Friday, December 25, 2020

Composure in the face of COVID-19





Covid-19 has certainly disrupted normal living conditions worldwide.  Interaction with family and friends has taken an unprecedented and unpleasant twist.  Socializing face-to-face in harmonious fellowship is now taboo. We have been segregated and left stranded. Gloom and doom are constant bedfellows. and may be the new norm for now.

In this milieu some rays of hope continue in the form of disseminators of Goan endeavours.  Frederick Noronha in Goa; Eddie Fernandes in London, England: Salus Correia and Cyprian Fernandes in Australia: keep the embers aglow.  Canada fell off the radar with the sad demise of John D’Souza a couple of years back. And, Darrel Carvalho persevered and put forth a newsletter on behalf of the Westend Seniors’ Club in Toronto.  But hats off to Greta Dias, the intrepid Director of the Goan Overseas Association (Toronto)’s retirees, who fills the void best of all, by churning out stuff beyond compare.  The pandemic certainly put her mettle to the test. Phone calls, emails and virtual imaging have proven to be invaluable tools in her efforts.

For ten years Greta fronted face-to-face activities for the retirees. When these efforts got disconnected from the scenario, Greta embarked on an ambitious and unique program of providing palatable alternative strategies for members. These were in the form of “sanitized” material doled out at a furious pace. Her efforts have aligned well with members and even a few on other continents. Her think-tank includes her husband, sisters and a whole slew of talented individuals. The ongoing social diversions include : a monthly newsletter with special themes; interesting articles; pictures of members’ gardens, handicrafts, old school photographs; recipes; videos of  line-dancing and keep-fit programmes; health & welfare ; computer literacy; a primer on Zoom usage;  Rosary on Zoom every week;  ......the list goes on. For the meat and potatoes types like us in isolation, this could be just what the doctor ordered. Some colourful covers (below) reflect the diversity. All this virtual imaging was facilitated because of the impetus of the  President of the Goan Overseas Association (Toronto), Selwyn Colaco.

What will Greta and her team think of next ?

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

In memory of the tragic Tom D'Souza, my very special friend







Time cannot change our friendship old

Harbouring memories dear and links of Gold

Only those who cared despite everything

Manage to hold their heads and silently sing

A praise to a person who was once full of zest

Sleep in peace gaining eternal rest

As tears roll down my lonely face

Nostalgia fills the empty space

Three children you had not with you though

Heaven only knows how you missed then so

Often, I visualised this day with sadness

Now you are with Mai and Papa, grieving is pointless

You have left behind many talents so priceless

Words by your devoted friend Grace Coutinho 11.05.10


Tom was found dead in his London flat on April 19, 2010

So many people knew Tom and held him in high esteem so anyone can come forward and say a few words.

I am no good at speaking and would not remember all I have to say so I have summoned  what I know of Tom in the Missalette (along with his photograph and my poem in his memory). The saying is that “The Dead are always good.” This was true of everyone including Tom, although no everyone will agree. He was a good man but he let his problem get the better of him. We cannot judge him because we will never know how hard a struggle it must have been –he had a problem – which very few of us understood and the norm would be to “leave him till he hits rock bottom and he will pick himself up if he wants to.

Those who knew Tom will realise that there was no rock bottom for Tom. He used to give up alcohol many times but failed. I knew that once I gave up looking after him, he would eventually die … sometimes there is only so much one can do. I tried my level best for over 21 years until my son grew up I could cope no more and left him in the hands of the Good Lord who eventually said “come my son you have suffered enough in this world and now you can rest in peace with your late parents and in the company of angels and saints – thus Tom was cleansed and went to the Lord and is now praying for all of us – this he did – he always prayed for each and everyone.

His love and skills of football were so amazing, as you all know, he was the founder of the Crusaders Football Club in Nairobi and played for Nairobi Heroes, Goa and Kenya. He was also good snooker player.

This Requiem Mass is offered for the repose of his soul because so many people rang me to ask about Tom and I knew that they would like to pay their last respects this human being who had an illness that very few understood and not many could comprehend why I helped him so much despite having my own family but I knew Tom way back in Kenya – always a dear friend who considered my a sister he never had. There is so much more I could say but I think my poem says it all.

I will always remember the good times, Skip! Rest in Everlasting Peace, my friend.



A new look at the History of the Portuguese in Goa, the good, the bad, and they ugly

 "Sharma, Susheel Kumar. “Revisiting Portuguese Colonization in India”, Madhya Bharati: Research Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, No. 72, January-June 2017, pp. 135-156. ISSN 0974-0066." by Susheel K Sharma

The Doctrine of Padroado (jus patrionatus established by the Papal Bulls of 1514) provided the authority for missionary work to be in the hands of the Portuguese Crown in areas where Portugal claimed political rights. ( The first Luz church was built by the Portuguese in 1516 in Thirumayilai (Mylapore). Missionaries of the newly founded Society of Jesus (1534) were sent to Goa and the Portuguese colonial government supported the mission with incentives like rice donations for the poor, good positions in the Portuguese colonies for the middle class, and military support for local rulers. (Daus 61-66)

