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Friday, June 2, 2023

Goa to spotlight its anti-colonial struggle by restoring forts, memorials

After making budgetary provision to restore temples demolished during the Portuguese colonial rule in Goa, the state’s BJP government has announced plans to restore and beautify forts and memorials having historical importance.

It has also focussed on passing the history of Goa liberation to the next generation by including it in textbooks.

The portion of Aguada fort has been converted into a museum drawing tourists to this historical place, thus promoting and fostering tourism activities. Not depending only on the concept of ‘Sea, Sand and Sun’, the government is putting efforts to divert tourists to other scenic and historical sites.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has urged the students to visit Aguada fort so that the they can get information about freedom fighters’ struggle. The Portuguese had used this fort as a jail in which the freedom fighters were lodged.

The Portuguese rule in Goa lasted for 450 years, during which they demolished the temples.

Sawant has announced plans to rebuild these temples and has directed concerned departments to act.

Not only rebuilding the temples, but now the government has decided to restore the forts and memorials having historical importance. The restored Aguada fort has now become a tourist attraction, which also gives historical information to visitors.

The Goa government has also asked its Archives and Archeological department to work on translating the documents of sites, which has link with the liberation movement.

While commemorating the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at the Betul Fort in South Goa, Sawant had commended the Archives and Archeological department for translating Portuguese documents related to the history of the Betul Fort, which was built by Shivaji Maharaj.

Not only forts, but the government has decided to give equal attention to memorials in the state.

Sawant recently laid the foundation stone for upgrading the martyrs memorial in the memory of Hirve Guruji and Sheshnath Wadekar at Terekhol (Tiracol) fort in North Goa. Both hailing from Maharashtra were shot dead by the Portuguese for unfurling the national flag on fort on August 15, 1955. They had participated in Satyagrah to liberate Goa.

“Many freedom fighters from across India felt that Goa should get liberation from Portuguese and hence they came here to fight against Portuguese. All the 127 freedom fighters who had come to Terekhol fort, were told to go back to India by the Portuguese. But they were firm on their decision to liberate Goa, some of them were later shot dead by Portuguese. They sacrificed their life to liberate Goa, hence this history should be passed to the next generation,” Sawant said.

According to the Chief Minister, such memorials shall inspire the future generations to imbibe the values of nationalism in the service of the nation.

He said along with Cabo de Rama fort, Betul fort and memorials, having importance of Goa liberation, will be restored and beautified.

Sawant has also announced that the contributions of Azad Gomantak Dal, a local armed revolutionary group, National Congress (Goa) and other freedom fighters who played a vital role to liberate Goa, will be included in the history textbooks.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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