Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said signs of the Portuguese regime should be wiped out, with the state having been liberated from its rule more than 60 years ago.
”We need to start afresh,” Sawant said during an event on Tuesday and hailed Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for stopping the destruction of temples in Goa during the Portuguese rule.
It was Shivaji Maharaj who first put forth the idea of ‘swaraj’ (self-governance) in the country, he said.
The Indian armed forces had conducted the ‘Operation Vijay’ and liberated Goa from the 450-year-old Portuguese rule on December 19, 1961.
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Later, the first elections for the Goa Legislative Assembly were held in 1963.
Addressing a state-level event at Betul in South Goa district to mark the 350th anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation, Sawant said it was because of the Maratha king that the Portuguese could not further destroy temples in the coastal state.
“After 60 years, we should wipe out signs of the Portuguese. We need to start afresh. We are celebrating the 75th year of India’s independence…how Goa should be and what Goa is going to be when India celebrates 100 years of independence, we have started thinking of it now,” he said.
The chief minister said Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj came to Goa, rebuilt the Saptakoteshwar temple (in North Goa district) and warned the Portuguese against destroying the temples. ”Shivaji Maharaj and his son Sambhaji should be given credit for protecting the Hindu culture,” Sawant said. He said it was Shivaji Maharaj who had first put forth the idea of ‘swaraj’ or self-governance in the country.