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Finally Cuncolim will have a chieftain’s memorial

Finally Cuncolim will have a chieftain’s memorial

Sixten fallen chieftains from Cuncolim will be remembered on July 15 with a memorial structure as Goa celebrates Liberation day to mark their contribution towards Goa’s freedom

Vijaykumar Kopre

Sixteen Chieftains from Cuncolim along with other brave Cuncolkars in 1583 waged war against the Portuguese Rule. Historians and Cuncolkars claim this as the first war against the foreign regime fought in 1583. In the name of Swarajya and Swadharma, Cuncolkars lodged the revolt in 1583 which is the first in India against the foreign regime.

In honour of the chieftains, a memorial will be inaugurated on July 15 by Chief Minister, Laxmikant Parsekar. Cuncolkars are hoping that at least the Parsekar government will give due recognition to this revolt. The Cuncolim trust is producing a documentary on the history of Cuncolim which will be released on Goa Liberation Day. Cuncolim Trust is also observing July 15 as Chieftains Day.

The chieftains and people of Assolna-Velim-Cuncolim came together at Talebhat to protest against the Portuguese atrocities on 15 July 1583. The locals were agitated by the Portuguese rulers for desecrating their holy places and challenging their freedom. This created the first jolt for the foreign rulers. They refused to pay taxes to the government saying that the land belonged to them, as did the nation. They launched a non-cooperation movement centuries before Mahatma Gandhi led one for India which sowed the seeds for their ancestors.

The Portuguese didn’t want the movement to spread throughout the state. Hence, they drew up a strategy to tackle the brave locals. They summoned the sixteen chieftains to Assolna fort for a peace talk. This however, ended in a blood bath as fifteen of the chieftains were brutally murdered. One of them managed to escape and swam across the River Sal to settle in Karwar. He then narrated the tale to everyone. This prompted Cuncolkars to fight even more for liberation. Assolna-Velim-Cuncolim played an important role in Goa’s liberation but hasn’t got the recognition it deserves. The Cuncolim Chieftains Memorial Trust and the locals have made repeated requests to the government of Goa for recognition and to include this rich bit of history in the school curriculum. This demand has been made so that students and the future generation are made aware of the sacrifices of the valiant chieftains who laid down their lives.

The issue has been raised in the Assembly by MLA Vishnu Wagh. Ex Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar gave an assurance to nominate historians to study this bit of history. But the government didn’t bother to do anything.

“With the failure of the government to recognize this, Cuncolkars have decided to take matters into their own hands and set history right,” Oscar Martins, Chairman of the trust mentioned.


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