St. Francis Xavier was very clear in his mind when he wrote: “I want to free the poor Hindus from the stranglehold of the Brahmins and destroy the places where evil spirits are worshipped.” (Francis Xavier qtd by Michael Kerrigan) 138@e/; Hkkjrh Denison Ross writes: “It may be recalled … that after the arrival of the Franciscan missionaries in 1517 Goa had become the centre of an immense propaganda, and already in 1540 by the orders of the king of Portugal all the Hindu temples in the island of Goa had been destroyed.” (18) Fr. Diogo da Borba and his advisor Vicar General, Miguel Vaz drew plans for converting the Hindus to Christianity. “In a letter dated March 8, 1546 King João III ordered the Viceroy to forbid Hinduism ('Gentile idolatry') in all the Portuguese possessions of India, destroy Hindu temples, prohibit the celebration of Hindu feasts, expel all Brahmins and severely punish anyone making Hindu image.”

(Saraiva 348) “The viceroy, D. Constantino de Bragança passed a decree in 1559 ordering the destruction of remaining temples and idols.” (Mendonça 260) However, Victor Ferrao, Dean Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol, disputes the claim by saying: “… the word Hindu does not exist in the entire sixteenth century Indo-Portuguese historiography.” ( He further holds: “Though the temples that were demolished were not Hindu, but [the] one(s) that belonged to different cults that have united into Hinduism of today the Hindu community is certainly carrying the pain of this false impression … .” ( The Kapaleeswarar (Shiva) temple (Mylapore, Chennai) was destroyed by the Catholic Portuguese in 1561 and in its place came up St. Thomas Cathedral (Santhome Church) where some fragmentary inscriptions from the old temple are still there.

In 1566 António de Noronha (Bishop of Elvas) issued an order applicable to the entire area under Portuguese rule: “I hereby order that in any area owned by my master, the king, nobody should construct a Hindu temple and such temples already constructed should not be repaired without my permission. If this order is transgressed, such temples shall be, destroyed and the goods in them shall be used to meet expenses of holy deeds, as punishment of such transgression.” (qtd by de Souza )

It is claimed that the Jesuits destroyed 280 Hindu temples in Salsette and the Franciscan friars 300 in Bardez in 1567. In 1583, Hindu temples at Assolna and Cuncolim were destroyed through army action. (de Souza Fatima Gracias writes: “It is true a considerable number of the Goan temples were erased by the Portuguese rulers but some were built in the 18th century.” (“Impact” 45) Even mosques were broken to raise churches. On the authority of a native Muslim historian, Danvers writes, “[The Portugese] demolished a mosque [in Cochin] and made a Christian church of it” in 1450 (p 29); they “set the 'Jama'- masjid' on fire” in Calicut in the month of Ramadan, Dec 1509. (p. 31)

St. Francis Xavier hated Brahmins for he considered them to be the biggest hurdle in his proselytizing mission: “[The Brahmins] are the most perverse people in the world, and of them was written the psalmist's prayer: De gente non sancta, ab homine iniquo et doloso eripe me [“From an unholy race, and wicked and crafty men, deliver me, Lord”]. They do not know what it is to tell the truth but forever plot how to lie subtly and deceive their poor, ignorant followers.... Were it not for these Brahmins all the heathen would be converted... .” (qtd by Pastor Don Elmore) Timothy J. Coates in his Convicts and Orphans: Forced and State-Sponsored Colonizers in the Portuguese Empire, 1550- 1755 writes: “The Pai dos Cristãos enforced a series of laws, known as the Laws in Revisiting Portuguese Colonization in India@139 Favour of Christianity, aimed at the forced or coerced conversion of a number of South Asian communities under Portuguese political control.” (167)

In his book Conversions and Citizenry: Goa Under Portugal, 1510-1610 Délio de Mendonça, writes: “[The viceroy, D. Pedro Mascarenhas (1554-1555)] promulgated several laws in favour of conversion and ordered them to be read on the streets of Goa. These orders banned all the Hindu ceremonies in Portuguese territory, and demanded the separation of Hindu orphans from their relatives so that they might be brought up in Christian customs.” (258) Timothy J. Coates gives details of the laws to promote Christianity by adopting orphans malevolently: “In 1559, King D. Sebastião passed a law … stating that [the children] without mothers, fathers, or grandparents and who “were not old enough to have an understanding of reason” should be turned over to the juiz dos órfãos and placed in the College of São Paulo, where they were to be baptized. … In 1567, the law was reinterpreted by Bishop D. Jorge Semedo to read that being fatherless alone was sufficient grounds to declare a child an orphan and separate him or her from remaining family, even if the child's mother and other relatives opposed it. ... Some orphans attempted to evade this new understanding by marrying but under fourteen and under twelve years of age were not allowed to marry and were forcibly converted as well. This 140@e/; Hkkjrh law was enforced by having all such children turned over to the captain of the area (that is, Goa, Bardez and Salsette). The captain entrusted the child to the authorities of the College of St. Paul. Anyone hiding such children was threatened with loss of his or her property and indefinite exile.” (166) The orphans were being eyed by the Portuguese “not only by desire to save their souls but also by anxiety to take charge of their estates.” (Priolkar 128)

