Goa: 'Portuguese Oppressors Made Every Attempt To Destroy Our Culture': Phal Dessai

Goa: 'Portuguese Oppressors Made Every Attempt To Destroy Our Culture': Phal Dessai

Phal Dessai was addressing students of various schools of Canacona who were invited to watch the Goa Liberation Struggle documentary.

THE GOAN NETWORKUpdated: Saturday, January 20, 2024, 11:45 PM IST
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Minister for Archives and Archaeology Subhash Phal Dessai distributes books on Goa’s history to schools in Canacona. | Photo Credits: Kathy Fernandes

Canacona: Stating that the Portuguese had destroyed all temples and culture of Goa during its 450-year rule, Minister for Archives and Archaeology Subhash Phal Dessai said the Archives department is now creating awareness on Goa’s history which has remained partially hidden.

Phal Dessai was addressing students of various schools of Canacona who were invited to watch the Goa Liberation Struggle documentary at the Special Exhibition of Archival Records and Screening of Documentary at Government Higher Secondary School, Mastimoll, Canacona.

“During our school days, we were taught of World Wars I and II, Winston Churchill, Stalin, and all others, but our actual history, especially the liberation struggle of our Goa was never known to us,” said Phal Dessai.

“The Portuguese ruled Goa for 450 years and they made every attempt to destroy Goa’s culture and temples. Thinking that once temples and culture is destroyed, Goa will forever remain their fiefdom, they went about destroying everything! They broke down all the temples and changed our culture, due to which our ancestors had to relocate themselves on hillocks and mountains, and from there our ancestors kept our culture and traditions alive.”

“In the archives department, what has happened during the time of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Sambhaji Maharaj and Peshwa period is equally important for us to know. This is a small effort from the archives department where the history remained partly hidden is now brought out for the awareness of the young generation, and they should pass it on to the next generation.”

The minister also informed that digitisation of all Portuguese records is underway and will be completed soon, so that documents will be available in digital and physical formats.

Phal Dessai later distributed books to students from different schools of Canacona taluka to be kept in school libraries and he requested students to read them and enlighten others too.

Exhibition to educate students about Portuguese rule in Goa

An exhibition of various documents and photographs, including the translation of Modi Lipi to Devanagari, the appeals made during the liberation struggle and photographs from the Liberation era were displayed.

A 50-minute Documentary by Jyoti Kunkolikar was played for the students. Director of Archives Rohit Dadam, Canacona ADEI Lawrence Pereira, Govt HSS Principal Jyoti Bhagat, Dr. Suchita Naik, alongwith documentary producer Jyoti Kunkolikar were on the dais.

The special exhibition of archival records and screening of documentary was previously held in Sanguem, Quepem and Margao.

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