Tag Archives: Portuguese citizenship

Indians of Another Colour, Or why Goans are More than Just Portuguese: Hartman de Souza

This guest post by HARTMAN DE SOUZA is in response to Europeans of An Other Colour – Why the Goans are Portuguese

The news that Goa’s Catholics obtain Portuguese citizenship and flee wherever they can with their families, availing in fact of whatever loopholes are available, is not that new a phenomenon to Goans following matters on the ground – even though it may now serve to open out a new thread in the discussion of postcolonial societies, and in particular, the travails of immigrant communities in what is supposedly a ‘globalized’ world.

It helps to keep in mind that it is Goa that is the classic case of a ‘failed state’, and not Pakistan, as Indians like to believe. Goa was once a beautiful territory protected by Ghats on three sides, rich with an abundance of water, blessed with fertile land, and made up of villages each of which had control of their commons through a sophisticated system of village governance that far predated the Portuguese Colonialists. Today however it is a state governed by politicians who work hand-in-glove with their crony partners whether in mining, real estate or industry,  a state in a freefall towards entropy. Continue reading Indians of Another Colour, Or why Goans are More than Just Portuguese: Hartman de Souza

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