedrals during “ceremonies.” Those who confessed to heresy were strangled before being burnt.

After the savage Bakhtiyar Khilji’s burning of the Nalanda University, it is safe to say that Hindu literature in Goa suffered a similar fate at the hands of these demons. Books written in Sanskrit and Konkani were burnt, and Hindu spiritual texts were reduced to ashes in order to make space for the demonic Christian value system.

Orphaned Hindu children were baptized and indoctrinated by Fathers, and Hindu children with families were kidnapped and forcibly baptized. The torture did not end here, it only worsened with the arrival of the satanic Francis Xavier, founder of the “Society of Jesus.”

Torture techniques were used to force arrested Hindus into “confessing.” Hindus were tied up and their feet were burnt slowly with sulfur, and water torture techniques, victims were manacled on racks, slowly dislocating their joints, and forcing them to eat beef were the methods to name a few.

Thumb screws, leg crushers, boiling oil, sulfur, and hot wax were some of the resources used for conversion and confessions.

By 1559, more than 350 temples were destroyed in Goa, and idol worship was banned even in private. Lakhs and lakhs of Hindus were converted forcefully leading to crypto-Hinduism (secretly practising Hinduism while posing as Christians). Those accused of crypto-Hinduism were imprisoned, tortured, and sentenced to death.

Several were executed under the garb of religious crimes, and many who had already died in jail were burnt in effigy.

Offerings to deities were considered witchcraft by the barbarians. Xenddi tax, like Islamic Jizya, was imposed on Hindus. By 1548, 14 churches were built on the Goan land.

Punishment for violations of the Inquisition included public lashings, fines, banishment to Mozambique, imprisonment, execution, burning at stakes or effigy, and more.

Hindu weddings were banned, construction and reconstruction of temples were banned, Hindu rituals were forbidden, and owning idols or images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses was banned….basically everything non-Catholic and non-Christian was banned.

The widespread ethnic cleansing of Hindus involved sadistic and barbaric acts of murder. Even after the Inquisition was abolished in 1812, mass conversion of and oppression against Hindus continued.

Prohibitions on the Hindu faith

1. Hindus were forbidden from occupying any public office;

2. Hindus were forbidden from producing any Christian devotional objects or symbols;

3. Hindu children whose fathers had died were required to be handed over to the Jesuits for conversion to Christianity;

4. Hindu women who converted to Christianity could inherit all of the property of their parents;

5. Hindu clerks in all village councils were replaced with Christians;

6. Christian ganvkars (freeholders) could make village decisions without any Hindu ganvkars present, however, Hindu ganvkars could not make any village decisions unless all Christian ganvkars were present;

7. In Goan villages with Christian majorities, Hindus were forbidden from attending village assemblies;

8. Christian members were to sign first on any proceedings, Hindus later;

9. In legal proceedings, Hindus were unacceptable as witnesses, only statements from Christian witnesses were admissible;

10. Hindu priests were forbidden from entering Portuguese Goa to officiate Hindu weddings.

Present-day Goa

Today, Christians account for 25% of Goa’s population. The atrocities against Hindus under the savage Portuguese rule is a subject not often discussed by the Indian masses.

Goa today for the larger Indian youth is synonymous with rave parties. Its bloodied history followed by its awakening from slumber is not part of the daily public discourse in India.

Conversion by Christian missionaries of Hindus continues in India even today. Manipulative narratives like “the world will end soon,” “take Jesus’ refuge,” and “Christianity calls for peace and humanity,” all under the theatric garb of helping the poor and the downtrodden, are used to convert the deprived Hindu.

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Pragya Bakshi Sharma
Pragya Bakshi Sharma
Journalist with a journey from print to TV to digital news. Multi-tasker. Unstoppable Type 1 Diabetic running on insulin.

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