Europeans of An Other Colour – Why the Goans are Portuguese: R. Benedito Ferrão & Jason Keith Fernandes


This article serves as a response to Sir Andrew Green’s comment on the alleged misuse of Portuguese citizenship by Indian nationals of Goan origin whom the Daily Star and the Daily Mail have characterized as immigrants who travel to Great Britain to take advantage of it. Green’s perspective from a few months ago mirrors prevalent xenophobic views on the rights of immigrants to Europe; hence, the counterpoint offered here hopes to challenge such bias as it will surely continue to be expressed.

On 13 May, 2013, the Goan Ethernet was aflame with outrage at statements made by Sir Andrew Green, chairperson of Migration Watch, carried in the Daily Star and the Daily Mail. The Daily Star reported, “An Indian national from Goa can obtain Portuguese citizenship if their parents were Portuguese citizens prior to 1961,” and quoted Green as saying, “They can then move straight to the UK with their family. On arrival they can avail themselves, immediately, of all the benefits available to UK citizens.” The Daily Mail seems to have been spurred on by Green’s statement, going on to claim that “[a] number of Indian nationals from the former Portuguese territory of Goa are thought to have taken advantage of the loophole. Indians living in Goa can claim they have Portuguese heritage and so claim Portuguese citizenship. They can then move directly to Britain – without ever having to visit Portugal – and bring a family without meeting any qualification test.”

Given the manner in which the matter regarding Goan access to Portuguese citizenship has been reported in the British press, as academics studying Goa and the Goan community, we believe that there is a need to redress such misrepresentations and firmly call out, not only the wilful amnesia about Britain’s imperial past, but also the Anglo-centric interpretation of colonialism, the post-colonial, and de-colonised world order that motivates such representations. In so doing, our aim is to address not merely a need for Goans and others of former Portuguese India to assert the legitimacy of their actions, but to also enable a view of the global order from a position that is more respectful of the formerly colonised.

Addressing the aforementioned inherently Anglo-centric bias of the colonial and post-colonial context requires commencing with a review of the Western European encounter with South Asia. This engagement traces back to the late 15th century with the Portuguese “discovery” of the sea-route to the fabled Indies. It resulted in the establishment of what came to be known as Estado da Índia Portuguesa, or the Portuguese State in India, which was centred in Goa in 1510. The boundaries of Portuguese India, which extended to other enclaves beyond Goa were firmly fixed only in the 18th century in the face of contestation with, not just local, but other European powers as well. As a result of this early entry into South Asia, by the time the British departed from the subcontinent upon handing over power to two nation-states – India and Pakistan – the Portuguese State in India would outlast their English counterparts and have existed for approximately 450 years. This Portuguese state was markedly different from the one that the British had created in the course of their time in the subcontinent. Most significant, for the misrepresentations that we seek to correct, was the fact that through the length of its presence in the subcontinent, the Portuguese state attempted to recognise natives as citizens, or bearers of rights equal to those of persons from the metropole.

As a consequence, Goa was represented by non-white parliamentary representatives from 1834 when the declaration of the constitutional monarchy in Portugal created the space for a national parliament. These rights were extended universally in 1910 with the commencement of the First Portuguese Republic, only to be eclipsed somewhat during the course of the dictatorial Estado Novo, or New State, headed by Dr. António Oliveira Salazar. Nonetheless, the rhetoric of equality was firmly established and constantly referred to by Portuguese Indians, whether living in Goa, or as migrants to British India or, indeed, British East Africa where many Goans lived and worked, as bearers of Portuguese citizenship. Within this colonial framework, even if only in legal theory, racial and cultural difference was in fact surmountable.

This situation was certainly different from that existent in British India, or in any other part of the British Empire for that matter, where the only status enjoyed by the natives was as that of subjects of the British crown. As a result, one could argue that it was the failure of the British state to extend the much coveted status of imperial citizen to the comprador British Indian elites that caused members of that echelon to then set up their claim for independence from the Crown. The nationalist claims that these elites initiated rested on the creation of a national culture that accepted the racial and other differences that the British colonial system enforced. This situation ensured that extant differences were perpetuated rather than challenged.

The Portuguese State in India came to a definitive close with the actions of the Indian state in 1961, when the Indian armed forces invaded the Portuguese territory of Goa. While an anti-colonial movement was afoot in the region, the eventual decolonisation of Goa cannot be said to have resulted primarily from the anti-imperialist movements of its own soil due to the military intervention of the Indian state and its subsequent denial of the right of self-determination to the Goan populace. Additionally, in an imperialist act that was echoed in the newly independent nation’s actions in Kashmir and the north-east of the country, the formerly British India unilaterally integrated the territory of Goa into itself. If India was able to get away with this, it was because the developing post-colonial order was awash in racist and ethnocentric perspectives engendered to a large degree by British colonial practices. These were predicated on the assumption that territorial contiguity and the presence of the Hindu religion across the geographic expanse, though not exclusively or without diversity, gave India ample right to take over marginal territories such as Goa and Kashmir.