Various measures were introduced to separate the Christians from others. Several decrees were issued to prevent the Christians from following non-Christian customs and prevent Hindus from following many of their customs. (Gracias Kaleidoscope 47) Laws were passed banning Christians from keeping Hindus in their employ and the public worship of Hindus was deemed unlawful. All the persons above 15 years of age were compelled to listen to Christian preaching, failing which they were punished. Historian Anant Priolkar gives details of how Hindus were forced to assemble periodically in churches to listen to the refutation of their religion. (123-25)

In order to humiliate the locals the Viceroy ordered that Hindu Pandits and doctors be disallowed from entering the capital city on horseback or palanquins, the violation of which entailed a fine. Successive violations resulted in imprisonment. Christian palanquin-bearers were forbidden from carrying Hindus as passengers. Christian agricultural labourers were forbidden to work in the lands owned by Hindus, and Hindus forbidden to employ Christian labourers. (Priolkar 114-149) Similarly Délio de Mendonça on the basis of various historical documents writes: “The viceroy, D. Constantino de Bragança, implemented mercilessly all the decrees in favour of conversion. He promulgated a few more, even stronger than those of his predecessors. He passed a decree in 1559 ordering the destruction of remaining temples and idols. Bragança expelled harmful Brahmans from Goa in 1560. To those who had immovable property he gave one month to sell it; the others had to leave Goa immediately. In default they would be sent to the galleys after forfeiting their goods. Under the same threat he ordered all the goldsmiths … to bring [their women folk and children and goods] back to the island or abandon the land.” (260)

The first provincial council held in 1567 prevented 5 women from seeking help of non-Christian midwives because the latter used some indigenous herbal medicines for reducing the labour pain and for safely delivering the baby. On September 22, 1570 an order proclaiming that the Hindus embracing Christianity would be exempted from land taxes for a period of 15 years and prohibiting the use of Hindu names or surnames was issued. (

Hindu widows and daughters were encouraged to convert to Christians with the bait of the departed husband's property but if they did not the property was given to the nearest relative who converted. The slaves of the infidels who converted to Christianity were to be freed by the proclamation of 1592. Sebastião in 1559 decreed that property could be inherited by the sons, grandsons or other relatives of a deceased Hindu only if they had converted to Christianity. On the basis of various records Priolkar gives details of racial discrimination that continued even after conversion not only in matters of appointments, promotion, social gatherings but also in hospitals. (143-146)

The Portuguese were the first European colonizers to arrive in India but the last Revisiting Portuguese Colonization in India@141 to leave. In contrast to the other European colonisers in India the Portuguese tried to accept India as their land and tried to assimilate themselves with the native inhabitants. Bemoaning their loss of identity Van Diemen, the Dutch governor, wrote: “Most of the Portuguese in India look upon this region as their fatherland, and think no more about Portugal. They drive little or no trade thither, but content themselves with the port-to-port trade of Asia, just as if they were natives thereof and had no other country.” (qtd by Pearson, 87).

It is but natural that the Portuguese tried to do many “good things” for India. For example, they introduced several crops like potato, tomato, sugar potato, capsicum and chillies, tobacco, red kidney bean (rajma), coffee, tapioca, groundnuts, corn, papaya, pineapple, guava, avocado, cashew, sapota (cheeku) and superior plantation varieties of coconut. They not only constructed new roads and developed irrigation facilities but also helped the traders in marketing their products in the entire Indian Ocean.

They also introduced various cuisines like toasts and sandwiches, cottage cheese, vindaloo, balchao, sorpotel, sausages, sweet Goan wine and various kinds of loaves like round gutli and flat pav. They were the only colonizers who encouraged marital relationships with the colonised Indians. They also introduced the system of drilling bodies of infantry, grouped and disciplined upon the Spanish model in the 1630s.

At sea the Portuguese were carriers of improved techniques. They also introduced multidecked ships, designed to ride out Atlantic gales and that could carry a heavier armament. They also contributed in the field of music, dance, painting, carving and sculpture. Printing operations were started by them in Goa in 1556; books were printed in Tamil and Devanagari fonts on imported paper from Portugal around 1579; the first ever catalogue of the Indian plants was published in 1563; 86 dictionaries, 115 grammar books and 45 journals in 73 languages of India were produced by the Portuguese.

Fr. Thomas Stephens (1549-1619) produced the first “Konkani Grammar” and Fr. Diogo Ribero (1560-1633) published the first dictionary in Konkani in two volumes in 1626. Despite all their “good works” and their efforts at assimilation the colonial impact of Portuguese in the form of official language is nowhere to be found in today's India.

