Freedom dawns on Goa, exactly 50 years ago as Goans hoist the Indian tricolour at Adil Shah Palace, Panaji, to welcome Goa’s Liberation from the Portuguese colonial rule.
PANAJI: It may not have been ‘Freedom at Midnight’ for Goa, but the region definitely had a ‘Tryst with Destiny’ as the Indian Army marched in Panaji, around mid-day on December 19, exactly 50 years ago to liberate Goans from the Portuguese colonial regime.
When Goa was freed from 450 years Portuguese yoke, it not only completed the Independence of India, but also witnessed departure of Portuguese from India, who had arrived long before the British rulers, and left Indian shores 17 years after the British had vacated India.
As Goa prepares itself to enter into the magical golden moment on December 19, 2011, the state administration has geared up to present a unique gift to Goans. The Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat will accept a report from the renowned Goan scientist and chairman of the Goa’s Golden Jubilee Development Council, Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, which would be charting a roadmap for Goa for the next 25 years. The report will give a projection for progress and development of Goa till 2035.
The flag hoisting ceremony of the Liberation Day will be held at the Campal Parade Ground at 9.15 a. m, wherein the Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat will unfurl the national tricolour, review the parade and later address the people of the state. He will also present awards to those who have excelled in different fields.
As part of the Liberation Day celebrations, cultural floats, national integration songs, a mass physical training drill and a combined parade from various platoons of the police, fire and emergency service, and National Cadet Corps will be organised at the Campal Parade Ground.
The Lok Sabha Speaker, Ms Meira Kumar will unveil the portrait of the noted Goan freedom fighter, Dr T B Cunha at the Central Hall of the Parliament in the presence of the leaders of all political parties, at 10 a. m on Monday. The portrait will be on display in the Parliament permanently. Thereafter at 11 a. m, the session will open in both houses of Parliament with a ceremonial reference to the golden jubilee of Goa’s Liberation.
The Raj Bhavan, Dona Paula; Old Secretariat, Panaji; New Secretariat, Porvorim and directorate of accounts building Panaji, will be illuminated on the nights of December 18 and December 19 to commemorate the event. The Governor, Mr K Sankaranarayanan will host a reception in the evening on the lawns of Raj Bhawan for politicians, Indian and foreign diplomats, dignitaries, celebrities, freedom fighters and members of the media.
A number of dignitaries have congratulated the people of Goa on the occasion of the golden jubilee of Goa’s Liberation.
The Governor, Mr K Sankaranarayanan asked Goans to strive to make Goa the ideal state in India. Stating that this day marked the culmination of the yearlong celebrations of the golden jubilee of the Liberation, he said: "I take this opportunity to pay my respectful tribute to the martyrs, who laid down their lives to secure freedom for Goa. I also express my deep sense of gratitude to all the freedom fighters, who suffered hardships, imprisonment and even deportation to secure freedom for Goa and its people."
The Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat urged the people of the state to work hand-in-hand to bring the state to glory.
"Once we are united nothing can stop us from marching ahead towards achieving our targets," Mr Kamat said.
The Archbishop-Patriarch of Goa and Daman, Rev Felipe Neri Ferrao said the archdiocese of Goa and Daman rejoices with the rest of the population of our state, as "we celebrate the golden jubilee of the annexation of Goa into the Indian Union. Freed from foreign rule and united to the Indian subcontinent, Goa has enjoyed, for the last 50 years, the fruits of democracy and self-determination, leading towards prosperity and progress."
The Sikkim Governor, Mr B P Singh writes: "I extend my warm greetings to the people of Goa on this auspicious day of the golden jubilee of their Liberation from foreign rule that heralded their rise from poverty to prosperity, from authoritarian rule to democracy.
"During the last 50 years, the Goan boys and girls, men and women have distinguished themselves in various fields of human activity and have brought prestige to India. Their amiable nature and warm hospitality have attracted people from India and other parts of the world. No wonder, among the middle class population in India, there are only two categories; those who have visited Goa and those who are planning to visit the state," he said
In another message, the AICC secretary in-charge of Goa, Mr P Sudhakar Reddy has greeted the people of Goa on behalf of the AICC on the auspicious occasion and said that AICC is committed to all round development of the state and its people.