views updated May 29 2018


GOA Located on the South Konkan coast of western India, approximately 250 miles (402 km) south of Mumbai, Goa is bounded by Maharashtra in the north, Karnataka in the east and south, and the Arabian Sea on the west. Before it attained statehood on 30 May 1987, Goa was a union territory. Its area of 1,429 square miles (population 1,343,998; 2001 census) makes it the smallest of the twenty-eight states of the Indian union. In 2003 it was judged the richest state in India by the magazine India Today, and had the highest rate of literacy at 82.3 percent. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations for domestic as well as international tourists. Despite intensive exploitation of iron and manganese ore as well as general industrialization since 1961, the state has retained its famed natural beauty, thanks to successive environmentally conscious governments.

A former Portuguese colony for 450 years, acquired by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510, Goa was made the capital of the Estado da India periodically under a viceroy or a governor-general with authority over all Portuguese possessions from Sofala in East Africa to Macao off China. Goa was also dubbed "Rome of the Orient" because it was the headquarters of the papal ecclesiastical enterprise in the East, where the "incorrupt body" of St. Francis Xavier has been kept since 1553. Goa saw new peaks of prosperity under the Portuguese, at least until 1580, as a substantial slice of the profits from their extensive spice trade poured into the city of Old Goa, enabling the government to build impressive office buildings and churches, mostly following Iberian architectural style. In 1759, compelled by persistent outbreak of plague in Old Goa, the administration was moved to Nova Goa (New Goa), also called Panaji. Before Portuguese rule, Goa formed part of the adjoining kingdoms in Maharashtra and Karnataka. It had earlier formed the southern part of the Mauryan province of Aparanta, later coming under its feudatory chief, the Bhoja family, and still later under the Silaharas, Kadambas, and Chalukyans of Badami. From 1312 to 1370 it came under Delhi's Muslim sultanate. Later, Vijayanagar acquired it and developed it as its principal port of entry for Arabian horses. In 1489 Goa came under the Bahamani kingdom, and after the latter split into five separate entities, under the Adil Shahi rulers of Bijapur.

The Portuguese acquired Goa in two stages: Velhas Conquistas (Old Conquests) consisting of Tiswadi (thirty villages), Bardez, Mormugao, and Salsete, all acquired in the sixteenth century; and the Novas Conquistats (New Conquests), made in the eighteenth century, comprising Pernem, Sanguem, Quepem, Ponda, Sattari, Bicholim, and Canacona. The rigors of the Inquisition in the Old Conquests account for the overwhelming majority there of Catholic converts, while later tolerance is reflected in the overwhelming majority of Hindus and their temples in the New Conquests. By the end of Portuguese rule in 1961, Goa's population was 60.8 percent Hindu and 36.1 percent Catholic; the rest were Muslims, Luso-Indians, and others, with no Portuguese settlers despite their 450 year rule.

Goa's prosperity declined along with the erosion of Portuguese power from the late sixteenth century. Beginning in the nineteenth century, large numbers of Goans, particularly Catholics from poor families, sought employment as butlers in affluent British households, as waiters and cooks in expensive urban restaurants and hill stations, and in diverse jobs on oceangoing vessels. Both Hindus and Catholics migrated for educational and employment opportunities—about 150,000, or over one-fourth of the entire Goan population, to British India, over 100,000 to Mumbai, and several thousand more to Portuguese and British East Africa.