The significant fact that the Goan people were legally Portuguese citizens was given short shrift and eclipsed by an act of the Indian parliament that bestowed on them Indian citizenship. Hindered by an effectively xenophobic understanding of Indian-ness, and its relationship with the countries that surround it, in contrast to many other legal regimes, the Indian state does not permit its citizens to hold multiple nationalities. Therein, unlike British Indian subjects, in being made a part of the Indian state, Goans and other Portuguese Indians lost their Portuguese citizenship, and the ability to be both South Asian and European, only to have Indian citizenship thrust upon them, and be fixed as solely Indian.

It was only subsequent to the normalization of relations between India and Portugal that a number of former citizens of the Portuguese State of India were able to reclaim their Portuguese citizenship. It is precisely because of the unfounded allegations of the Daily Mail that it should be stressed that these Portuguese Indians are not petitioning for new citizenship, nor exploiting a loophole. What they are doing is reclaiming a legitimate right that was lost owing to the actions of the Indian state. There is no need for them to prove their Portuguese character as the Daily Mail suggests, for their parents, if not they themselves, were Portuguese, and 450 years of Goa being a part of Portugal has made those Goans as Portuguese as any other person in continental Europe who holds Portuguese citizenship. The Daily Mail’s claim is profoundly offensive since it is based on the racist assumption that only Caucasians can be Portuguese and European. This assumption is of course buttressed by the fact that the colonial practices of states like Britain considered only whites to be properly British or European.

The British nation’s historical record when it comes to matters of who is deemed British enough is a controversial one. Note that in the 1960s and 70s, the aftermath of decolonisation in East Africa and Africanisation policies, emergent from impoverishment due to colonisation, saw the vilification and expulsion of Asians who were then denied entry to the United Kingdom despite being holders of UK passports as colonial subjects. In 1972, when 50,000 Asians were expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin, the very notion of the Commonwealth was proven to be one in name only because, by 1968, the right of colonial-era UK passport holders to enter Britain had been withdrawn in response to an increase in economically induced out-migration from Kenya in 1967. It is important to stress here that not only were Asians – Goans included – in East African countries because the British administration of those colonies had recruited them, but also that their labour had benefitted the Empire. Goans were given British subjecthood to serve the colonial administration in many cases. In so much as Goans were nominally British, their UK passports served more as travel documents than a guarantee of citizenship rights, as became painfully evident in the post-colonial period. While Goans and other colonised groups had been British “enough” to serve the regime, it became apparent that was no longer the case once their usefulness had been outlived. This was a profound abdication of national  and legal responsibility, not least for the racialised political climate induced by years of British colonial rule in Africa. In fact, the colonial legacy continues to reveal itself as is the case with the revelation this year of the destruction of records relating to violent and deadly atrocities committed against Kenya’s Mau Maus who rebelled against British rule.

For all the problems that Portuguese colonialism produced, and the racism that accompanied it, what must be underscored is that it is also differentiated by the legal rhetoric that recognised, and continues to recognise, the multiple groups outside of Portugal as equally Portuguese. Thus, the Portuguese Indians who recover their Portuguese citizenship and then migrate, not merely to Britain but across the world, trace a path similar to other Portuguese nationals who are currently in flight from a Portugal laid low by the European crisis. Portuguese legal history and flows of migration are often ignored by the largely Anglo-centric understanding of the world. The recognition of the Lusitanian milieu allows for a reconstruction of European-ness outside of the racist frameworks that currently delimit it.  It permits a corrective to the manner in which the post-colonial world was constructed along racist lines, restricting the ability of persons to freely move internationally. While white privilege has ensured an ease of travel for some, the accompanying racism leads to the outcries as evidenced in the reports by the Daily Star and Daily Mail, as well as the ritual humiliations of non-white travellers at embassies, consulates, and immigration check-points globally. In challenging this racism that underlies the statement attributed to Sir Andrew Green, there is also an option opened up for Europe wherein the racism that undergirds the European project can be challenged, and in re-understanding the flows of capital and populations that have contributed to European hegemony today, the current crisis can be utilised as a way to reimagine the European Union’s association with the world outside itself and as the product of its own history.

R. BENEDITO FERRÃO is an academic who works on post-colonial and diasporic issues. He has served as a lecturer in the United States and India, and has been published internationally. Find his blog at, or on Facebook at The Nightchild Nexus.

