Updated on: Saturday, December 18, 2021, 03:31 PM IST

Goa Liberation Day 2021: History, significance and all you need to know

Representative Image
 | File

Representative Image | File


Did you know that Goa was not always a part of independent India? Yes, it became an Indian state after it got liberated in 1961. It is said that the whole military operation took around three days to successfully do the job well and right.

It is in commemoration of this, that the Goa Liberation Day is celebrated. It was a point in Indian history that made India completely free from the foreign rule that had lasted centuries.


On August 15, 1947, when India gained its independence, Goa was still crumbling under 450 years of Portuguese rule. The Portuguese were among the first to colonize parts of India and refused to give up their hold over Goa and other Indian territories, even in the wake of India’s independence.

After failed negotiations and diplomatic efforts with the Portuguese, the former prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, decided that military intervention was their only option. The 36-hour military operation, conducted from December 18, 1961, was code-named ‘Operation Vijay’ and involved attacks by the Indian navy, air force, and army.

During the historic moment, Indian troops reclaimed the Goan territory with little resistance, and General Manuel António Vassalo e Silva signed the certificate of surrender. 451 years of Portuguese rule in the region officially came to an end and the territory was taken back by India on December 19, 1961.

However, the action incited mixed responses internationally at the time. Though many praised the move and backed India, others, including Portugal, criticized the Indian forces’ “invasion” of Goa.


The day is also particularly important for recognizing the achievements Goa has made in recent years, accomplishing milestones in the tourism sector and maintaining its position as having the highest per capita income among all the states and union territories of India.

Now, Goa Liberation Day is marked by an abundance of events and festivities in Goa. Various cultural programs like Sugam Sangeet — an Indian musical genre with poetry in the Kannada language — are held to honour the occasion.

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Published on: Saturday, December 18, 2021, 03:31 PM IST