July – Hindu Persecution Awareness Month. As a part of this awareness campaign today’s blogpost is about the Goa Inquisition. I have always wondered why Goa got its independence in 1961 and not in 1947 but never got around to reading its history. Appa had taken Amma and I on a trip to Goa when I was a child and all that I remember was seeing a dead body preserved in a glass case. I didn’t register the fact that it was Francis Xavier.
The next visit to Goa happened in 2014 as we had our Pgpmax reunion there. That’s when I realised it was a beautiful place. We usually travel to the Mountains for our holidays because am not too fond of the beach, so Goa wasn’t on our list of holiday destinations. It still isn’t.
The only time Goa occupied our mind space was when Manohar Parrikar became the Defense Minister. We were super impressed with him and started reading about his Chief Ministership. Some of our friends are from Goa and it has always floated just below the radar for us. When we became a little active on Twitter, I started following Savio Rodrigues and Shefali Vaidya. Became a huge fan of both of them. Shefali’s Goa connection became quite obvious and I started looking up for information on Goa and the liberation war.
Am quite aghast that it took us 14 long years after Independence to send in the army and get Goa back into India’s fold. Did we just not care enough ? or was it ignored like the North East ? These questions don’t have answers right away, but someday we will know why Goa was allowed to remain a Portuguese colony till 1961.
The following talk by Shefali Vaidya, clearly brings out the ruthless persecution of Hindus in Goa by the Portuguese.
Note – I am sharing some of the excerpts from the transcript of the talk, especially for those who don’t want to listen 🙄😡.
Excerpts from the talk by Shefali Vaidya on the Goa Inquisition
“When the Portuguese came to Goa and Salcete which is known as Sahashasti, which means 66 villages where Hindus had settled. Myth says that Parasurama had settled Hindus from Kashmir into those 66 villages. So that is why that region was called Salcete. So Salcete, Bardez, today what is known as, today’s old Goa and a couple of islands were what formed the Portuguese territory for the first 200 years almost. Later on the Portuguese slowly, slowly started going further and they annexed the whole of Goa.”
“….the Portuguese sometimes in 1566 or one or two years after that, they embarked on a major temple destruction drive, where there were edicts from the King of Portugal saying that every single temple in that district should be destroyed. So, in one year, there are records, that they destroyed some 280 temples; destroyed as in razed it to the ground.”
“….Now we have moved to about 1530-1540. So this is the time Francis Xavier had come to Goa and he had done Goa, Cochin. He had started a lot of proselytization work and he realized that the few Christians that he had managed to convert, they keep going back to their ways, their old ways, because they are very ingrained in them. So he wrote a letter. Xavier wrote a letter to King Dom Joao III, saying that, by that time court of Inquisition was already established in Portugal and it was basically being used against the neo-Christians which is Jews converted to Christianity.”
“….But, the King didn’t listen to him and Francis Xavier died before the Court of Inquisitionwas established and the king also died…”
“…In 1566, there was an order that prohibited people from building new temples. It also prohibited them from repairing old temples, because Jeernoddhar was our, it was ingrained in our psyche. That people kept renovating temples, people kept making the temples better. So not only was it prohibited to build any new temples, it was also prohibited to repair any old temples, who happened to fall in disrepair. They also said that nobody should make murtis of any kind, of wood, of stone, of metal and whoever does it, and if somebody reports that person, the person who makes the murti will be jailed and the person who reports it will get some financial reward.”
“…Anti-Hindu laws had made life hell. In 1560 the Viceroy ordered the Hindus to be thrown out of Portuguese territories because those Hindus refused to convert. They were given one month to dispose off their property, otherwise it would be taken over by the Crown. So you can imagine, people basically sold everything they could in a distress sale to whomever, and who would buy it? Obviously people who had converted to Christianity. Hindus were forbidden to wear the sacred thread. Government employment and contractual work was given only to converted Christians. Hindus were prohibited from holding public offices.”
“…Then in 1620, the Viceroy issued an edict that no Hindu could marry in the Portuguese territories. Hindus were forced to either cross the river and go to the main island in Adil Shah’s territories to marry. They couldn’t even cremate their dead. They had to cremate their dead in boats in the middle of the river, because they couldn’t cremate them on the island, simply because it was a Hindu rite and it was considered heretical.”
