Hear How Lata Mangeshkar Helped Liberate Goa in Her Own Voice

Exclusive: How the legendary Lata Mangeshkar sang to free Goa from Portugal. 

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(This article was first published on 18 December 2018. It has been republished from The Quint’s archives after Lata Mangeshkar's passing away on 6 February, 2022.)

Newly independent India was desperate to free Goa from the clutches of Portuguese dominion. Having conquered Goa since 1510, the Portuguese had acquired other Indian possessions in Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu over the course of their rule. India’s efforts to arrive at a peaceful settlement over the issue had yielded no result.

As Goa was languishing under Portuguese rule, the patriot in Lata Mangeshkar yearned to do something about it, and so, she agreed to sing, free of cost, at a concert that was organised to raise funds to procure arms for the fight against the Portuguese.

Lata did this at the behest of music composer and revolutionary fighter Sudhir Phadke. The concert was organised on 2 May 1954 at Hirabaug in Pune.

As Goa was languishing under Portuguese rule, the patriot in Lata Mangeshkar yearned to do something about it. 

The Patriotic Lata

My father was from Goa, and the atmosphere at home was rife with nationalist and patriotic feelings. My father owned a drama company and was also friends with Veer Savarkar. Our family would visit Savarkar’s and vice versa. That I guess helped our patriotism blossom.
Lata Mangeshkar

Veer Savarkar was a freedom fighter as well as a poet, writer and playwright. He later emerged as a controversial figure, after being named as an accused in the killing of Mahatma Gandhi but was acquitted for lack of evidence.

Portuguese forces had occupied Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Goa, Diu and Daman and left the Indian soil only in 1961. But Nagar Haveli was liberated by a joint band of Azad Gomantak Dal and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) revolutionaries who marched into Silvassa on the night of 1 August 1954.

Goa was finally liberated on 19 December 1961, when Indian forces marched intothe region and liberated it, without meeting any Portuguese resistance.

(Video edited by Purnendu Pritam)

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