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  • Context (PIB I IE): On December 19, 1961, India annexed Goa in a quick military operation after years of diplomatic efforts to secure its independence from Portugal failed.
  • Swift Indian military action that lasted less than two days.

History of Goa’s Freedom Movement

  • Goa became a Portuguese colony in 1510 under Admiral Afonso de Albuquerque.
  • Goa started to witness an upsurge of nationalist sentiment opposed to Portugal’s colonial rule, in sync with the anti-British nationalist movement in the rest of India.
  • Tristão de Bragança Cunha, the father of Goan nationalism, founded the Goa National Congress at the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress in 1928.
  • In 1946, the socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia led a historic rally in Goa that called for civil liberties, freedom, and eventual integration with India.
  • Azad Gomantak Dal (AGD): More aggressive armed struggle was needed, and peaceful methods could not win civil liberties.

What led to the delay in the liberation of Goa?

  • GoI did not want to open another front in which the international community could get involved because of the following factors:
    1. Trauma of Partition
    2. Experience of War with Pakistan
    3. India wanted to showcase itself as a peace-abiding nation.
    4. Portugal being a member of NATO.
  • The dichotomies within the groups fighting (Satyagraha vs Military Action) for freedom in Goa.
  • Mahatma Gandhi: A lot of groundwork was still needed in Goa to raise the people’s consciousness, and the diverse political voices emerging within should be brought under a common umbrella first.

Integration of Goa into the Indian Union

  • Relations between India and Portugal began amicably in 1947 after India’s independence, and diplomatic relations were established in 1949.
  • Bilateral relations declined after 1950 over Portugal’s refusal to surrender its Goa, Daman and Diu enclaves and Dadra and Nagar Haveli on India’s west coast.
  • Portugal changed its constitution in 1951 to claim Goa not as a colonial possession but as an overseas province.
    • The move aimed to make Goa part of the newly formed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) military alliance.
    • The dictator of Portugal, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, demanded that any military action by India be met with a NATO response.
  • In 1955, the two nations had cut off diplomatic relations when thousands of satyagrahis tried to enter Goa but were fired upon by the Portuguese, resulting in 25 deaths.
  • In July-August 1954, Indian activists took over Dadra and Nagar Haveli, meeting with little resistance.
  • This encouraged freedom fighters in Goa.

Operation Chutney

  • It was a surveillance and reconnaissance exercise.
  • Frigates began to patrol the coast of Goa, and the Indian Navy mobilised ships.
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) began flights to lure Portuguese fighter jets to reveal their positions.

Operation Vijay

  • The Indian Army stationed troops around the borders of Goa, Daman and Diu.
  • Military action began on December 17, and on the evening of December 19, Goa, Daman and Diu were liberated.

What made India take Military action?

  • There had been no forward movement from Portugal despite years of consistent Indian efforts.
  • African nations also under Portuguese colonial rule wanted India to expedite the liberation of Goa.
  • The final trigger for military action was the Portuguese firing on an Indian steamer from Anjadip.
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