Amid a sustained volley of criticism against Portuguese colonial settlers for carrying out forcible religious conversion in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday had a rare moment of praise for the Portuguese.
Speaking at the Goa statehood day function in Panaji, the chief minister lauded the Portuguese for building the first medical College in Asia that was built in Goa in 1847.
“No doubt that the Portuguese committed atrocities, but we should mention that they built Goa Medical College in 1847, which was first in Asia,” Sawant said.
Goa Medical College was felicitated on the occasion of their contribution in the medical field. “Everyone may wonder why we felicitated GMC, but you need to know that it was built in 1847 and has served the people of Goa since then. When there was no medical college in the whole Asia, we had it in Goa and we need to be proud of it,” Sawant said.
“We got statehood after Konkani was announced as the official language. There is a need to make progress in Konkani. Maybe through literature or using Konkani for administrative business,” Sawant said.
He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving importance to regional languages, urging to use it in courts.
Sawant announced July 15 to remember the initial struggle of Goa against Portuguese colonial rule at the National War Memorial in Delhi. On July 15, 1583 the first revolt against the Portuguese had started from the village Cuncolim in South Goa.
“On this day either the Chief Minister, any other minister or representative of state will visit the National War Memorial and observe the day paying tributes to martyrs,” Sawant said.
He said that the ‘double engine’ government is developing the state and creating vivid infrastructure to achieve progress. “We will try to commission an ongoing project within one year,” He said.