Passport to freedom from drudgery
This is from the History books: In 1498, Vasco-Da-Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope and landed in Calicut. In 1510, Portuguese admiral Afonso de Albuquerque attacked Goa at the behest of the local cheftian Thimayya. After losing the city briefly to its former ruler, Ismail Adil Shah, the Muslim King of Bijapur, Albuquerque returned with force on November 25, with a fully renovated fleet. In less than a day, the Portuguese fleet took possession of Goa
from Ismail Adil Shah. However on December 19,1961 India liberated Goa.
Even though Goa was liberated from the Portuguese there are many Goans, who were born before Goa’s liberation, who still think that they were more ‘liberated’ under the Portuguese rule than under the Indian rule.
For these people, liberation is all about not having any crime committed and robberies taking place. They felt that life was honky-dory under the Portuguese rule.
Many even say with pride, that, in those days they could sleep in their homes with their doors and windows open and not bother about any robberies. Nowadays, even iron-grills cannot keep the thieves away. Many speak of how clean the system was during the Portuguese rule as compared to the corruption prevalent in today’s society. They speak of Goa under the Portuguese rule as “those good days”. For them it hardly seems to matter that under the Portuguese rule they were like ‘slaves’ in their own land. If given an opportunity, there are probably many who would want the Portuguese to come back and rule Goa. But then this is not possible.
Another option is to own a Portuguese passport. Well this has been the latest craze among Goans. People have been selling their lands, taking loans and borrowing from friends with just one aim; to have a Portuguese passport. Many wished they were born before 1961. It is much easier to get a Portuguese passport if one is born pre-liberation. Students probably consider obtaining a Portuguese passport more important than obtaining a post-graduate degree. They have every right to feel so given the lack of job opportunities in the state and our country.
It seems that there is a strong attachment to the Portuguese roots. The craze for a Portuguese passport is not without reason. The opportunities conferred to Portuguese citizens that live abroad are huge. So does acquiring a Portuguese passport mean a passport to prosperity?