Portuguese-backed Jesuits priests and an equal number of laymen fell prey to
the fury of the villagers of Cuncolim in South Goa
in the former Portuguese colony in . The villagers were fighting to protect
their land and religion. The core of villagers from the warrior Khastriya caste
raised the banner of protest against the desecration and also destruction of
temples. The villagers who are known as Gaoncars - originally inhabitants of the place - were
fed with the constant defiling of places of worship. The patience reached a
flashpoint with death of the priests and the layman accompanying the Jesuits
priests who were on a mission of conversion to the village.
elders suffered at the hands of the Portuguese authorities who ruled Goa at that time. The leaders of chieftains of the
Gaoncar clan were invited for talks at the Assolna fort situated on the banks of River Sal where the
present day Assolna church stands and in an act of treachery sixteen of them
were executed by the Portuguese authorities.
One of them
escaped from clutches jumped into the Assolna River
and saw across to safety and fled to neigbouring Karwar in the present day
Karwar in the Southern state of Karnataka.
In the present
day era Shantaram Laxman Naik hailing from the same village and belonging to
the same clan wants the Indian government
to recognize the revolt.
Naik a member of
the upper house of parliament has made the demand to government in one of the debate in parliament.
"One of the
first revolts of independence against any foreign rule had taken
place in my
village Cuncolim, in Goa. It has still not
been recognized by the country. The villagers of Cuncolim are called ''Gaoncars''
who had revolted against the Portuguese as early as in the year 1583, which had
led to the killing of the Portuguese
agents, who used
to harass the ''Gaoncars'' on one pretext or the other. This revolt of the
''Gaoncars'' was much before the first officially recognized War of Independence,
namely, the Revolt of 1857.
village has had a long tradition of hospitality, especially that of political
exiles. I appeal to the government of India to constitute a committee of
historians and other experts for the purpose of recognizing the first revolt of
independence against any foreign rule in the country. A documentary also be
produced on the subject, besides including the history in the textbooks.
Naik''s demand in the country capital has found echoes in the state where
the Cuncolim Chieftain’s Memorial Committee President of the Committee Dr
Verisimo Coutinho has again appealed to the Goa
government to act fast and include the Cuncolim revolt of 1583 in the school
Dr Coutinho has urged the State government to respect the feelings of Cuncolcars
and Goans and to put the history in right perspective by including the first
revolt of 1583 in the school curriculum.
“Cuncolkars fought a war against the Portuguese for Swaraj and Swadharma. This
1583 revolt is the first revolt against any foreign rule in India, ''" he said.
The Committee also welcomed the statement made by State Chief Minister,
Digambar Kamat that the government would give due respect to Cuncolim history
and accord due place in the school curriculum.
The Cuncolim revolt has
got yet another shot in the arm with the Portuguese language book written by
late Adv Lingu R Davli “Historia de
Cuncolim”, which has been now translated into English. Retired MES
College Principal, Dr
Harischandra Nagvenkar has translated the book into English.
The grandson of Late
Lingu Dalvi, Sunitbhaskar Dalvi and Chairman of late Adv Dattaram L Dalvi
Memorial Trust, is the publisher of the translated book.
The book gives a vivid
evolt of the brave people of Cuncolim against the Portuguese
and provided valuable socio-economic information on Cuncolim and surrounding
The Five Jesuits
priests have since been canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.
Link to earlier
articles by the author on Cuncolim revolt:http://english.ohmynews.com/articlevi ew/article_view.asp?menu=c10400&no=3365 06&rel_no=1http://english.ohmynews.com/ articleview/article_view.asp?menu=c10400&am p;no=339323&rel_no=1http://www.mangalor ean.com/news.php?newsid=50760&newstype= localhttp://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2005-January/024047.html