Vijay’ extolling ‘Victory’ is a befitting name for any military operation as it injects both hope and valour. The liberation of Goa was unique in other ways also. Having been colonised by the Portuguese in 1510 and governed by Lisbon as ‘Estado da India’; Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli remained under colonial occupation for 451 years. Unlike the rest of the country, Goa didn’t get independence on August 15th of 1947.
The Liberation Day of Goa is celebrated on Dec 19 every year after the Indian Armed Forces liberated it from the Portuguese rule in 1961 and called it 'Operation Vijay.' Indian troops crossed the border into Goa. There was sustained land, sea, and airstrikes for more than 36 hours, resulting in the unconditional surrender of Portuguese forces on December 19.
PM Jawaharlal Nehru's approach:
When the Portuguese refused to give up control of the state in 1947 after India's independence from the British, India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, started trying different non-violent ways to resolve the issue. But all his efforts of peaceful and diplomatic negotiations were rendered useless. Following a myriad of unsuccessful negotiations and diplomatic efforts with the Portuguese, the former prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, decided that military intervention was the only option.
In 1955, he imposed an economic blockade on Goa, but even that did not deter the Portuguese power to leave the Indian soil. So in 1961, Mr Nehru decided that there was no alternative option left for military intervention.
The Indian Military Build-Up:
Lieutenant General JN Chaudhuri entrusted the task to Major General KP Candeth commanding 17 Infantry Division and placed 50 Parachute Brigade under him. Air operations were delegated to Air Vice Marshal Erlic Pinto and the Navy was entrusted to create a suitable Task Force. Major General Candeth planned to launch simultaneous operations against all three colonies. ‘D’ day was set for 18 December 1961.
Preliminary operations commenced on 17 December with the capture of the border town Maulinguem. 50 Para Brigade: The Northern Thrust. Brigadier Sagat Singh advanced along three columns, by 1000 hrs, initial contact had been made north of Ponda and Mapusa.
Around the same time, the enemy opposite 2 PARA escaped across the Mandovi river in the face of the advancing Indians. By 2000 hrs, a cease-fire offer was received by the Squadron Commander of 7th Cav.
Under the circumstances, the Indians consolidated their gains. The next day, the Indians made a triumphant entry into now Goa's capital Panjim through Fort Aguda which still had to be physically captured.
The Surrender at Vasco da Gama:
The Portuguese had planned their last-ditch stand at Vasco. Notwithstanding the order, ‘to fight to the last man and raze Goa to the ground’ the Governor-General appreciated the futility of the orders from Lisbon. At 2030 hrs on 19 December, he offered to surrender and with this, the 48 hrs operation came to a triumphant end.
Operation Vijay marks the day Indian armed forces(with armed action)freed Goa, Daman & Diu in 1961 following 450 years of Portuguese rule.
In India, this action is referred to as the "Liberation of Goa"
Operation Vijay involved air, sea and land strikes for over 36 hours, and was a decisive victory for India, ending 451 years of rule by Portugal over its remaining exclaves in India
This made India completely free from foreign rule.
Following the end of Portuguese rule in 1961, Goa was placed under military administration headed by Kunhiraman Palat Candeth as Lieutenant Governor.
On 8 June 1962, military rule was replaced by the civilian government when the Lieutenant Governor nominated an informal Consultative Council of 29 nominated members to assist him in the administration of the territory
(with inputs from sources)