Goa, Daman, and Diu

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Goa, Daman, and Diu


an administrative unit and federal territory of India, on the western shore of Hindustan. Chief city and capital, Panjim, formerly Nova Goa. Area 3,800 sq km. Population 668,000 in 1967.

In economic terms, this is an agricultural region, principally a rice-growing one. Sugarcane cultivation is increasing, and other crops include coconut and betel palms, mangoes, and bananas. Other industries include fishing, fish-processing, and tourism. The principal port is Marmagao.

Goa is one of the country’s strongest mining regions and regions for the export of iron ore (8.4 million tons in 1968— 69), manganese ore, and ferromanganese ores.

Until the middle of the 16th century Goa, Daman, and Diu were parts of various Indian states. In 1510, Goa was conquered by Albuquerque, who regarded himself as the governor of Portugal’s domains in India. Goa was transformed into the center of all Portuguese lands in the East, from Ormuz to Macao. Within a few years the Portuguese had won from Vijapur a strip of land on the shore opposite Goa, called the Old Conquests. In the 1540’s they expanded this territory to include the so-called New Conquests. As the central point of Portugal’s power in the East, Goa reached its zenith toward the end of the 16th century. The Portuguese cruelly crushed all resistance by the Indians, forcefully converted the population to Catholicism, and conducted an inquisition. Besides this, marriage of Europeans with Indian women was encouraged, and married Portuguese people were granted landholdings in Goa, which were worked by Indian sharecroppers and slaves from Africa.

In 1509, 1521, and 1531, the Portuguese tried in vain to capture the Gujarat fortress Diu, which protected the entrance to the harbor of the Gujarat port city of Cambay. In 1535 the Gujarat ruler Bahadur ceded Diu to the Portuguese in exchange for promised aid in the battle against the Mogul Padishah Humayun, who had seized Gujarat. Having been convinced that their help was insignificant, Bahadur tried to retake Diu, but he was treacherously murdered by the Portuguese. In 1558-59, the Portuguese seized Daman on the shore opposite from Diu, at the mouth of the Gulf of Cambay. The two fortresses of Daman and Diu closed the entrance to the Gulf of Cambay, thus contributing to the flourishing of Goa.

In the 17th century, rule of the eastern oceans passed to Great Britain and Holland, and the position of Portugal’s Indian colonies was shattered. By the end of the century, only Goa, Daman, and Diu remained to Portugal in India. They had become economically backward regions whose people devoted their time to agriculture, fishing, and mining.

The people of Goa, Daman, and Diu rebelled more than once against the Portuguese colonial authorities. Beginning in the 1930’s, anti-Portuguese demonstrations took place under the banner of union with India. These increased after India gained its independence in 1947. In December 1961, Indian armies entered the territory of Goa, Daman, and Diu and liberated them from Portuguese rule. In March 1962 they became part of the Indian state as a federal territory.


Antonova, K. A., and S. A. Kuz’min. ”Portugal’skie kolonii v Indii.” In Poslednie kolonii v Azii. Moscow, 1958.
Danvers, P. C. The Portuguese in India, vols. 1-2. London, 1894.
Gaitonde, P, and A. D. Mani. The Goa Problem. New Delhi [1956].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.