JASON KEITH FERNANDES was recently awarded a PhD in Anthropology by ISCTE – IUL, Lisbon for his study on Citizenship Experiences of Goan Catholics, as his thesis is titled. In addition to his academic pursuits, he intervenes in the public sphere through op-ed columns that appear in The Gomantak Times, O Heraldo, and The Goan, and are archived at

66 thoughts on “Europeans of An Other Colour – Why the Goans are Portuguese: R. Benedito Ferrão & Jason Keith Fernandes”

  1. These young authors are doing a good job of applying their newly learnt lessons to current problems of globalization and its post-colonial consequences. I wish they can follow-up with a deeper analysis of what they frequentlly mentioned in this article as the Portuguese rhethoric or legal fiction of citizenship in practice. If they had only consulted the archives of the Portuguese High Court (Relação) of the Estado da Índia, they could find umpteen illustrations of this fiction throughout the four and half centuries of the Portuguese colonialism. What needs to be clear is the relativity of the two fictions, namely in the Portuguese and the Commonwealth cases. Obviously, the relative power of the two colonialists is the basis for the difference. The Portuguese could only survive on the necessity of presenting itself as a «better» or more suave colonialist. It hardly had the option of being otherwise if it had to survive. It tried under Estado Novo, and faced the end that we all know.


  2. The article doesn’t address one important point. Catholics constitute of about 30% of Goa’s population and it is mostly the Catholics who are opting for this Portuguese passport. Since a very very large part of the 70% of Goans are not interested in acquiring a Portuguese passport, this whole piece applies only to Catholic Goans and not Goans as a whole. Secondly, the writers say there is a very old Goa Portugal connection but they have not thrown light on why Goans are landing up in the UK then instead of Portugal which is the allegation of Daily Star and Daily Mail in the first place. So talking about the history of Goa Portugal is fine but it is a well known fact amongst Goans in Goa that acquiring a Portuguese passport has got little to do with Lusophone connections and more as a gateway to Europe. To the best of my knowledge, Portugal is not exactly a booming economy in Europe, on the contrary, it is among the worst performing.


    1. Wiliam, are you 100% sure that the other 70% of Goans are not interested in acquiring or already acquired Portuguese citizenship? I am asking this because I personally know a lot of them. With regards to Goans landing in UK, I think Britain should re-consider its affiliation with EU if it has so much problems with anyone holding a legal European citizenship plans to live and work in UK. This should solve all the problems.


      1. Denzil, you can check this with any agent in Goa processing Portuguese passports. I asked two of them, one said 85% applicants are Catholics and the other said 80% are Catholics. So it is an overwhelming majority of Catholics who are applying for it and that is the whole problem with the academic argument made here. This article was published in the Navhind Times less than a month ago, the headline says ” Craze in Salcete for Portuguese passport” Salcete being a predominantly Catholic taluka. ( I dont see any 50 year old plus (assuming he was born before 1961) suddenly getting enthusiastic for a Portuguese passport at his age. And are the academicians of this piece suggesting that a 30 or a even a 40 year old who was born in India feels that he has strong ties with Portugal ?
        Here is another story in The Goan on the same issue –
        “Simply red…the lure of the red portuguese passport is not of identity but sheer convenience” (
        The title pretty much sums it up.


        1. even a 50 or 60 year old does apply for a Portuguese passport because that enables his or her 20 years and something son also to avail of a Portuguese passport and move to western destinations.


    2. 30% of Goans are Catholics and 70% are Hindus from that 70% Hindus more than 50 % are Hindus from other States settled in Goa after Goa Invasion. These Ghantis are not Goans. Get your Facts Right.


      1. Right on! Only Goan Catholics are Pro-West. If Goan Hindus are Pro-Western, I certainly haven’t heard much from their mouths.

        Not sure why Indian Hindus are going to the West because they HATE the West and Christianity.


      2. Yes you have rightly said. Look at the sorry state of the catholic Goans. They always felt they would be treated well. The population of the catholic Goans have greatly deteriorated during the last decade. They are less than 20% catholic Goans. The life style of Catholics is also changing with the migration of the Andraites, UP, muslims who have captured entire North and South Goa. You are aware, Goans have always been progressive and they crossed the seven seas when they were tarvotis (shippes). They was the first opportunity they saw. Subsequently, when this jobs dried up they made b line to the Gulf 40 to 50 years ago. Then we saw even the Gulf job are drying the children made it on Cruise Lines. Now, our catholic are engaged in BPOs. They is because they do not have large sums of money to bribe or contacts with the Government Babus, just as the Gujju community has done. We Goans have always be humble between the devil and the deep blue sea. I always felt this so called Portuguese Passport is a blessings for Catholic Goans. I am glad that there are people who are fighting for this cause to help their brothers and sisters just like the other communities. Let not jealousy enter our hearts. Mojem pot borlem, dusre moron.


      3. Goans will always be a minority and for many it is the reason they want to emigrate to the West. Secondly, the world still speaks in English, specially at well paying jobs.
        Those that cannot emigrate to the USA, Australia, Canada or the U.K might grab at any allowance to get their foot into the EU economic zone. The rest will take advantage of work visas where they earn far more money than in India.

