Prime Minister Narendra Modi is without doubt India’s multi-tasking most hardworking, most travelled in India and abroad in IAF’s VIP and AIR INDIA’S planes, India’s largest speech giver, a few speeches a day in oratorical style all reported and relayed by All India Radio, the best dressed in what look like, designer designed expensive outfits planned well in advance. He has not taken a day off. This is testament to his octane level thanks to Yoga, frugal eating and dedication to the Nation not as a Karmachari(worker). PM’s dedication a powerful leader with no family has time on hand. Abraham Lincoln had said, “Nearly all men can taste adversity but If you want to test a man’s character, give him power”. No one has ever found fault in PM Modi’s character, but they fear his power and individual decisions.
After hectic Swarin Varsh Parv celebrations and whirlwind tours in Uttar Pradesh and opening of the Varanasi temple corridor in his constituency, with a TV publicised long walk and dip in the cold holy Ganga for blessings, PM Modi winged to Goa on 19th Dec to commemorate Goa’s 60TH LIBERATION DAY. He delivered a momentous speech at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee stadium with funds for Goa’s future development with one eye unmistaken ably on elections due next year, TMC’S Mamata Banerjee is making inroads and TMC had humiliated BJP in the Bengal elections. Both TMC and AAP are BJP’s political enemies to be sorted out.
BJP with RSS which has a hold on the running of the Government, suggests Strategy, and PM Modi is ultimate the election Strategist with clever speeches and personally distributes funds and projects. So Goa’s diamond jubilee celebrations were well planned and set in motion on 19th December, 2020 by President Ram Nath Kovind on the banks of the Mandovi river in Panaji, with the state government rolling out many programmes. The Centre too had announced a grant of Rs 300 crore for Goa.
On the Naval front on 19th December, RADM PG Pynumootil, FOGA laid a wreath at the war memorial at INS Gomantak in memory of the 7 sailors that laid down their lives on 18th December 1961 during Op Vijay for liberation of Anjadip Island. Op Vijay has a Naval connections and IDF’s personal involvement. On this day also
Navy’s second Mormugao, indigenous P-15B destroyer to be commissioned in mid 2022, proceeded on her maiden sea sortie today as a befitting date for the ship to put to sea. Dedicating the ship’s name to the Goa will enhance the bonding between the Navy and the people of Goa.
HISTORY OF THE LIBERATION OF GOA LEADING TO OP VIJAY PART 1
Despite the fact that India became Independent in 1947, the Portuguese maintained sovereignty over Goa, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli — Estado da Índia Portuguesa. With 1,540 square miles and a Portuguese speaking harmonious population of 637,591( 61% Hindus, 36.7% Christian Catholics) Goa witnessed an economic boom through exports of iron ore and manganese and rich Goan families like the Dempos and Chowgules flourished as exporters. Life was good with food, Portuguese wines, dance and afternoon siestas.
On 26th January 1950, France gave up Pondicherry but despite negotiations PM António de Oliveira Salazar, claimed that these enclaves were an integral part of Portugal. The US Ambassadors in Delhi, Ellsworth Bunker and John Kenneth Galbraith proposed for India to purchase the Portuguese enclaves and accept a verdict of accession through the United Nations. This was sympathetically considered by Pandit Nehru who was averse to the use of force but Portugal had the support of the US Secretary of State, Dulles, an ‘India hater’ who encouraged Portugal to hold the territories, as an integral part of Portugal, with the possibility of using it as a NATO base.
Nehru closed down the Indian Legation at Lisbon in June 1953. Dadra was liberated on 27th July 1954 by the United Front Of Goans, and Nagar Haveli residents overthrew the Portuguese in August 1954. Historically resistance to Portuguese rule had been pioneered in 1928 by Tristão de Bragança Cunha, a French-educated Goan who founded the Goa Congress Committee. On 15 August 1955, about 4000 unarmed Indian activists attempted to enter Goa at six border locations. They were violently repulsed by Portuguese police officers, with two dozen deaths that built public opinion in India against the presence of the Portuguese in Goa.
On 1 September 1955, India shut its consul office in Goa. In 1956, Portuguese Ambassador to France, Marcelo Duarte Matias, along with the Portuguese dictator, argued in favour of a referendum in Goa to determine its future, which was wisely rejected by the Indian Cabinet, or it may have become another Kashmir. Portugal’s appeal to the International Court of Justice, in the “Case Concerning Right of Passage over Indian Territory over the land locked territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli,” was ruled in favour of the Portuguese, stating it was ‘a sovereign right’, though they enjoyed de facto Independence until the invasion of Goa in 1961.
THE NAVAL SPARK
The Spark for the Liberation of Goa on 24 November 1961, was naval, when a passenger steamer SS Sabarmati sailing between the Portuguese-held island of Anjidiv, South of Goa and Karwar where the Indian Navy now has a big naval base INS for the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and ships, was fired upon by Portuguese ground troops from the island and resulted in injuries to its Chief Engineer and the death of a passenger. The Portuguese feared that the boat carried a military landing party. The Portuguese troops used to take pot shots at boats passing the channel. CNS Vice Admiral R.D. Katari, Army Chiefs Gen. JN Chaudhuri and Air Chief Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee, had strained relations with the Defence Minister Krishna Menon, who summoned Katari and stormed, “I want the Navy to take over Anjadiv island.”
In his autobiography, Katari writes “My reply was that, if ordered, it could be done, but I reminded him that this would be deemed an act of war against Portugal. I suggested that if we are prepared to virtually declare war, it would be simpler and less expensive in men and money, to take Goa from the landward side. After that Anjadiv would fall. Menon’s reply was ‘Oh I see. I shall consult the Prime Minister, but in the meanwhile make your plans for taking Anjadiv’. That sparked Op Vijay to be ready to capture Portuguese occupied territories.
At the end of November, the Flag Officer Indian Fleet (FOCIF) Rear Admiral B. S. Soman on Flagship INS Mysore was made Naval Cmponent Commader Fleet Captain Kulkarni was IDF’s Captain. Fleet Operations Officer Cdr. Colaco with whom IDF landed in Anjadiv in the second wave, and the Secretary Cdr Satyindra Singh, ordered IDF to take over as Flag Sub Lt. to Soman as FLag Lt Madan Saxena went to get married. Gunnery officer Lt. Cdr. Ranjit Chaudhri was not happy to relieve IDF as A Gun Turret Officer as A Turret crew was nominated to go as the landing party with Lt Kelman and sailors trained in INS Venduruthy Cochin and were embarked on Mysore.
Lieutenant-General Mucho Choudhari the Southern Army Commander in Pune was nominated overall commander. Major-General K.P. Candeth of the 17th Infantry Division and 50th Parachute Brigade were tasked for Operation Vijay. The assault on the enclave of Daman was assigned to the 1st MLI and Diu to the 20th Rajput and 4 Madras. Air Vice Marshal Erlic Pinto was appointed Air Component Commander with orders to destroy Goa’s lone airfield in Dabolim, without causing damage to the terminal building and airport facilities, where INS Hansa is now located and destruction of the wireless station at Bambolim, Goa now an Army Signals training centre and support advancing troops.
On 10 December 1961, nine days prior to the invasion, Nehru told the press that “Continuance of Goa under Portuguese rule is an impossibility.” American response was that if India took armed action in Goa, it would be brought to the U.N. Security Council, and India could expect no support from the U.S. delegation. The Indian Ambassador in the USA kept ‘Foggy Bottom’ posted.