Like the French their colonies were comparatively small but French is being used as an Official language at least in Pondicherry even today (in 2017) but Portuguese has been banished from Goa/India for ever. The reasons need to be explored in the sociohistorical context. It may be seen as a reaction to the repressive measures adopted by the Portuguese to suppress the proud locals' mother tongue. At the urging of Franciscans, the Portuguese viceroy forbade the use of Konkani in 1684. He decreed that within three years, the local people should speak the Portuguese tongue and use it in all their dealings in Portuguese territories. The penalty for violation was imprisonment. The same decree provided that all the non-Christian symbols along with books written in local languages should be destroyed. This decree was confirmed by the King of Portugal three years later. In 1812, the Archbishop of Goa decreed that Konkani should be restricted in schools. In 1847, this prohibition was extended to seminaries. In 1869, Konkani was completely banned in schools. Konkani became the lingua de criados (“language of servants”). In an effort to eradicate indigenous cultural practices such as observing ceremonies, fasts, 142@e/; Hkkjrh music, festivals, dresses, foods and greetings, the laws and prohibitions of the inquisition were invoked in the edict of 1736 whereby over 42 Hindu practices were prohibited, including anointing foreheads with sandalwood paste and rice, greeting people with Namaste, singing Konkani vovios (Limericks) in marriages, (and songs on festivals, and social and religious ceremonies like child birth, singing of bhajans and kirtan), playing of native musical instruments, celebrating the birth of deities like Lord Krishna, exchanging areca nuts, betel leaves and flowers on weddings, distribution of fried puris, the practice of massaging the bridal couple with oil, ground saffron, coconut milk, rice flour and powder of abolim leaves, inviting relatives of the bride and groom in marriage ceremonies, presence of a priest (Bottos) to perform any kind of religious ceremony (including thread ceremony and marriages) in Hindu households, erection of pandals and the use of festoons, serving of ceremonial feasts at the birth of children and for the peace of the souls of the dead, fasting on ekadashi day (though fasting done according to the Christian principles was allowed), wearing of the Brahminical ponytail (úikhâ), sacred caste thread and dhoti (pudvem) by Hindu men either in public or in their houses, cholis by Hindu women, sandals, removing the slippers while entering the church and growing of the sacred Tulsi (basil) plant in houses, compounds, gardens or any other place. (Newman 17) The Christians were forbidden from eating boiled rice without salt as done by Hindus. (Gracias Kaleidoscope 48) As severe decrees were issued against Hindu festivities and celebrations they, in order to escape punishment, started celebrating them secretly during night time. Even the entry of Hindu Joshis, Jogees and Gurus of temples was banned as they were perceived as a threat. In the fourth decade of the 20th century, the State ordered that Goans should appear wearing pants in all towns of Goa, in headquarters of the New Conquests and ferry wharfs of Betim, Durbate, Rachol, Revisiting Portuguese Colonization in India@143 Savordem, Dona Paula and Piligação. However, non-Christians were allowed to wear a coat along with pudvem instead of pants. (Idem) “The same Council decreed that Christians should not ask non-Christians to paint their idols neither ask Hindu goldsmiths to make candlesticks, crosses and other Church requirements.” (Gracias Kaleidoscope 56) Polygamy was prohibited in 1567 and Monogamy was imposed on non-Christians. (Robinson 2000, Saraiva 351, though Hindu men were permitted by their Codigo dos Usos e Costumes to have more than one wife in certain conditions (Gracias Kaleidoscope 143-144) Those who considered these impositions unlawful and dared to oppose the regulations were severely punished. H P Salomon and I S D Sassoon claim that between the 1561 and in 1774, at least 16,202 persons (of whom nearly 90% were natives) were brought to trial by the Inquisition. This being the number of the documents burnt at the suggestion of the Portuguese Viceroy in India and the approval of Prince Regent João. (Saraiva 345-346) These figures present only an incomplete picture as is clear from the following remarks of Salomon and Sassoon: “Research on the 17th century has not yet been completed as far as quantitative and statistic studies are concerned” (Saraiva 351) and “The last phase of the Goan Inquisition, 1801-1812, which saw 202 persons sentenced, has not yet been analyzed.” (Saraiva 353) Terrorising Mission Acting upon the requests of Vicar general Miguel Vaz in 1543 and St. Francis 6 Xavier in 1546 João (John) III installed the Inquisition in Goa on 2 March 1560 with jurisdiction over Goa and the rest of the Portuguese empire in Asia. Though it was officially repressed in 1774 by Marquis of Pombal, Queen Maria I reinstated it in 1778. It finally came to an end in 1812 by a royal decree as a consequence of Napoleon's Iberian Peninsular campaign. It was “the only tribunal outside of Portugal … [with a] jurisdiction over the entire 'Orient' from Eastern Africa to Timor.” (Saraiva 174) Perhaps because of their Catholic fervour, the Portuguese inquisitors in Goa became the most 144@e/; Hkkjrh severely fanatic, cruel and violent in all Portuguese territories. It was headed by a Portuguese judge who was answerable only to the General Counsel of the Lisbon Inquisition and handed down punishments as per the Standing Rules that governed that institution though its proceedings were kept secret. The Inquisition prosecuted apostate New Christians (Marranos) as well as their suspect descendants (practising the religion of their ancestors in secret), Goan Sephardic Jews who had fled from Spain and Portugal to escape Spanish or