Goa’s freedom fighters disillusioned, to boycott liberation’s 50th anniversaryDecember 16th, 2011 - 1:40 pm ICT by IANS
(ATTN NEWS EDITORS: This is the second in a series of stories on the 50th anniversary of Goa’s liberation Dec 19. This story is about the disillusionment of those who fought for Goa’s freedom.)
Panaji, Dec 16 (IANS) The fast fading tribe of Goan freedom fighters is a disillusioned lot today. At the receiving end of both the colonial Portuguese regime of yore as well as apathy from the state government, the freedom fighters have chosen to mourn, rather than celebrate, the 50th anniversary of Goa’s liberation by India on Dec 19, 1961.
The decision of the All Goa Freedom Fighters Association (AGFFA) to unanimously boycott the state government’s official golden jubilee celebrations, is the last nail they have hammered into the lackluster 50th anniversary celebrations.
AGFFA President Nagesh Karmali told IANS that the freedom fighters community was riled by the corruption of Goa’s Congress-led coalition government.
The inability of the Goa government to resolve contentious issues like evacuee property, mandatory regional language education for schoolchildren and illegal mining has only disillusioned the ageing lot more.
“We are not going to attend the government function which is being held to commemorate 50 years of Goa’s liberation. This government has let the state down on the medium of instruction and the evacuee property issues,” said Karmali, whose AGFFA represents the last few hundreds of Goan freedom fighters who battled the colonial Portuguese until December 19, 1961, when the Indian Army liberated Goa.
Gurudas Kunde, another freedom fighter, said that it was only during official government functions and the Liberation Day that they were remembered and spoken highly about.
“What welfare? The government only speaks highly about us at Liberation Day functions. But to tell you the truth, they don’t know anything of the sacrifices of the freedom fighters; neither are they interested in the history of Goa,” Kunde told IANS.
He said the freedom fighters were also upset with the high levels of corruption that pervade the Digambar Kamat-led government.
A contrary view is offered by Francisco Colaco, a venerable medical practitioner based in Margao, 35 km from here. Colaco laments the fact that Catholics in Goa are considered pro-Portuguese despite the fact that several from the community participated in the freedom struggle.
“Although there were many Catholics who fought for freedom and, when we were young, sympathised with the freedom movement, we are today considered pro-Portuguese. But there are many who were earlier falling at the feet of the Portuguese rulers and then were out to embrace the Indian soldiers. It was a very sad sight. The freedom fighters have communalized the whole issue and made us foreigners,” Colaço lamented.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Freedom fighters to skip Goa liberation celebrations - Dec 08, 2011
- Goa's 'Tuberculosis' Cunha fought colonial Portuguese cancer - Dec 18, 2011
- Goa freedom fighters attack Portuguese envoy - Apr 26, 2011
- Goa government lambasted on illegal mining in anniversary feature - Dec 13, 2011
- Goa liberation: Relatively bloodless but indelibly etched in mind (December 19 is the 50th anniversary of Goa's liberation) - Dec 15, 2011
- Goa freedom fighters protest celebration of Portuguese arrival - Nov 11, 2010
- Goa freedom fighters oppose patronage to English - Jun 13, 2011
- Boycott Goa chief minister: Congress ideologue - Jun 14, 2011
- 936 from St. Andre opted for Portuguese citizenship - Jul 21, 2012
- Intelligentsia protest Goa government's 'anti-people' policies - Jun 18, 2011
- Goa to felicitate Operation Vijay veterans - Dec 03, 2011
- Goa freedom fighters to revisit uprising against Portuguese - Feb 15, 2011
- Chidambaram turns down Kamat's special status request - Aug 14, 2011
- Colonialism's shadow lingers over Goa village (Letter from Goa) - Jun 22, 2012
- Portuguese language could help build bridges: Goan author - May 30, 2012
Tags: 50th anniversary, anniversary celebrations, coalition government, contentious issues, disillusionment, freedom fighter, freedom fighters, goa government, golden jubilee celebrations, government function, government functions, gurudas, indian army, language education, last nail, liberation day, Nagesh, news editors, panaji, regional language