The role of Swayamsevaks in Ending Portugese Rule

Just because the Britishers left India, it didn’t mean our fight for Independence was over. On 2nd August 1954, about 100 Sangh Swayamsevaks attacked the remaining Portugese bases in Dadra Nagar and Haveli. This attack was led by Pune Sanghchalak Shri Vinayak Rao Apte. There were a lot of prominent Sangh members in this attack. Adopting guerella tactics, they first attacked the Main police station in Selvesa and made all the 175 soldiers present there surrender unconditionally and hoisted the Tri-colored National Flag atop. On the same day, they handed over the region to the Central Government. In recognition of that historical day, the people of Selvesa invited the 100 brave fighters to celebrate the 25th anniversary of that day on 02nd August, 1979 and honored them. They were recognised as freedom fighters by the Maharashtra government in 1987.

The Portugese still had control over Goa during that time. For the first time in 1955, the first person to hoist the tri-colored National Flag atop the Panaji Municipal building was a teacher from Goa and a swayamsevak. Depite Goa getting freed in 1961, he was still in Lisbon jail for another 17 years. In 1955, in the united fight for freedom of Goa, organised by all the political parties, it was the swayamsevaks, who took the primary responsibility. The Swayamsevaks took it upon their shoulders to ensure food for all the Satyagrahis camped at the borders of Goa. The various Satyagraha groups were led by the prominent leaders from the Sangh and Jansangh. A lot of them took bullets and suffered various atrocities in Portugese jails.

One of the prominent swayamsevaks, who led the Satyagraha groups, was the leader from Ujjain, leading the Madhya Bharat Satyagraha group, Shri Rajabhavu Mahankal. The Portugese were ready to welcome these Satyagrahis with Guns and Bullets on the borders of Goa. As Bhavuji was about to cross the border, the first three lines were shot at by the Portugese and were injured and fellow down. In the third line was brave Sahodaridevi, who also fell. Seeing her fall, Bhavuji took the tri-colored National Flag and charged at the Portugese shouting Bharat Mata ki Jai. A bullet ripped through his neck during his charge and he fell to the Ground. In the few seconds that he was still conscious, he instructed others to take care of the National Flag and the injured amongst them. And after a few minutes, he joined all those bravehearts, who sacrificed their lives for freedom of their motherland.

Excerpts from R.S.S. – Akruthi Dalchina Adarsham.

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