Portuguese Inquisition and the non-converts who broke prohibitions against the observance of Hindu or Muslim rites or interfered with Portuguese attempts to convert non-Christians to Catholicism. The observance of former customs after conversion was declared un-Christian and heretical. Those accused of religious heresies were the prime targets of the death penalty. (Silva and Fuchs 4–5) The records speak of the demand for hundreds of prison cells to accommodate the accused. (Hunter Imperial) Inquisitions helped the Portuguese in preventing defection back to the original faiths as it provided “protection” to those who converted to Christianity. A pardon for punishment could be bargained in lieu of property. According to Indo-Portuguese historian Teotonio R de Souza, grave abuses were practised in Goa. (91) Historian Alfredo de Mello in his Memoirs of Goa “has given all the spine-chilling details relating to anti-pagan, anti-heathen, and anti-Hindu 'Christian Compassion' during the course of Holy Inquisition in Goa from 1560 to 1812.” (qtd by V Sundaram) De Mello describes the performers of Goan inquisition as “nefarious, fiendish, lustful, corrupt religious orders which pounced on Goa for the purpose of destroying paganism and introducing the true religion of Christ” (qtd by V Sundaram) R N Saksena writes “in the name of the religion of peace and love, the tribunal(s) practiced cruelties to the extent that every word of theirs was a sentence of death.” (24) It was not always for catholic reasons but also because of the personal rivalries, prejudices and jealousies that a person was sent to inquisition as is evident from Dellon's case. (20-24) Dellon, a 24 year-old Roman Catholic Frenchman, practising medicine in Daman was apparently charged and imprisoned by the order of the Inquisition at Goa for not kissing the painted image of “the Holy Virgin or some other saint” (12) on the small alms boxes as was the custom of the local Catholics, for asking a patient to part with the “ivory image of the Holy Virgin” (12) that he had in his bed before the operation, describing the crucifix “as a piece of Revisiting Portuguese Colonization in India@145 ivory” (14), refusing to wear a rosary (15) and questioning the infallibility of the inquisitors in a friendly conversation with a priest (15-16). However, the real reason for his imprisonment and final banishment from Daman/Goa by the order of the Inquisition was the ill-conceived malice and jealousy of the Governor of Daman, Manuel Furtado de Mendoza and that of “a black priest, Secretary of the Holy Office.” (21) Both of them harboured a secret passion for a lady whom the doctor admired and visited; the lady also perhaps doted on the doctor. The Governor dissembled as a friend and reported private conversations to the Inquisition at Goa because he wanted him to be away from his secret love about which the doctor was ignorant. The priest lived opposite to the lady's house “and had repeatedly solicited her to gratify his infamous passion, even when at confession.” (21) Dellon thus reports his first hand experience in the inquisition prison cell: “… I every morning heard the cries of those whom the torture was administered, and which was inflicted so severely, that I have seen many persons of both sexes who have been crippled by it … . No distinctions of rank, age or sex are attended to in this Tribunal. Every individual is treated with equal severity; and when the interest of Inquisition requires it, all are alike tortured in almost perfect nudity.” (93-94) Lust of the clergy was another reason for sending somebody for Inquisition is borne out by the following reported confession: “In 1710, a dying priest told his confessor that he and the other priests in his diocese had regularly threatened their female penitents that they would turn them over to the Inquisition unless they had sex with them!” (Kramer and Sprenger) Historian Alexandre Herculano in his “Fragment about the Inquisition” also hints at the perversity of the Inquisitors: “… The terrors inflicted on pregnant women made them abort. ... Neither the beauty or decorousness of the flower of youth, nor the old age, so worthy of compassion in a woman, exempted the weaker sex from the brutal ferocity of the supposed defenders of the religion. ... There were days when seven or eight were submitted to torture. These scenes were reserved for the Inquisitors after dinner. It was post-prandial entertainment. Many a time during those acts, the inquisitors compared notes in the appreciation of the beauty of the human form. While the unlucky damsel twisted in the intolerable pains of torture, or fainted in the intensity of the agony, one Inquisitor applauded the angelic touches of her face, another the brightness of her eyes, another, the voluptuous contours of her breast, another the shape of her hands. In this conjuncture, men of blood transformed themselves into real artists!” (qtd by Alfredo de Mello) Inquisition affected the economic life of the people as well. On one hand it was an easy way to take control of somebody's hard earned money/property on the other it was bringing down productivity and ruining business. Commenting on the importance of the confiscation of the properties of the accused Saraiva writes: “From the economic point of view, the Inquisition was not a commercial enterprise but a vehicle for distributing money and other property to its numerous personnel – a form of pillage, as in war, albeit more bureaucratized. The Inquisitorial army, whose members shared the seigniorial and warrior mentality of the Portuguese fidalgos in India, maintained themselves by plundering the property of wealthy bourgeois” (Saraiva 187) Saraiva 146@e/; Hkkjrh agrees with Luis da Cunha (1662-1749) who lays the blame at the Inquisitors' door for “the decadence of textile manufacture in the Beiras and Tras-osMontes provinces, the d e c l i n e o f s u g a r production in Brazil.” (Saraiva 221) Doubts about Inquisition were being