President poses Goa as a development model

sandesh prabhudesai, panaji | 20 December 1997 23:53 IST

portuguese, liberation

"Goa is a model before the country today, in fighting the outside invasion and build the country on modern lines with the development of science and technology".

This certificate has come from none other than President of India K R Narayanan, who visited the youngest tiny tourist state on the western coast on the occasion of its 36th Liberation Day.

While describing Goan liberation from Portuguese colonialists 16 years after India attained independence as a landmark in Asian and African history of colonialism, he showered Goans with words of appreciation for attaining immense development within three and a half decades.

"It's not the policies alone but individuals who build the region. The tolerant, gentle and cultured individuals of Goa have set an example before the whole country on how to meet the invasion of outside culture on our terms and equal terms", he said, while replying to the civic reception held in Panaji, on behalf of city-based municipalities and village panchayats.

The President's visit however became a matter of controversy with protests from women's groups and other NGOs, for inaugurating a five-day food and cultural festival, as it promotes liquor consumption and the "neo-colonial" culture.

Even union law minister Ramakant Khalap, who inaugurated country's third-ranking festival of Indian classical music on the same day in another town, expressed regrets that the President chose to open the food festival and not the Indian music festival, on the Liberation Day.

But President had all praises for the way tourism has flourished in Goa and the service sector is developed around it. While science and technology is a secret of tomorrow's future of the country, he said : "as a model state, you are showing us how to build the modern India".

Though Goa was the last state to join the Indian union, it was the first state where revolts had begun, much before Indian's famous war of independence in 1857. Goa's Ranes had waged a rebellion in 1775, followed by Pinto's revolt and the guerrilla warfare against the Portuguese by Dipaji Rane, he recalled.

Remembering all the freedom fighters from Ram Manohar Lohia to Peter Alvares and several ones from all over India, he said their contribution for Goan liberation was undisputable though Goa was ultimately liberated by invading Indian army on 19th December 1961.

"I was in Australia, working as a high commissioner, when Goa got liberated. I was disturbed the way Jawaharlal Nehru was compared with Hitler. After having Christmas lunch, wrote down a pamphlet called 'India gains freedom' and distributed it all over, in retaliation", he recalled.

Goan liberation not only completed India's independence, but it was also the most sensational and real freedom of that time, he said. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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