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Goa Indica: A Critical Portrait of Postcolonial Goa

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Item Code: HAP098
Author: Arun Sinha
Publisher: Promilla and Co. Publishers
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9789382337249
Pages: 248
Other Details 8.5x5.5 inch
Weight 284 gm
Book Description
About The Book

Tourists come and go without knowing anything of real Goa. Goa is not T just beaches. There is a vibrant society trying to cope with the currents and cross-currents of postcolonial development. In just 40 years of Liberation from the Portuguese rule, Goa has become the most economically and socially advanced state of India. But the progress has come at a price. Development has brought in industries that are threatening the idyllic paradise and people from outside who are claiming a share of the Goan space in housing, employment and business. The cultural divide between Hindus and Christians that the Portuguese created still plagues the state in many ways; and to this conflict is now added the growing antagonism between the Goans and the migrants.

This book discusses all these currents and cross-currents objectively and in great detail, suggesting that Goa is destined to become a multicultural, cosmopolitan state, not depending on agriculture and heavy industry, but on horticulture and service industry.

The book has special chapters on Goa's uniform civil code of India where people of all faiths have accepted such a code the only state and the role of postcolonial church in the historical backdrop of colonial church.

About the Author

ARUN SINHA was born in 1953 in Patna, India. An engineer by education, he chose journalism as his profession and has held senior editorial positions in the Indian Express and The Times of India. He went to Oxford in 1983-84 as a Fellow of the Reuter Foundation. After a year as the editor of the Free Press Journal, Mumbai, he has been working as the editor of Goa's leading newspaper The Navhind Times since May 1993. His essays have appeared in several academic anthologies. He has written several books including Against the Few Struggles of India's Rural Poor (Zed Books, London, 1991). The Hedonist Empire (a novel, Peacock Books, New Delhi, 1996), and Nitish Kumar and the Rise of Bihar (Penguin Viking, New Delhi, 2011).


Portuguese conquered Goa in 1510 and soon converted a large number of Goans to Christianity. The state and the church worked in an open collaboration, suppressing the Hindu faith and penalising heresy among converts. The Hindus were not allowed to celebrate their religious festivals, not even marriages, outside the walls of their homes. And the converts were not allowed to cry at the death of a near and dear one, because that was considered a pagan and a Hindu tradition.

Protected by Britain which reigned over most of India under an old royal treaty, the Portuguese continued to rule Goa, until the Indian army marched in December 1961 to dislodge them in less than 48 hours. Salazar tried everything to get the UN to drive India out of Goa but he failed. Nevertheless, the Portuguese left behind a legacy in architecture, music, culture and attitudes that showed distinctly in Goa, especially among Christians.

This legacy was to create a problem. The Goan Hindus wanted to wipe out this legacy but the Christians wanted to preserve it. The Christians felt that it was this legacy which gave Goa a distinct identity. The Hindus asserted that the Goan identity was the pre-Portuguese Goan identity, which was no different from the larger Indian identity. A majority of Hindus supported the demand of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) for Goa's merger with Maharashtra. But the Christians and a section of Hindus wanted Goa to re- main separate for some years as a union territory under the central government and later as a state. Eventually, in 1967, the central government ordered an opinion poll in which more than 54 per cent of people voted against Goa's merger with Maharashtra.

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