expressed even back home as Inquisition could ruin the prospects of the Portuguese empire if the New Christians were discriminated and persecuted: “If the Portuguese Inquisition continues unchecked: It will spell ruin of Portugal and even part of Spain. For in all of Portugal there is not a single merchant (hombre de negocios) who is not of this Nation. These people have their correspondents in all lands and domains of the king our lord. Those of Lisbon send kinsmen to the East Indies to establish trading-posts where they receive the exports from Portugal, which they barter for merchandise in demand back home. They have outposts in the Indian port cities of Goa and Cochin and in the interior. In Lisbon and India nobody can handle the trade in merchandise except persons of this Nation. Without them, His Majesty will no longer be able to make a go of his Indian possessions, and will lose the 600,000 ducats a year in duties which finance the whole enterprise – from equipping the ships to paying the seamen and soldiers.” (Zellorigo qtd by Saraiva 145) French writer, historian and philosopher François-Marie Arouet Voltaire attacked the established Catholic Church and lamented that Goa is inglorious for Inquisitions: “Goa est malheureusement célèbre par son inquisition, également contraire à l'humanité et au commerce. Les moines portugais firent accroire que le peuple adorait le diable, et ce sont eux qui l'ont servi.” (Goa is unfortunately nefarious for its inquisition, equally contrary to humanity and commerce. The Portuguese monks made us believe that the people worshiped the devil but it was they who served him. Voltaire, 1066) Portuguese East India Company The royal trading house, Casa da Índia, founded around 1500 used to manage Portuguese trade with India. However, trade to India was thrown open to Portuguese nationals by 1570 as the Casa was incurring huge losses. As few took up the offer, the Casa started selling India trading contracts to private Portuguese merchant consortiums in 1578, granting them a monopoly for one year. The annual contract system was abandoned in 1597 and the royal monopoly was resumed. However, the vigorous Revisiting Portuguese Colonization in India@147 competition with Dutch VOC and English East India Company after 1598 forced the king to experiment to defend the Portuguese business propositions. As a result in 1605 Conselho da Índia was created to bring affairs in Portuguese India but it was dissolved in 1614. In the wake of the severe competition with other European companies in August 1628 the Companhia do commércio da Índia (or Companhia da Índia Oriental), organized along the lines of Dutch and English companies, came into existence by a charter of King Philip III. The idea of a chartered private Portuguese East India Company was first broached and promoted by a Portuguese New Christian merchant Duarte Gomes Solis who lived in Madrid. The Company was granted a monopoly on trade in coral, pepper, cinnamon, ebony and cowrie shells and could be extended to other items upon request. It had full administrative and juridical privileges, including the right to keep all spoils from seizures of Dutch and English ships. “Chapter Ten of the rule book of the Company enacts that, in case of Inquisitorial confiscation, the confiscated assets would continue to belong to the Company and would revert to the heir of the convicted person in the third generation. The subscribers of the capital investment who furnished more than a specified sum were to be ennobled.” (Saraiva 200) The Company proved unprofitable as the overseas Portuguese merchants rejected the new Company's authority. The Company was dissolved in 1633. “On the initiative and through the mediation of the Jesuits, the New Christians offered to finance once again an “East India Company” on the model of the British and Dutch East India Companies, in exchange for a general amnesty and drastic reforms in Inquisitorial procedure. The proposal was drawn up at the beginning of 1673 by a Jesuit, Father Baltasar da Costa, Provincial of the Malabar coast of India and presented to the king by another Jesuit, his confessor. … The regent Pedro … gave his consent… .” (Saraiva 215) Luso-Indians To meet the natural requirement of women for the Portuguese men in the growing powerful Portuguese presence in the Arab sea and Indian Ocean Albuquerque, under his policy Politica dos Casamentos, encouraged marriages between Portuguese men “originally from lowest classes in Portugal including some convicted criminals” (Rocha, 38) and native women as the number of Portuguese females who came with Portuguese officials (renois), those who were born to Portuguese parents in India (castiças), others who came on ships (aventureiras) and women of mixed blood (both mestiços and mulatas) in 16th century was very limited. Two hundred such marriages were arranged within two months of the Goan conquest. However, the marriages were not approved until the women were baptized as Christians and those who converted were given extra privileges and gifts by their husbands and rulers as rewards. (Rao 42) The primary motive of such arrangements was to divert Hindu property to Portuguese and to create a new community that would identify itself with Portuguese power but would be happy to be in this region; this would also create a white identity which in turn would perpetuate the Portuguese rule in the region. The men involved were not gentlemen but mainly rank and file (like soldiers, masons, carpenters and other artisans) and the exiled convicts (like gypsies, prostitutes, vagabonds and beggars called degredos) on account 148@e/; Hkkjrh 7 of the law of the Sesmarias and “Beggars' Law” in Portugal . It is said that Albuquerque gave dowry (18000 reis, clothes, rice, a house, slave women, cattle and a piece of land) to each of such couples. Such men as took native wives were known as casados; they had special privileges as Albuquerque treated these women as his own daughters and