The Issue of Goa

The Issue of Goa

Dear Plastrik:

Thank you for your cable of 19th inst. I find it difficult to understand what the dismay is about.

Goa, Diu and Daman were three Portuguese possessions in India. After the British and the French left from India, we naturally wanted peaceful transfer of power by the Portuguese also. We cannot acquiesce in colonial possessions anywhere, least of all on our own soil. The people of these three possessions-600,000 of them—are part of our own people and they do not want and cannot be allowed to be outside our Republic.

For fourteen years we sought to achieve amicable settlement. There were frequent unrests in the possessions and the people were brutally suppressed. In 1956 there was a mass movement in which many satyagrahis were killed. A number of my colleagues carry the scars of those days on their bodies today.

Portugal began aligning with Pakistan and made Goa a hostile base against us. All reasonable pleas for settlement were ignored. Trouble was brewing afresh in Goa. The Portuguese authorities considerably fortified their positions to suppress popular upsurge. They also started intimidating our people on the border areas.

India, in our opinion, after having shown patience for fourteen years was fully justified in taking military action against the Portuguese authorities in India. The core of the campaign and the warmth of welcome from the people show that the Portuguese had no supporters among the Goans.

Even the ...