DAYS after Chief Minister Pramod Sawant blamed Jawaharlal Nehru for the 14-year delay in the liberation of Goa from Portuguese rule, the Goa chapter of Dakshinayan Abhiyaan has written to President Ram Nath Kovind, pointing out that the upcoming 60th anniversary celebrations “may be used to tarnish the image” of the former Prime Minister.
Damodar Mauzo, president of the Goa unit of Abhiyaan, also accused Sawant, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of initiating a misinformation campaign.
President Kovind is scheduled to arrive in Goa on December 19 and declare a one-year celebration to commemorate 60 years of Goa liberation since 1961.
“Goans will be deeply hurt if the year-long celebrations are marked by such unfair and twisted political statements that can damage the image of our beloved Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,” Mauzo, writer and a recipient of Sahitya Akademi award, has stated in his letter.
“Dakshinayan Abhiyan Goa, with a heavy heart, would like to bring to your notice the spiteful and foul misinformation being spread indiscreetly and injudiciously that the liberation of Goa was delayed because of the then Prime Minister late Jawaharlal Nehru. Earlier, the Union Minister, Prakash Javadekar and the CM of MP, Shivraj Singh Chouhan have gone on record and lately we heard the Chief Minister of Goa repeating the same imprudently,” the letter stated.
“Goan freedom fighters and other Nationalists who knew how ruthless and forbidding the Salazar (Portuguese dictator Antonio de Oliviera Salazar) regime was, could very well understand and appreciate the peaceful, non-violent and diplomatic means adopted by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to tackle the all powerful western bloc.”
“The young independent India that believed in Gandhian approach played its cards very wisely and resultantly, through Operation Vijay, Goa was liberated. The peace-loving people of Goa are ever grateful to then prime minister late Jawaharlal Nehru whose cautious efforts led to liberate Goa without bloodshed,” the letter added.
Meanwhile, the Goa government has asked for a sum of Rs 100 crore from the Centre for the celebrations.
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