men his sons-in-law. They were given pay and groceries (soldo e mantimento), separate quarters (bairros) in urban areas and locally important positions such as tanadar and tabelio. Despite this many soldiers preferred to have only casual relationship with native women who came from various social groups viz. those associated with soldiers and administrators from the proceeding Adil Shahi administrators, fair Mooresses and slaves, Mestiços and temple dancers. As Albuquerque was very conscious of colour he advised his men to marry fair Hindu and Muslim women and encouraged them to avoid dark complexioned Malabaris. (Bethencourt 210) Though these women invariably were converted to Christianity yet there was some opposition to such marriages from certain quarters in the Church and the Government. However, the state reiterated its stand and policy in the form of alvara issued in 1684. The estimated number of casados in Portuguese Asia was 6000 in 1600. Many noblemen (fidalgos) who migrated to India had left their wives and children back home and had either kept native women as mistresses or had developed lasting relationships with temple dancers (devadasi/ baidadeiras). “In the 16th century, Chinese, Korean and Japanese slaves were also brought to Portugal and the Portuguese settlements, including Goa.” ( A large number of them were brought for sexual purposes, as noted by the Church in 1555. (Leupp 51-54) King Sebastião of Portugal feared that “it was having a negative effect on Catholic proselytisation since the trade in Japanese slaves was growing to massive proportions. At his command it was banned in 1571.” ( In order to prevent men from indulging in lustful and sinful lives, to bring down the number of mixed marriages in India, to transfer their surplus population in Portugal to other places and to increase Portuguese presence in the colonies they shifted Portuguese girl orphans (Órfãs d'El-Rei or “Orphans of the King”) at the expense of the crown to Portuguese colonies in India (particularly Goa) “to marry either Portuguese settlers or natives with high status.” ( Not only did several batches of such girls arrive between 1545 and 1595 in Goa but also “the system apparently continued to function intermittently until the (early) eighteenth century.” (Coates 43) Those who married such girls were given various incentives ranging from captaincy of forts to trading agencies along with dowry. Despite this all the girl orphans could not find “suitable husbands” as most of them “lacked good looks” besides being “old and sickly.” The Inquisition came into existence to punish Hindus and Muslims around the same time. In 1620, an order was passed to prohibit the Hindus from performing their marriage rituals. “A document available at Torre do Tombo states that in the middle of the seventeenth century the Municipal Council of Goa (Senado) requested the Portuguese king to decree that 'no Brahmin or Chardo who is rich or has property might marry his daughter to any one except to a Portuguese born in Portugal and such people must leave their property to their daughters'” (Gracias Kaleidoscope 41) It may be Revisiting Portuguese Colonization in India@149 noted that the higher castes in Goa and elsewhere practiced Sati for various reasons. No wonder that caste Hindu women burnt themselves (performed Sati) in such an atmosphere to save their honour and save their families from humiliation. Again, women are generally considered as a prize catch after a war. If women burn themselves as a strategy (known as scorched earth policy in the warfare) the soldiers do not get anything and a discontent among them grows. In this light it can be understood easily that Albuquerque's banning of sati in Goa (Ross 18, De Souza 70) was not for having any compassion for Hindu women but to have an easy access to the women to meet the requirements of his men and complete his agenda. (Gracias Kaleidoscope 44) Such marriages were intended to increase the wealth of Portuguese and the number of Christians by conversion, to have enough persons for Indian army loyal to Portugal and to enlarge white colony. The mixed-race children bore no stigma of inferiority to the Portuguese. Today Luso-Indians are viewed as a sub-caste of Anglo-Indians. While Carton views these relationships in the absence of European women as experiments in the colonial “laboratories where new social categories and political structures were produced by colonial realities rather than by metropolitan orders” (Carton 3) Boxer considers them a political necessity: “Sexual politics of interracial liaison building in the private sphere were, therefore, as politically important as the military and economic manoeuvring in the public sphere.” (Boxer, 12) The Decline of Portuguese Denison Ross in Cambridge History of India writes: “… if one of [Turks'] fleets had succeeded in driving the Portuguese out of their fortresses on the Indian coast, the establishment of Christian powers in India might have been indefinitely postponed” (27) but that did not happen. Every born person has to die and those at the pinnacle once have to come down. So was the case Portuguese rule in India. Penrose writes: “In so far as any one date can be taken as of prime importance in the ruin of Portuguese empire, it is 6 May 1542, when Francis Xavier set foot ashore at Goa. From then on the Jesuits did their worst, using every form of bribery, threat, and torture to effect a conversion.” (14) Discussing the issue Denison Ross writes: “The ultimate decline of Portuguese power in India was due primarily to two causes: first, the encouragement of mixed marriages at home and abroad, and secondly, religious intolerance. The former policy had been adopted … by the great Albuquerque, who probably foresaw that constant drain on the male population of a relatively small country like his own must ultimately lead to a shortage of man-power; the latter was pushed to its utmost extreme by the zealous fervour of the Jesuits who