        Most Goans abroad will have children and their culture and loyalty will be to their new homeland and these kids when adults will more likely not marry Goans.
        Canada, UK and the USA are a perfect example. This applies to Catholic Goans almost exclusively, because of their strong western cultural inclinations, religion aside.(this too stops being practiced)

        Essentially being of Goan culture abroad is the nostalgia of immigrants and not their children. No different in Portugal. The long term merits of this discussion is close ended or limited to one generation. The Goan / Portuguese dilemma is just like a hangover. It hurts the next day if you indulge in thinking this through to no end.


  3. An interesting article bringing a lot of challenging though over colonial history and legacies left behing.


  4. This is not convincing. The differences between Portuguese and British colonialism are not that significant. After all, if Eusebio, born in Mozambique, could represent Portugal with great distinction while Mozambique was still a colony, the British empire had the likes of Ranjitsinhji, Duleepsinhji and the Nawab of Pataudi senior representing the English team in cricket. And notwithstanding our status as “only subjects”, Dadabhai Naoroji was a Labour member in the British Parliament. And curiously, even now, anyone from the Commonwealth, resident in Britain has the right to vote in all British elections and perhaps even stand for elections.

    So okay, there was a Parliamentary delegation from Goa but did it amount to anything? Did any of the colonies wield any power even over their own affairs? And in the light of the argument made here, how ought we to think about the “decolonising” that Portugal undertook from the 1970s onwards? That it was Portugal deliberately “stripping” millions of its own citizens of citizenship? I am sure there were will be many Angolans, Mozambiquans — possibly even Brazilians — willing to argue that they were not a willing party to the decision to the stripping of their Portuguese citizenship. Ought they to be given Portuguese passports? Will Portugal agree to give passports to everyone from its former “colonies” who demands it?

    Yes, there is racism in the treatment of non-whites at European and American embassies but I’d venture to say it is nothing compared to the humiliation that the Indian embassy imposes on Pakistani travellers and vice versa. Can there be anything more humiliating than having to report to the police *at every place* that is put on the itinerary — a typical condition? (We hear plenty about the experiences of Indians applying for European or American visas. I hope some day someone does an article on how it feels for an African or Asian applying for an Indian visa. It should be enlightening.) Does any European country impose such conditions?

    And yes, India’s military takeover of Goa did impose a citizenship on people who never sought it. But then did they seek Portuguese citizenship in the first place? Was that “voluntary” in any sense of the word? This line of argument will inevitably lead to counter-questions and I don’t think that will take us anywhere.

    Look if you want to argue that India was wrong in its military takeover of Goa, that is fine. There is a very good case for that. If you want to argue about racism in Europe, that is also fine. It is something with which many Europeans will agree. But the argument of this article — that somehow Portuguese colonialism was “distinct” and that it had many redeeming qualities which was perhaps “slightly” marred by “some racism” is, as I said, not convincing at all.

    Of course, that is my opinion.

    Nivedita — I know you hate me which is fine. If you choose to publish my comment, thanks; if not thanks anyway.


    1. “Does any European country impose such conditions?”

      Yes, Italy does, for example, for any but a tourist visa. In particular, long term visa holders from other countries (even countries like US, for whose citizens a short term visa is not required) need to report periodically to a local office, just as in India. Also, except possibly for Pakistani and Chinese citizens, the Indian visa system is fairly uniform (and reciprocally fair: they charge citizens of country A exactly as much country A charges Indian citizens).


    2. (a) I am glad Nivedita proved that your fears were misplaced.
      (b) Dadabhai NAUROJI was a Liberal Member of the House of Commons in 1892 and not a Labour member.
      (c) And what is all this about “parliamentary repesentation in Lisbon for Goans” ? Certainly, Salazar’s dictatorship from 1927 to 1974 never saw a ballot box . And Salazar was a pro-Nazi “neutral” in WW2. The Brits rescued him from the American wrath that was his due . They turned the Americans so far that even Kennedy and Adlai Stevenson moved the UN Sec Council to resolve against India in 1961, which, fortunately, the Soviets vetoed. Kennedy was’nt aware that when he was an American sailor on a PT Boat of the US Navy , Indian soldiers were fighting alongside him as allies (albeit under British command) , while Salazar was giving room for Nazi spying. Salazar got away with murder.


  5. Am in agreement with the comments written in the article. Well written piece. Keep up the good work. We need more academics like you from Goa.


  6. Suresh, Mozambique was not a country. It was a province. And, therefore, Eusebio was born in the Province of Mozambique and his country of birth was the Portuguese Republic.

    Portugal changed the status of all its colonies to overseas provinces in early 1950s. For that matter, in 1961, Goa was not a colony but an overseas province of the Portuguese Republic. So the name of the country where Goans were born was indeed the Portuguese Republic.

    Paulo Dias.


    1. Paulo,

      i was also born in Mozambique in the same year and township as Eusebio but the portuguese wont give me their citizenship. The have refused. This is total racism. Iam of Indian origin and Eusebio is of Black African origin but because of his football talent and fame they offered him the citizenship as they do nowadays to superstars. I mean, just look at France’s football team. its all Balck French Players. Its just like France is an African country.
      Me and you can go to France and apply for a citizenship as business people and it will be rejected.