In 1946, on the eve of India's independence, with the discovery of iron and manganese ore, Goa became both fiscally solvent and a source of valuable foreign exchange to Portugal. Even the small portion of foreign exchange made available in Goa was enough to import many luxury items. Goans "could wear a hundred watches on each arm," and smuggling increased across the porous border to the rest of India. With no income tax or sales tax to pay, business in Goa boomed. Despite such sudden economic betterment, the colonial government faced growing opposition, supported by the large numbers of émigrés. The National Congress of Goa, established by Tristao Braganza da Cunha, a Goan Catholic, in 1930, spearheaded the movement for independence. Expecting the Portuguese to leave the moment the British would quit the subcontinent, leaders of the Indian independence movement had paid no attention to Goa, whose population was, according to official Portuguese statistics, 98.7 percent Indian, the rest being transitory Portuguese officials and army personnel. In 1951 Portugal decreed that Goa and all other Portuguese colonies were "overseas provinces" entitled to North Atlantic Treaty Organization's protection. The Indian government's pleas for negotiations with Portugal on the same lines as France with regard to its Indian colonies fell on deaf ears. Instead, further curbs on freedoms were instituted, including the strictest censorship. Evading such tight controls instituted by a dictatorial regime, Goans offered satyagraha, or nonviolent resistance, courting arrest. Such prominent professionals as Dr. T. B. Cunha, Telo Mascarenhas, Dr. Pundalik Gaitonde, Dr. Rama Hegde, Advocate Gopal Mayekar, and others were sentenced to ten- to fifteen-year prison terms and were deported to Portugal and Angola. Hundreds were detained for indefinite period in Goan jails. Unarmed Indians, including Goans who attempted to cross into Goa as nonviolent Gandhian satyagrahis in 1954 and 1955, were shot down in cold blood. The irresistible force of the spirit of free India was met by the obstinacy of Portuguese premier Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, who refused to acknowledge the "winds of change" sweeping the European empires from Africa and Asia. Failing moral and diplomatic approaches, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru finally turned to a military solution. "Operation Goa," lasting thirty-six hours, began with the bombing and disabling of the only Portuguese frigate, SS Afonso de Albuquerque. Indian troops marched in from three directions, taking Goa with hardly any resistance from Portuguese forces, welcomed warmly by the overwhelming majority of Goans on 19 December 1961.

D. R. SarDesai

See alsoAlbuquerque, Afonso de ; Gama, Vasco da ; Portuguese in India


Bhandari, Romesh. Goa. New Delhi: Roli Books, 1999.

Cunha, Tristao B. Goa's Freedom Struggle. Mumbai: Antonio de Cruz, 1981.

De Souza, Teotonio R. Goa through the Ages. New Delhi: Concept Publishing, 1987.

Gaitonde, P. D. The Liberation of Goa. New Delhi: Oxford >University Press, 1987.

Priolkar, A. K. The Goa Inquisition: Being a Quartercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in India. Mumbai: Bombay University Press, 1961.

Rao, R. P. Portuguese Rule in Goa, 15101961. Mumbai: Asia Publishing House, 1963.

Shastri, B. S. Socio-Economic Aspects of Portuguese Colonialism in Goa, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Panaji: University Publishers, 1990.

Shirodkar, P. P. Goa's Struggle for Freedom. Delhi: Ajanta Publishers, 1988.


views updated May 17 2018


A former Portuguese enclave on the west coast of India, a metropolitan see since 1558. Captured by Affonso de Albuquerque from the Muslims of Bijapur on Nov. 25, 1510, Goa was once the capital of Portuguese India and of the entire Portuguese empire in the East. In 1759 cholera epidemics forced the removal of the capital five miles west to Pangim (New Goa), and Old Goa became

a city of ruins. With the rise of the Dutch and English as maritime powers in the late 17th century, Goa declined. It was annexed by India on Dec. 18, 1961, and attained full statehood within India in 1987.

Beginnings. After Vasco da Gama's arrival in India in 1498, Portugal began to acquire small coastal areas (Goa in 1510 and Daman [Damão] in 1559) to create Portuguese India. Until 1514 the area was ecclesiastically under vicars-general of the Order of Christ, which was entrusted with the overseas Church. In 1514 it came under the newly created diocese for overseas lands, Funchal on Madeira Island, whose bishop resided in Lisbon. Pope Clement VII erected the Latin See of Goa on Jan. 31, 1533. In 1534 Goa was made a suffragan see to Funchal with territory reaching from the Cape of Good Hope to the Moluccas. On Feb. 4, 1558, Pope Paul IV detached Goa from the province of Lisbon and raised it to a metropolitan archdiocese, having as suffragans the dioceses of Cochin and Malacca (Melaka). On March 15, 1572, Pope Gregory XIII acknowledged the archbishop of Goa as the Primate of the East. As Goa grew in prestige, other suffragans were added: Macau (1576), the short-lived Funai in Japan (1588), the former Syro-Malabar Metropolitan See of Angamaly (1600), and Mylapore (1606). In 1612 the prelacy of Mozambique was attached to Goa. In 1690 the newly created sees of Peking (Beijing) and Nanking (Nanjing) in China were made suffragan to Goa, which with its suffragans came under the Portuguese padroado (see patronato real). Provincial Councils of Goa have established ecclesiastical discipline for Catholics in the East (1567, 1575, 1585, 1592, 1606, and 1894). The Inquisition was established in Goa in 1560 and operated until its suppression in 1812.

