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PHILOSOPHY > THE MIND OF MAHATMA GANDHI > Foreign Settlements in India
Foreign Settlements In India
Time For Change
Rule Of Terror
It is ridiculous
.To write of Portugal as the Motherland of the Indians of Goa. Their mother country is as much India as mine. Goa is outside British India, but it is within geographical India as a whole. And there is very little, if anything, in common between the Portuguese and the Indians in Goa.
.most essential for the success of the movement that it should be conducted by the Gomantakas on the clearest possible issue, i.e., civil liberty. The larger question of Swaraj should await the attainment by the whole of India unless, of course, the Portuguese Government wisely come to terms with the inhabitants of the Settlement through friendly negotiations. It cannot be attained by any direct action of the citizens, whether violent or non-violent. In non-violent action success is assured where every inhabitant is a hero ready to lay down his or her life. It is less to be thought of in Goa than in the more numerous and better seasoned and awakened British India. Therefore, the clearest possible issue of civil liberty must be kept steadily in view.
Every account received by me personally and seen in the papers here in this part of India confirms the contrary view [that there is no civil liberty in Goa]. I suppose, the report of the sentence by
.. Court Martial of eight years on Dr. Braganza and his contemplated exile to a far off Portuguese Settlement is by itself a striking corroboration of the fact that civil liberty is a rare article in Goa. Why should a law-abiding citizen like Dr. Braganza be considered so dangerous as to be singled out for exile?
.. The game of hunting lovers of civil liberty is going on merrily in Goa. A small power, because of its smallness, often acts with impunity where a great power cannot .. What of the Portuguese power which boasts of Philanthropy and alliance with the Roman Catholic Church? That power will have to justify itself before man and God. The blood of the innocents will cry out from their tombs or their ashes. It is more potent than the voice of the living, however powerful and eloquent. (H, 1-9-1946, p. 286)
(b) FRENCH INDIA
. The hands of imperialism are always dyed red. The sooner imperialistic powers shed their imperialism like Ashoka the good, the better it will be for the groaning world. One may be pardoned for giving credit to France, where credit is deserved as it is in the case of French India . (H, 8-9-1946, p. 305)
I undoubtedly hold the view that the Indians in these possessions are bound to merge in independent India in good time. Only, the Indians in these territories should not take the law in their own hands. They have constitutional means open to them and then, there is our Chief Minister [Jawaharlal Nehru] who has vindicated the freedom of Indonesia. Surely, he is not gong to neglect his own kith and kin in the two possessions. (H, 24-8-1947, p. 295)
. After all the French are a great people, lovers of liberty. They must not be subjected to any stain by India which has come in possession of liberty. (H, 31-8-1947, p. 298)
My opinion is quite emphatic. It is not possible that the inhabitants of these small Foreign Settlement would be forced to remain under servility in the face of the million of their countrymen who have become free from British rule. I could [never] countenance an inferior status in the little Foreign Settlement in India. I hope that the great French nation would never identify itself with the suppression of people whether black or brown in India or elsewhere. (H, 16-11-1947, p. 416)