  7. Congratulations to Ferrao and Fernandes for an excellent response to the 13th May 2013 British Daily Mail and Daily Star articles.

    If I may, I would like to offer just a very small contribution in what regards Portuguese Nationality Law. The authors state that the unilateral actions of 1961 by the Republic of India meant that Goans lost Portuguese citizenship post 1961 and were only able to recover it after 1974. That is not totally correct and it may only reflect the position from the part of the Republic of India.

    It is a fact that Goans born before 19 December 1961 are considered Portuguese nationals of origin following the Portuguese Nationality Law of 1959 – which has never been revoked for the case of the citizens born in the Portuguese State of India. This law of 1959 confirmed Portuguese nationality of origin to all citizens born in any overseas Portuguese province.

    Later in 1975, another law 308-A/1975 of 24 June determined the faith of Portuguese citizens residing in the Portuguese territories of Africa (Angola, Mozambique, Guine Bissau, Cabo Verde and Sao Tome e Principe) during the dates of independence of those territories (1974 to 1975), and gave those residents a limited period of time of choose between their current Portuguese citizenship or the citizenship of their new independent countries of residence.

    From the Portuguese nationality Law of 1959 (applicable to all Portuguese citizens) and the law 308-A/1975 of 24 June (applicable to residents in the ex-Portuguese Africa during 1974 to 1975) one can easily confirm that Portuguese citizens born in the former Portuguese State of India REMAIN Portuguese nationals ad aeternum except if they were residing in the ex-Portuguese territories of Africa given independence 1974 – 1975 (in which case they were given a period of time to decide which citizenship to choose from).

    Therefore, Goans born before 19 December 1961 who can prove that they were not residing in the ex-Portuguese African territories between 1974 to 1975 never lost Portuguese nationality according to Portuguese Nationality Law. They are indeed Portuguese nationals of origin since birth and even today, regardless of what the Republic of India may state or impose upon them.

    There are, therefore, two positions. The Indian position is that Indian Citizenship was imposed on Goans post 1961 by an act of conquest from the Republic of India over the Portuguese state of India ($FILE/case.pdf – Supreme Court of India Reports 1970 pp. 87-102 regarding the case of REV. MONS. SEBASTIAO FRANCISCO XAVIER DOS REMEDIOS MONTEIRO) and, therefore, they became Indian citizens.

    However, it is also a fact that, according to the law of the Portuguese Republic, Goans never lost Portuguese nationality if they can prove that they were not residing in the ex-Portuguese provinces of Africa given independence during 1974 to 1975.

    Whether the Republic of India likes it or not, these Goans are indeed Portuguese citizens according to Portuguese Nationality Law and there is nothing the Republic of India or even the United Kingdom can do to dispute it.

    That is the theory. In practice, Portugal does not know of the existence of these Goans because their birth records remained in Goa post 1961. Any interested party can register the birth of these Goans in Portugal and, by doing so, confirming the Portuguese nationality of these Goans born in Goa before 1961. This is, however, not recovery of Portuguese citizenship but recognition of the same, which was never lost post 1961, according to the position of Portugal and its Portuguese Nationality Law.

    To put things into perspective, it is a fact that Goa has currently today a Chief Minister called Manohar Gopalkrishna Prabhu Parrikar who was born on the 13 December 1955 at Mapusa, Bardez, Portuguese Province of Goa – an integrant part of the Portuguese Republic. Parrikar’s country of birth whether he likes it or not was the Portuguese Republic (Goa was an overseas province of the Portuguese Republic in 1955).

    Presuming that Parrikar was not residing in the ex-Portuguese provinces of Africa during 1974 to 1975, Portuguese Nationality Law confers Portuguese Nationality to Parrikar.

    The current Chief Minister of Goa is, therefore, a Portuguese citizen of origin, according to Portuguese Nationality Law. This is the position of Portugal according to the Portuguese Nationality Law. Parrikar and all Goans born before 1961 in Goa are free to renounce Portuguese citizenship of origin of their own free will if they also have another citizenship. The fact remains that if they do not renounce it, they are indeed Portuguese citizens of origin according to Portugal and its Portuguese Nationality Laws, regardless of them being registered in Portugal or not. Registration in Portugal is merely a formal recognition of title of Portuguese citizenship. Granting of the same title is conferred in the Portuguese Nationality Law and not in the act of registering the birth in Portugal.

    These are all facts and against these facts there are no arguments.


    1. portugal has no position after losing a war and thats the real fact,it doesn’t matter what it states.


      1. subramanian , you need not comment on goan issues !!! lay offf !!!!!! India took over goa forcibly


        1. ..and, of course, Goa had always been part of Portugal, since the Pleistocene, hadn’t it?

          It’s just amazing how some people on this thread go on and on berating India for “forcibly” taking Goa, while blissfully forgetting the historical reality of the Portuguese occupation (including the Inquisition, the racial discrimination, and so on).