Goan (Indo-Portuguese) Schism. The apostolic vicariates established by the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith from 1637 conflicted with the padroado jurisdiction of Goa. In Bombay, which Portugal had earlier ceded to England in 1661, this conflict became particularly acute and resulted in the Goan Schism of 1838. The immediate cause of the schism was Pope Gregory XVI's decision in the papal bull Multa praeclare (April 24, 1838) which withdrew Cochin, Cranganore, and Mylapore (all of which were British colonial territories) from the jurisdiction of Goa and assigned them to vicars apostolic under the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. Subsequent interpretation and enactments further restricted Goa's jurisdiction to the Portuguese territory. The bull was rejected as spurious or surreptitious by the padroado clergy in these three suffragan sees who were loyal to the archbishop of Goa. They had argued that even the Holy See could not legislate thus without the consent of the king of Portugal, as was stated in original earlier bulls.

The resistance that ensued in Bombay and elsewhere in India was called the Goan (or Indo-Portuguese) Schism by many historians; and the term "schism" appears frequently in papal pronouncements, which, however, do not call the Goans schismatic (except four priests in Bombay), only "openly disobedient." The padroadists consistently rejected the label "schism," arguing that the vicars misinformed the Holy See and that they were only defending their canonical and natural rights. The basic difficulty was the inability of the Portuguese crown and the Holy See to communicate with each other, let alone negotiate an acceptable solution to the crisis. The Concordat of 1857 brought some peace, but opposition continued until 1862. The Concordat of 1886 restored jurisdiction over Cochin and Mylapore and added a new suffragan, Daman (Damão). On Jan. 23, 1886, Pope Leo XIII invested the archbishop of Goa with the title of Patriarch of East Indies. After the diocese of Daman (Damão) was merged with Goa in 1928, the reconstituted See became known as the archdiocese of Goa and Daman (Damão).

Delinkings and Restructurings. The 20th century witnessed further delinkings of suffragan sees from Goa. Mozambique was detached in 1940. In the wake of India achieving its independence in 1957, it became increasingly untenable for suffragan sees to remain under the jurisdiction of a past colonial power. Therefore, Cochin and Mylapore were separated in 1950, and the vicariates general of the Ghats (covering Belgaum, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Sangli) and of Canara were separated in 1953. The Indian annexure of Goa and its dependencies of Daman (Damão) and Diu resulted in the collapse of the last vestiges of the padroado system in India. In 1962, the last Portuguese patriarch-archbishop of Goa and Daman, Jose Vieira Alvernaz, resigned and returned to Portugal. On Jan. 1, 1976, the Holy See restructured the archdiocese of Goa and Daman as an archdiocese immediately subject to the Holy See.

Historical Churches. The Chapel of St. Catherine (151231) was the first of many religious edifices in Old Goa. In Bom Jesus Church (15941605), a minor basilica in 1946, are the relics of the Jesuit St. Francis Xavier. The churches of St. Francis of Assisi (151721, rebuilt in 1661) and St. Cajetan's (1651, once Theatine) are noteworthy. The Augustinian convent of St. Monica (1606) and the Jesuit College of St. Paul, taken over from the Franciscan College of Santa Fé in 1542 and made the headquarters of Jesuit missions in the East, are in ruins.

Bibliography: For bibliography, see india, christianity in.

