Considered one of the most important days in Goa's memory, also known as the forgotten war for freedom, December 19 commemorates the Indian Armed Forces ' liberation of Goa from Portuguese rule and the Indian subcontinent's complete independence. It is called the' Day of Independence for Goa.'
Although Indians celebrated their win, international communities gave a mixed response to the move. Although many praised the move and stood by India, many others like Portugal condemned the Indian troops ' ' invasion ' of Goa.
While the liberation movement itself started in the early 20th century, it gained momentum in the 1940s, drawing inspiration from the Indian independence movement.
Although India gained independence on August 15, 1947, Goa still mouldered under the Portuguese rule for 450 years. The Portuguese were among the first to colonise parts of India and refused even post-Indian independence to give up their control over Goa, Daman, and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
A plethora of Goa festivities mark the day. This starts with a procession of torchlight from three different locations that eventually culminates at the Azad Maidan. At this place the martyrs are paid tribute and homage. In addition, there are also various cultural programmes such as Sugam Sangeet to celebrate the occasion.
The Indian troops regained the territory of Goan with little to no resistance, forcing General Manuel Antonio Vassalo e Silva to sign the surrender document, thereby ending 451 years of the Portuguese's exploitative rule over the region on 19 December 1961.
Amid a series of failed talks and diplomatic attempts with the Portuguese, the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, considered military action the only alternative. Military operation was scheduled to take place as of 18 December 1961. Bringing the Portuguese by intimidation, the ' armed operation ' code named ' Activity Vijay ' (meaning ' Victory ') involved more than 36 hours of attacks by the Indian Navy, Airforce and Army.
As the smallest state of the country reaches its 58th year of independence, it remains a mixture of Portugal's traditions, while maintaining its own distinctive position. In the tourism sector, the State has made milestones and also retains its status as having the highest per capita income among all India's states and union territories.