selected Goa as their second headquarters outside Rome, soon after the foundation of their order. The arrival of St Francisco Xavier in India in 1542 was an event of the most far-reaching importance and laid the foundations of the ecclesiastical supremacy in Portuguese India which sapped the financial resources and undermined the civil administration of its Governor.” (17-18) The famous historian and writer Teófilo Braga wrote: “there are two dates which signal the downfall of the nationality: 1536, when the Inquisition was inaugurated in Portugal, due to the instigations of the Emperor Charles V, of Spain, and with the loss of the freedom of 150@e/; Hkkjrh conscience, silencing the poet who had most fought on its behalf, Gil Vicente; and 1580, the national independence becomes extinct on account of the invasion of Philip II (of Spain) who imposed his dynastic rights.” (qtd by Alfredo De Mello) On the political front, the Dutch entered into an alliance with the English for ousting the Portuguese from Kerala waters in 1619 and in 1629 the Portuguese lost a war to Shah Jahan at Hugli (Kolkata). Gradually the Dutch and English drove the Portuguese from the Arabian Sea and Malabar fell to the Dutch in 1641. In 1652, Sivappa Nayaka of the Nayaka Dynasty defeated the Portuguese and drove them away from Mangalore. Quilon fell to Dutch in 1661, followed by Cranganore in 1662. The islands of Bombay (later to be leased to British East India Company) were gifted to Charles II of England as dowry on his marriage with Catherine of Portugal in 1662. In January 1663 the combined forces of the Dutch and the Zamorin of Calicut defeated the Portuguese at Cochin. This ended 165 years of Portuguese rule in Kerala and they were pushed to Goa, Daman and Diu. th In 20 century Tristão de Bragança Cunha, a French-educated Goan engineer and the founder of Goa Congress Committee in Portuguese India resisted the Portuguese rule in Goa. Cunha released a booklet called 'Four Hundred Years of Foreign Rule', and a pamphlet, 'Denationalisation of Goa', intended to sensitise Goans to the oppression of Portuguese rule. In 1954 India took control of Dadra and Nagar Haveli which Portugal had acquired in 1779. The Portuguese rule in India came to an end on 19th December 1961 when the Governor of Portuguese India signed the instrument of surrender of Goa, Daman and Diu against the Radio directives (dated 14 December 1961) of the Portuguese Prime Minister Salazar and the presidential directive for adopting scorched earth policy. However, the surrender was not accepted by the Portuguese Govt. Entire Portugal mourned the loss and even Christmas was not celebrated with traditional gaiety. Goans were encouraged to emigrate to Portugal rather than remain under Indian rule by offering them Portuguese citizenship. This offer was amended in 2006 to include only those who had been born before 19 December 1961. Salazar predicted that “difficulties will arise for both sides when the programme of the Indianization of Goa begins to clash with its inherent culture ... It is therefore to be expected that many Goans will wish to escape to Portugal from the inevitable consequences of the invasion” (Salazar 18659) The Portuguese national radio station Emissora Nacional was used to encourage sedition and to urge Goans to resist and oppose the Indian administration. In order to weaken the Indian presence in Goa clandestine resistance movements in Goa were initiated and the Goan diaspora communities were urged to resist and oppose the Indian administration both through, general resistance and armed rebellion to weaken the Indian presence in Goa. The Portuguese government chalked out a plan called the 'Plano Gralha' covering Goa, Daman and Diu, for paralysing port operations at Mormugao and Bombay by planting bombs in some of the ships anchored at the ports. ( On 20 June 1964, Casimiro Monteiro, a Portuguese PIDE (Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado) agent of Goan descent, along with Ismail Dias, a Goan settled in Portugal, executed a series of bombings in Goa. ( Revisiting Portuguese Colonization in India@151 Relations between India and Portugal thawed only in 1974, when Goa was finally recognised as part of India by Portugal. Portuguese Archbishop-Patriarch Alvernaz who had left for Portugal soon after Goan merger and had remained the titular Patriarch of Goa resigned in 1975. The first native-born Archbishop of Goa, Raul Nicolau Gonçalves (who was also the Patriarch of the East Indies), was appointed in 1978 though the Portuguese ruled in India for 450 years. Henry Louis Vivian Derozio (18 April 1809 – 26 December 1831), the poet who wrote in English, is generally considered to be an Anglo-Indian though he comes from of mixed Portuguese stock. Derozio is considered to be the first nationalist poet of Modern India. His poem “To India - My Native Land” which reads as follows is regarded as an important landmark in the history of patriotic poetry in India: My country! In thy days of glory past A beauteous halo circled round thy brow and worshipped as a deity thou wast— Where is thy glory, where the reverence now? Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last, And grovelling in the lowly dust art thou, Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee Save the sad story of thy misery! Well—let me dive into the depths of time And bring from out the ages, that have rolled A few small fragments of these wrecks sublime Which human eye may never more behold And let the guerdon of my labour be, My fallen country! One kind wish for thee! ( However, in the light of the above mentioned historical facts it may safely be concluded that in his phrase “My fallen country” he was lamenting the loss of Portuguese empire to other European powers. Department of English U

Basher Hassan, one of the best, always!

  Basharat   (Basher) Hassan As a kid growing up in Eastleigh and its environs in Nairobi, Kenya we had our own sports heroes but it was no ...