Goa fought first war of Independence: MP

via Star of Mysore published on December 8, 2007

Panaji, Dec. 7 (SC)- It is a history that the first struggle for freedom in India took place in the year 1857. But Goa has raised an objection against the claim. It says that the residents of Goa who fought against the Portuguese settlers in 1583 is the first struggle for Independence and not the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny.

Shantaram Nayak, MP, argued in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that it was in the year 1583, after 75 years the Portuguese landed in Goa. It was fought in a small village called Kankolim, about 60km from Panaji.

On July 15 that year, Portuguese were involved in religious conversion activities. But 16 youths from the village joined together, strongly protested the forcible conversion and killed the five Christian priests. In retaliation, the Portuguese killed all the 16 youth.

“There is no mention of these 16 youth who sacrificed their lives for the nation, in any text book or even history. We are not asking to rewrite history. But this must be recognised as the first struggle for freedom in India”, Nayak argued.

“This village was the first to launch non-co-operation movement in the country much before Mahatma Gandhi. The residents of Kankolim village were the first who refused to pay taxes,” argued Nayak.

Five years ago, a monument was erected at Kankolim in memory of those who were slain in the 1583 rebellion.

Noted historian, Prajwal Sakhardande says that there is no mention of this incident in any of the text books or history, be it of national level or even the State level.

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