          1. Was the caste discrimination of successive empires in India before the Portuguese any better ? Anyway modern India and it’s boundaries is a British creation !


  8. Interesting piece. I was wondering if there is any good literature or book about life/commerce/governance in colonial era Goa and/or India that you would recommend.


    1. Hello Craig,

      One book that I would whole heartedly recommend would be Rochelle Pinto’s “Between Empires: Print and Politics in Goa” 2007. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.




  9. While most of the points have been covered in above comments would like to mention on SCHENGEN VISA .
    As is known this is a Common Visa to Schengen Countries it is impressed upon a person applying for Schengen Visa that one should apply to a Country which which will be first point of entry-
    So having a Portuguese Visa and entering UK may support the views of SIR ANDREW GREEN who considers this as a misuse!


    1. Try entering the UK with a Schengen visa and let us know if it is possible. You need a British Visa to enter UK. Get your facts in place before making silly comments. A Portuguese passport is not a Schengen Visa.

      Its like saying an Indian visa will allow you to visit Nepal and Bhutan freely when it is only an Indian passport (or proof of Indian citizenship) that will get you across the border with no formalities!


  10. The Goan Voice carried a report on 13 May 2013 with links to:
    The Daily Star article
    The Daily Mail article
    The 441 comments made by readers in the Daily Mail website
    A video clip of the immigration debate between Sir Andrew Green and Keith Vaz
    The statement in the House of Commons ten years ago regarding Goans with Portuguese nationality entering the UK
    Go to

    And congratulations to Bene and Jason for the judicious response.


  11. It’s really a shame that this little tussle between Britain and a few Goan Indians, has raked up memories of Portuguese colonialism, and the very progressive act of the liberation of Goa with the help of India in 1961. That issue should be a closed chapter. Nobody in the present day and age should be harkening back to the dreary centuries of European colonialism in India or Africa. The legal issue of the citizenship of pre-1961 Goans is for the interested parties to resolve amicably.


  12. The idea of an ‘overseas province’ is obnoxious, repellent and anachronistic. The Portuguese had a long history of religious fanaticism and persecution. The liberation of Goa, by no means perfect, was a step in the right direction historically and ideologically. It also served as a catalyst, not a cause, for progressive liberation movements in Angola and Mozambique. It should be a closed chapter.


  13. @ Chander Patel Its your Opinion keep it with you. The Supreme Court of India says Goa was Conquered not Liberated.


  14. We Goans will always Love Portugal. Goa was never Portugal’s Colony. We were treated as Portuguese Citizens not as Slaves. Viva Goa E Viva Portugal.


    1. Dear Rodrigues,

      “we Goans will always love Portugal” refers only to few christian Goans like you. What about other Goans?. Their opinion does not count?. Portugese took Goa when they were powerful and India conquered it back when it got power. You may have to wait for a day when Portugese again get powerful. Nothing much can be done now.

      But, I love Goan catholics. According to me, they are the kindest among the Indians. I believe that every community in India should preserve their identity and culture, and fight for it if necessary. Goan christians are much much more than Porugese. When a Goan catholic emigrates to Europe, India loses an excellent citizen, and Europe gets just one more emigrant, thats all!.


      1. India and Indians are busy trying to escape poverty to live prosperous lives. When they get there they may think of the misfortune of Christian Goans. The Portugese were their masters because they had bullying power. That era has gone. Some Goans are not sure of their identity because they are different in some ways.

        My grandfather left Goa in 1890 to live in Karachi in prosperity rather than at the mercy of Portugese policies. I was born in 1946 before Pakistan was created but my Canadian passport says born in Pakistan. A visa to India takes 6 months to process as they have to be sure that this 68 year old Catholic Goan is not an Islamic terrorist. Like my grandfather then me, Catholic Goans keep migrating. I can say it has ended for me and my children. Non Goan spouses and children have ended this need to have the same rights as others.

        While Goan culture is unique, it can be celebrated more so in Canada than in ethno centric traditional societies, where sectarianism is an excuse for another persons success story.


  15. While there are those older who welcome new and invigorated research and thought on issues pertaining to Goa, they also have a feeling of disquiet that both the writers of this article are regular contributors to Goa’s glossy Saturday paper, The Goan, which is totally funded by mining money.

    It is in fact an important arm of the Timblo family-owned Fomento group of companies, who are far better known for conniving with the former chief minister Digamber Kamat and shamelessly circumventing a Supreme Court order asking them to demolish an illegal structure in their 5-Star Cidade de Goa hotel.

    Lest it be forgotten, this same mining behemoth has totally destroyed large tracts of Goa’s forests.

    The paper is edited by Sujoy Gupta.

    As the links following show however, Gupta may have sold both his soul and his integrity to mining money.;

    It was also Sujoy Gupta who took over the editorship – some say backed by investments from the mining lobby – of the Herald, Goa’s largely Catholic-read daily paper, in order to swing the Catholic vote towards the BJP, which he successfully did, emblazoning the headline when they duly won, in the colours of the BJP.