“…And in 1669 came the worst, scariest order of the King. The King issued an order that all orphans from Hindu families should be handed over to the Jesuit priests to be baptized, educated and indoctrinated by the Fathers of the Church. And this edict had specified that children whose both parents were dead, whose grandparents were also dead, only those children were supposed to be handed over to the Jesuit priest.”
“…Hindus were prohibited to teach their children about their own religion, and children younger than 15 were forced to attend Christian preaching organised in public places. Every attempt was made to humiliate and emasculate Hindus while converts were given concessions, jobs and right to property, and still a large population of Hindus chose not to convert.”
“…Entire communities as I said were converted by deceit. Dr. Antonio Narrona, he was the former judge of the High Court in Goa, in his essay ‘The Hindus and The Portuguese Republic’ had written, I quote, “in 1560 there existed only one church in Salcete. In less than 15 years, 28 full parishes had been established. It is known how such rapid conversion took place, some by fear of physical force, some from moral cowardice, some because they could not overcome the love of the country of their birth, some with their eyes on a lucrative job and almost no one from conviction”.
“….The offences were, there was an edict published by the Court of Inquisition, which list the offenses liable, there are some 56 offences. I cannot list all of them. But I will narrate some of them. The list is very comprehensive and it lists offences like distribution of veedo, which is betel leaves. So, for any auspicious function Hindus distribute betel leaves. But Hindus who had become Christians couldn’t use betel leaves in any form. If they were caught doing that they would be arrested by the Court of Inquisition. Having a Tulasi plant anywhere in their entire property, not just in the Brindavan, not just outside their homes, but in their entire property, even if was a wild growing Tulasi plant, they were liable to be arrested.”
“…Torture was used by Inquisition to obtain confessions. There were two kinds of tortures mainly, torture of pol or torture of pulleys where the victim would be suspended mid-air with weights on his feet, the weight would be increased till the victim could not bear it anymore and confessed. There was a water torture, torture of potro, where the victim was placed on a port or a kind of a slanted treadle where the head was placed lower than the body and an iron band around the throat kept the persons head immovable while tight chords cut deeply into his or her flesh. An iron prong forcibly kept the mouth open as water was poured into the person’s mouth and nose to strangle and suffocate the victim. This was repeated several times till the victim confessed. “
“…So the whole point of this talk is to make people aware that something like this existed. It’s very unfortunate that many people today who go to Goa as tourists, they go to Old Goa and they pray to Francis Xavier. I have seen even Hindus do that. When you know that he is the person who was basically responsible for the establishment of the Court of Inquisition, and unless you know the truth, how are you ever able to fight it? And it’s not that it happened in the past, ok? It happened in 90s. It happened with her, it happened in Kashmir. It is still happening as we speak in Bangladesh. It’s the same template. It’s the exact same thing that is happening. It’s like first make you ashamed of your roots, make you ashamed of being a Hindu. Make life so difficult for you and make it easier for you to convert in every which way, by giving every other concession possible so that you would always make. If you are slightly weak or vulnerable or whatever, you would always take the easier choice. It keeps happening…..”
It keeps happening … I had written about the conversions in the North Eastern states. This talk by Shefali Vaidya shows the kind of persecution Hindus faced in Goa during the Portuguese rule of nearly four centuries.
Do see the following Tweets and pictures and be very scared. Conversion is an ugly trick used by the Church to completely deracinate generations. Its like the termite that eats up the wood from inside. Conversions eat up the culture, making it weak from the inside. If Hindus don’t wake up, they will soon be having tea with the serpent that lured Adam and Eve in the fable.
Be very scared ….. the above picture burns a hole in my heart. Did Guru Gobind Singh Ji fight for this day ? Did Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji allow himself to be beheaded by Aurangazeb so that one day in the future, the sardars could dance to hymns from the Bible and believe in fake miracles ???
We need the Anti Conversion Law with stringent strictures to stop this menace. Stay tuned for the other scourge – Love Jihad. 🤬