Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said that the 14-year "delay" in the liberation of the former Portuguese colony was like a "vanvaas" (banishment), and despite more than four centuries of colonial rule, the region had managed to preserve its culture, traditions and a connect with the Indian mainland.
"Despite 450 years of exploitative Portuguese rule, Goa managed to keep its culture intact. We had a period of 14-year 'vanvaas'. India was already independent and for 14 years we had continued in exploitative Portuguese rule," Sawant said at the launch event of a Marathi news channel 'Goan Varta' in Panaji.
While India obtained Independence from the British rule in 1947, Goa was liberated from over 450 years of Portuguese regime in 1961.
Sawant in his past speeches has also made recurring references to the "delay" in Goa's liberation from the colonial yoke, arguing that then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was responsible for delaying Goa's integration into an independent India.
Sawant also said that there was a need to correct the "wrong portrayal" of Goa and that the state was not just about beaches, churches and temples.
"To an extent, there is a somewhat of a wrong portrayal of Goa. Everyone needs to contribute towards correcting this image. Beaches, churches and temples are not all that Goa is about. Goa also has rich and diverse culture and practices," Sawant said.
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