    That mission accomplished, he then jumped ship to take over the Fomento’s The Goan, where only expectedly, he then took up the case of why mining was indispensable for those who paid him for leaving his integrity by the wayside.

    What has really angered many in Goa however, is the impunity with which he recently attacked anti-mining activists, as he has done before, painting them to be agents of foreign funding.

    In that context, when a growing concern for Goa’s environmental safety is growing and being blatantly attacked by vested pro-mining interests, it is hoped that both these writers, given their ostensible concerns for Goa, will, like many other intellectuals who see the larger picture, cease writing for The Goan.

    That will only help enhance their credibility.


  16. As Franco Fernandes says, Goa was never a Portuguese Colony, it was a Province of Portugal. Assuming, of course, that ‘never’ began in 1951, when Salazar amended the Portugal Constitution so that his colonies became ‘provinces’, presumably with retrospective effect. Until then, Goa was a part of the Portuguese Colonial Empire (O Império Colonial Português em Wherever).

    Like Goans, a surprising number of Indians were never British slaves or even the slaves of a random European dictator. I am terribly proud that the scumbag Brits never colonized me: I was a slave of the King of Travancore (whose primary title, Padmanabha Dasa, indicates he was a slave of Padmanabha. This slavery business is very complex). Back in Kerala, we had a Portuguese colony – or overseas province, if you prefer – before Goa had one and it took us forever to get rid of the blighters, but not before they gave us caju and a terrific vocabulary. Also syphilis.

    Travancore, like other Princely States and the Overseas Province of Goa, made a half-assed bid for independence circa 1947 but we hadn’t fought a war for over two hundred years and had quite lost the knack of fighting with one hand while holding up one’s lungi with the other. Our independence struggle, like Goa’s, was a bust. Fortunately, becoming a part of India worked pretty well for us and we have successfully colonized many parts of the country, not to mention substantial bits of the Gulf in the face of stiff opposition from, well, Goans.

    I feel somewhat cheated by this sudden switch from ‘colonial’ to ‘provincial’ Goa — it doesn’t sound nearly as impressive. I love Goa dearly and would, finances permitting, like nothing better than to live in a Portuguese-era colonial house in Aldona, but I draw the line at living in a provincial house.


    1. you seemed to prevaricate on some historical facts. we are are aware that the Portuguese had establishment or precisely factories which were manned by garrison of few men in the coastal areas -with their historical names Cannore, calicut , Quilon ,Cochin , tranvancore to facilitate commodities trade mainly pepper It is amazing that from these small factories that Portuguese influenced the internal politics of squabbling chieftains of these various kingdoms who were always at each others throats in one incidence they even carried of local queen and princess s and local chieftain had to pay heavy ransom . It is possible the queen or the princess could have passed the syphilis around .But Portuguese in all honesty were really not interested in rulings these petty warring kingdoms. perhaps they were not to attracted to mallus. So to clarify they were factories and not colonies . but with the advent of rivalry among colonial powers and ascendency of Dutch the Portuguese were ousted by the Dutch subsequently the British and loyalties of the native chieftains wavered from one dominant colonial power to the next ..
      on that note Goa history is entirely different which you mallus will not grasp


  17. Sajan, that was beautiful.

    There might be legitimate contexts in which to ponder studiously whether a particular overseas land holding of an imperialist empire constituted a province or a colony, but I feel the distinction shouldn’t be allowed to elide the atrocities and cruelties that were inflicted by such powers, whether in the African continent or in India.


  18. Many people seem to mix up migration for economic reasons with cultural, even racial identity. A large number of Portuguese migrate to the USA every year but I am almost sure that Portugal was never a province of the US! Goans are lucky that the Portuguese nationality law allows them to jump over the queue of potential migrants to the EU. But to think of Goans as anything but Indian is facile and ahistorical, but not unusual. The eminent sociologist explained this worldview as a process he termed Sansktitisation. Communities create an imagined past which is used to establish a perceived higher social status. This process normally accompanies the economic, often political rise of this community. You can see hundreds of examples across the world. And of course, the Portuguese called their Indian outpost as Estado da India. Goa was never even seen by the coloniser as anything but India. it was only to protect its colony in the rising tide of decolonisation led by India that its legal status was changed to becoming a province. The Archbishop of Goa has is similarly vested with jurisdiction over the Indies, besides being the Patriach of the East. Though purely symbolical, it does reveal the mindset. And yes, till Portugal joined the EU, it did not hold any attraction to potential migrants.


  19. Sajan, and Agni, excellent posts. In this day and age, raising the issue of the status of Goa, and harkening/reminiscing about the good old Portuguese days… For the love of.


  20. take a step back guys, spare me the airbrushing, the Innocence (naiveté) or should i doff my hat off to portuguese colonialism? three cheers…


    1. Again, NOT sure why someone who isn’t a Goan is commenting on an issue that doesn’t concern him or her.

      I would think its insecurity that causes Indians (West and Christian-hating Hindus to be more precise) to comment on a matter that does not concern them.

