Somnath Temple in Gujarat, India

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Somnath Temple in Gujarat, India


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The Portuguese Rule in India

This page is intended to provide multi-aspectual information on the Portuguese rule in parts of India, which was centred around the territories of Goa. After India's independence from the British colonial rule and volunteer departure of the French from Pondichery, the Portuguese kept on refusing to vacate - despite massive public movements on the part of the people in Goa - the held-territories. The United Nations General Assembly in the 1950's ruled in India's favour. A ruling, which the Portuguese however refused to implement.

Finally, the Government of India decided to intervene militarily and the Indian Army marched in December 1961 in Goa to free the last Indian territory from colonial rule. This and other connected pages will hopefully provide the reader with useful, interesting information. [see a general statetment of objectives of the History site of IndiaWorld on the Net].

Ruins of a 500-years old Portuguese Fort found near Kochi

[report quoted from]

Fort Kochi (21 Feb. 2006, PTI): Ruins of an ancient fort, believed to be that of the 500-year-old Fort Immanuel, built by the Portuguese, have surfaced near the seashore in Fort Kochi as the sand was washed away by the sea waves.

The fort ruins were buried in the waters after the sea intruded into the beach. The remains of the laterite structure became visible on the northern side of INS Dronacharya. This is the first time that a large portion of the ruins has been exposed. Fort Immanuel, claimed to be the first European fort in the country, was built in 1503 and was later reinforced in 1538. When the Dutch conquered Kochi, they reduced the length of the fort to one third of its original size.

Austin Paul, president of the International Forum for Culture, Heritage and Tradition (IFCHT) said the remains have to be protected and preserved before they are covered by the sea once again.

Editor's comments: That the said fort is a part of history, there can be no doubt about it and the fort should be therefore preserved. But whether this fort can be really considered to be a part of "culture, heritage and tradition", as Mr. Austin Paul seems to consider it - that is more than doubtful. Even a cursory reminder of the cruel massacre of civilians by the Portuguese in Calicut would be enough to forget these beautiful terms e.g. "culture" and "heritage". It would be more suitable to preserve this fort as a standing reminder of colonial, brutal past of which India became a victim due to the richness that it enjoyed, the liberal way of life it professed and the disunity that prevailed. See for example this report:

"In 1502 Vasco da Gama sailed again, this time with 25 ships and ‘much beautiful artillery’. On the way he stopped a pilgrim ship and burnt every one of the 700 Muslims going to Mecca. Calicut was devastated with cannon power. Prisoners were paraded after their hands, ears and noses had been hacked. Their feet were tied together, their teeth broken, and they were thrown into a boat, which was set on fire. [The King] Mana Vikrama received a message that he could cook a curry of this human flesh. When a Brahmin was sent to negotiate with Portuguese his lips were cut off and his ears replaced with those of a dog. By 1503 the Portuguese felt strong enough to leave a permanent settlement with five ships at Cochin , a neighbouring principality that they had befriended, or cowed down into friendship." [more]

Christinization of the Velhas Conquistas

[Article quoted from]

[...] "With the influx of the Portuguese, came their religion. Under Albuquerque's rule commerce was the primary factor governing Portuguese policy in India. As a result, the Portuguese were initially quite tolerant of the hindu religion, (although not as tolerant of the muslims). From 1540 onwards, under the influence of the Counter Revolution in Europe and with the arrival of the Inquisition in Goa, Portugal's liberal policy towards the hindus was reversed. Many hindu temples were razed and churches built on them; while the few muslims that were there were dispersed or disposed of. The characteristic Portuguese names that many christian Goans have today, is to a very small extent due to inter-marriage between the Portuguese and local Indians. Rather, the converts, were forced to adopt a Portuguese name, usually that of the priest responsible for their conversion." [more]




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