[j. wicki/

k. pathil]


views updated Jun 27 2018


GOA. Goa was the administrative and religious capital of the Portuguese Asian empire. Located on the west coast of India, Goa had been an important center of Indian Ocean trade under the sultan of Bijapur well before the arrival of the Portuguese. After 1510 it became the center of Portuguese activities in Asia and by 1600 its population grew to seventy-five thousand. As in Macau and other cities in Portuguese Asia, the Portuguese always formed a small percentage of the total population. Goa is the name of both the city and the area surrounding it. By the 1630s the region had a population of 250,000. During the sixteenth century and part of the seventeenth century Goa reached its zenith, becoming one of the jewels in the Portuguese crown. Long-distance trade with Lisbon brought New World gold and silver to trade for Asian spices (such as pepper, cloves, and cinnamon) as well as tea and Chinese silks. Trade within the Indian Ocean region was based on exchanging prized Arabian horses in South Asia for Indian cotton and rice.

In Goa's heyday travelers remarked on the many large buildings and the highly evolved urban nature of the city, in which the Portuguese had built a number of large churches and an important convent (Santa Mónica). A slow decline began by 1650, and the city was eventually abandoned because of reoccurring health concerns (malaria and cholera). The urban population moved several miles west to Panaji, the modern capital of the Indian state of Goa.

See also Macau ; Portuguese Colonies: The Indian Ocean and Asia .


Pearson, M. N. The Portuguese in India. Cambridge, U.K., 1987. A succinct summary of Portuguese interactions in India, especially Goa.

Souza, Teotonio R de. Medieval Goa. New Delhi, 1979. Pathbreaking study that discusses Goa in the Indian context, focusing on the local Goan population under Portuguese rule.

Souza, Teotonio R. de, ed. Indo-Portuguese History: Old Issues, New Questions. New Delhi, 1985. A collection of essays outlining the newer issues raised in the field.

Timothy J. Coates


views updated Jun 08 2018


GOA , city and district on the W. coast of India, about 250 miles (400 km.) S. of Bombay, a Portuguese province from 1510 until 1961. The first Jew to be mentioned in Goa was Gaspar da *Gama who was kidnapped by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and baptized. From the early decades of the 16th century many New Christians from Portugal came to Goa. The influx soon aroused the opposition of the Portuguese and ecclesiastical authorities, who complained bitterly about the New Christians' influence in economic affairs, their monopolistic practices, and their secret adherence to Judaism. As a result of these complaints the Portuguese Inquisition was established in Goa in 1560, and lasted, apart from a temporary suspension from 1774 to 1778, for almost 250 years. Even before the Inquisition was formally established, a physician named Jeronimo Diaz had been burned in 1543 for maintaining heretical opinions. Many prominent New Christians became victims of the Inquisition in Goa. The great scientist Garcia de *Orta was not affected during his lifetime, but 12 years after his death, in 1580, his remains were exhumed, burned, and the ashes thrown into the ocean. In the latter part of the 16th century Coje *Abrahão served as interpreter to the Portuguese viceroys, despite ecclesiastical objections. Eighteenth-century travelers refer to the existence of a syna gogue and organized Jewish communal life, but this is doubtful.


Roth, Mag Bibl, 105–6; Roth, Marranos, 394; E.N. Adler, Auto De Fé and Jew (1908), 139–51; J.M.T. de Carvalho, Garcia d'Orta (Sp., 1915); A. Baião (ed.), A inquisiçào de Goa, 2 vols. (1945); Fischel, in: jqr, 47 (1956/57), 37–45.

[Walter Joseph Fischel]


views updated May 29 2018

Goa State in sw India, on the Arabian Sea; the capital is Panaji. It was ruled by Hindu dynasties until it came under Muslim domination in the 15th century. Captured by the Portuguese in 1510, it became the hub of Portugal's Asian empire. It was annexed by India in 1962 and made a Union territory. In 1987, Goa became a separate state. Products: rice, cashews, spices, pharmaceutical products, footwear, pesticides. Area: 3702sq km (1429sq mi). Pop. (2001) 1,344,000.