      Leave us alone, you’re going to have to pay for your many sins against many other peoples already. Don’t make more enemies.


      1. Don’t say like that Rodrigo,I am a Hindu but i love to be a Goan.All Hindus don’t hate Christians,We are Goans,Hindus in Goa celebrate Christian fastivals,attend their wedding.Christians in Goa also attend Hindu weddings and festivals.I agree that we Goans who stayed in Portuguese Province which is our Goa should have the right to hold Portuguese citizenship.religion doesn’t come in this,we are Goans,we are like brothers and we must fight in unity.My grand was a postman at that time in Goa and he always used to say that he was proud to be a Portuguese Citizen at that time.thus,as my grandfather and my father was a holder of Portuguese Nationality I also should have the right to hold it.


      2. We are commenting not any hate,why every Indian who want to discuss about Goa is Extremist Hindu? I don’t remember any major Catholic-Hindu clash in India. I never hated Christians. No Hindu do.


  21. You all seem to overlook the fact that Catholic Goans were the converted native Indian Goan citizens. So,why the fuss! How many Catholic Goans rushed to settle in Portugal? Why, because they had no knowledge of the language of their “Portuguese origin”.Goans will always be second class citizens fighting for recognition. Eventually ending up with losing their through inter-racial.Why discriminate against non-Catholic native Goans ?


  22. The conquest of Goa undertaken by the Indian armed forces has all the legitimate reasons. First, Goa just like other parts of the country was always part of a Hindu culture. Second, its people were forcibly assimilated into Portuguese culture and customs ( I strongly urge you to read about the Goan Inquisition). Thirdly, the Konkani language is part of the Indo-Aryan family of languages, thus Goan culture has much more connections to other Indian states than to Portugal. Fourth, the presence of a large Anglo-Indian community which has allegiance to India proves that just because a Goan may have mixed ancestry he could also be loyal to India.

    I am myself a Orthodox Christian from Kerala. I am proud to be a Christian, Malayalee, Delhite and an Indian at the same time.

    Presly Markose


  23. Portuguese govt should stop issuing portuguese passports to people from goa,daman and diu whether they are hindus,muslims,catholics if their ancestor’s participated in the freedom movement against the erstwhile portuguese govt.The Portuguese passport is a huge racket involving portuguese govt officials and goan govt officials,the portuguese lawyers and goan lawyers samething with the judges.The goan portuguese passport agents are hand in glove with their godfathers sitting in portugal for this crime.All these people even give the documents to non-goan indians other than daman and diu who are not eligible for portuguese passport.Portugal is flooding the eu when it has nothing to offer.


  24. Make it clear to me,

    Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
    Adopted by General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960.

    What is India doing in Goa to above note.


  25. 1) again, NOT sure why someone who isn’t a Goan is commenting on an issue that doesn’t concern him or her.

    2) why non goan are so furious to comment here

    I would like the learned author Prof (Dr.) Nivedita Menon to clarify whether is an Indian Site where “Indians” are forbidden from commenting. Not that I am so eager to post comments of


    1. Avinashk1975, just as we post many obnoxious comments, we posted this one as well.
      As for you, yes, we have noticed that you are not at all “eager to post comments on Kafila”!


  26. Goans will never have inner peace until they liberate their country from India. The soul of the Goan is Indo-Portuguese. In Goa one sees and feels Portugal. I predict that the Portuguese language will one day be at least a co-official language. We can never have inner peace until we fully embrace who we are. This is the difficulty that the Goan people are trying to resolve.


  27. Has being a part of the Portuguese colony for 450 years made the Catholic Goans forget their Indian roots. What about Goan Muslims and Hindus…..the extent to which they suffered at the hands of the Portuguese. Have the Portuguese acculturalised us to the extent that we have become Portuguese in taste and opinion and only Indian in colour. Just because Catholics stood to gain vis a vis Hindu’s during the Portuguese with respect to jobs , and now that the tables have turned with the Hindutva Politics ,Goans have suddenly become “Europeans”. Has GOa no identity of its own???


  28. Simply from the fact that Christian Goans(assuming they are not familiar with New Atheist Movement of West or evolution or Mithraism) are still wanting Portugal, from it it is clear once again that Christianity is just a tool of West. Those so called Goans, dont they remember Goa Inquisition? Dont they know how they were almost forcefully converted to Christianity that now they are disguising them as Westerners instead of being Indian? They are suffering from total inferiority complex, they are practically no different from Pakistanis who say they were historically not Indians but Arabs or central Asians. It is another reason that why Nehru’s secularism is false. Christians demanding back Portugal but Hindus dont. Therefore on which India stands is very clear.


  29. ‘Europeans are of another colour’.

    Who ever made that statement, should be kicked. Some Europeans are pink, some are white, some are brown/very dark, infact, darker than some Indians.


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