T. B. Cunha one of Goa's most well known freedom fighters wrote this article on mining trade in Goa. He accuses the mining companies of supporting Portuguese Colonial State in his scholarly article published in 1958 in journal called Free Goa in Bombay. 50 years latter in 2008 these mining companies continue to betray the interest of Goa and serve Japan and China. The reading of this article would help us to establish the continuity of struggle even before 1961 liberation.
The main cause of the failure to liberate Goa even ten years after the independence of India is the systematic sabotage, carried by Indian businessmen against all the efforts made by Goans and by others (sic) to achieve the liberation. This is now clear to all those who have studied the Goa question objectively and do not believe in the lame excuses invented to explain the shameful continuation of the occupation by Portugal of territories situated in India. It is neither the lack of unity among Goans nor the lack of co-operation on the part of Indian people to achieve integration of Goa, Daman and Diu into India that is responsible for the indefinite postponement of freeing them from foreign rule. It is the protection given by some Indian politicians in Power to the Indian businessmen for carrying a profitable speculation in Goa with the full connivance of the Portuguese officialdom. That mainly is responsible for the present State of affairs.
The facilities given by the Portuguese government to the Indian businessmen are such that they have made them interested in the continuance of Portuguese rule in Goa and made them wish to postpone as long as possible the liberation of the Portuguese occupied territories. The Indian Politicians who support these Indian merchants do not seem to realize that the profits made by them are gained not only at the cost of economic and financial interests of India but are also detrimental to her national unity, territorial integrity and future security. Narrow-minded and unable to grasp the national interest as they believe that the profits made by Indians compensate the country for the loss it suffers otherwise from Portuguese occupation.
We have repeatedly shown here, giving names and figures, that the help given by Indian capitalists to exploit the Goan mining wealth has served to increase the revenue of the Portuguese administration and to allow it to maintain an army of many thousands of European and African soldiers and officers and a costly political force. The exploitation of the mining industry and the contraband trade which is simultaneously carried on by the same Indian traders is the main source of income to the Portuguese in Goa who themselves have not invested a single rupee in our country. Under the camouflage of a fictitious economic blockade and sanctions, which the have sabotaged, the Indian merchants, together with some foreign speculators, have extended to the Portuguese the help they needed to perpetuate and consolidate their domination in Goa.
In addition to the help given for the extraction of the iron and manganese ore, the Indian Capitalists have also helped the Portuguese to improve the transport of the minerals by railways, roads and rivers, to build a new and big airport and to extend the works of the Marmagao (sic) harbour. We have given here the name of Indian businessmen including Goans who have invested their capital in all these concerns. Some of these persons are known to be well-related with Indians and some foreigners. The capital, the management and even a great part of the labour is Indian and are closely connected with concerns functioning in India.
A further contribution to help the Portuguese to consolidate their position in Goa is now the formation of a ship-building Society with the co-operation of the Indian capitalists who run the mining industry and indulge in its complementary smuggling trade. The capital subscribed to the new society comes from the Government of Portuguese India and other institutions depending on the government which are compelled by the government to lend their funds. But a good amount of their capital is also brought by the Indian and foreign firms working in Goa. The capital invested by Private Indian and foreign concerns is indeed superior to the sum invested by the government.
The following is the list of the Indian and foreign investors who have contributed to the funds of new society and who also permanently co-operate with Portuguese in strengthening foreign hold on Goa. Here are the most important names:
Chowgule and Co. Ltd.
Damodar Mangalji and Co. (India) Ltd.
Khantilal & Co. Ltd.
Mineira Nacional Ltd.
Subraya & Co.
Timble Brothers Ltd.
V.M. Salgaonkar & Brothers Ltd.
V.S. Dempe & Co. Ltd.
Joao Hogo Sequira
Madev Sinay Talaulikar
Sesa Goa Ltd. (Germano-Italian)
W.I.P Railway (British)
Mingoa society (Italian)
The installation of the ship-building works is to be started in Vasco da Gama near Marmagao harbour under the direction of Portuguese, Indian and Britishers. The capital subscribed amounts to nearly 35 lakhs divided in shares of Rs. 100/- each. The report accompanying the project of the Ship-Building Society clearly says that it aims at resisting India’s efforts to unite Goa to India. That has not prevented the proteges of our Congress patriots to fully co-operate with the Portuguese in the anti-Indian endeavor. They may allege that it is “constructive work” (Gandhian terminology) pursued by Indians in Goa with the connivance of pseudo-Gandhians in power in India. As a matter of fact they are plundering and mortgaging Goan wealth for the immediate benefit of Portugal.
While the Indian government is quietly awaiting to settle the problem of Goa by “peaceful negotiations” the Indian moneybags are allowed to peacefully help the Portuguese and enrich themselves at the cost of the Indian and Goan economy, of the suffering Goans and non-Goans and more than anything else at the cost of Indian national Integrity, her good name and her safety. It is in the interest of these moneybags indeed that the settlement of the Portuguese pockets has been postponed indefinitely. They are the people who spread false and distorted news about Goa and mislead and misinform the official circles in India about the real situation of Portuguese territories in India. Only the Indian Government must understand that they are not interested in the liberation of Goa because when it comes, it will deprive them of their easy and tainted profits. One must know also that these double dealers are the real political informers and advisors of the Portuguese on the Goan question.
One must say that these unscrupulous merchants would not have succeeded in their treacherous work of support to the foreign occupants of Goa if they had not received all facilities from Indian authorities to carry on their nefarious activity. Not only they were given in India all normal facilities allowed to honest traders but they were left free to act in contempt of law and resort to criminal corruption to carry on their smuggling activities which are complimentary to the Goan mining industry. In fact, since independence they were treated as a privileged class allowed to prosper at the cost of the most vital interests of the nation. Before the relaxation of the permit system when common people were harassed in every manner when they had to travel to and from Goa, it was precisely these merchants for whom the economic restrictions really meant (sic) who enjoyed all sorts of facilities thanks to powerful friends they had in the official circles. No wonder that the supposed economic sanctions failed miserably and some had to be removed as ineffective. In fact, they are sabotaged in benefit of these unpatriotic citizens and lawbreakers.
While our brave Goan and non-Goan liberators were facing by hundreds and thousands the most fascist repression of the Portuguese Police State, suffering long years of prison, deportations, beatings, tortures and even death, thee Indian adventurist traders were amassing fortunes and prospering at the expense of other people’s sacrifices. And it is precisely these people who are now carrying the whispering campaign against Goans accusing them of being responsible for the failure of liberation because of the lack of unity between their too numerous political parties. As a matter of fact, the disrupting activity among Goans and non-Goans was the work of these very slanderers of the Goan movement who infiltrated bogus nationalists in the ranks of our workers or corrupted others with their tainted money. The whispering campaign is meant to cloak the guilt of those who are really responsible for the continuance of the foreign domination in apportion of the Indian land even after independence. But their treason shall not remain concealed or forgotten.
Cunha, T.B., Portuguese Occupation of Goa supported by Indian Merchants, in Free Goa, 25 July 1958, reproduced in Tombat, Nishta, Tristao De Braganza Cunha (1891-1958) and the rise of Nationalist consciousness in Goa, Appendix three, Ph. D dissertation, Goa University, Goa, 1995.