Goa Archives Minister Says Colonial Papers Could Reveal Portugal’s Historical Military Secrets

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Goa Archives and Archeology Minister Subhash Phaldesai said on Friday that secrets about Portuguese rule in the state are expected to come to light through the documents coming from Lisbon. Phaldesai’s comment comes just days after Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said his government would try to persuade the Portuguese government to hand over documents related to Portuguese colonial rule in the state.

Phaldesai told reporters that the state government was particularly keen to understand the incursions of Maratha King Shivaji Bhonsle I (better known as Chhatrapati Shivaji) made into Goa and the Portuguese efforts to prepare for a possible attack from him.

“There are very good important documents. A lot of our secrets about what was happening in the Portuguese times will be revealed,” Phaldesai told reporters.

Phaldesai’s ministry, which is also tasked with identifying and restoring temples destroyed by the Portuguese, also said the state government would seek help from the Union Ministry of External Affairs to procure Lisbon key documents related to the colonial history of Goa.

“The CM announced the other day that very important documents from Goa are in Portuguese custody. These important documents regarding Goa are in Lisbon. They are very important documents for us. We want these Portuguese documents here,” said said the minister.

He also said that the Non-Resident Indian Affairs Commissar of the Goa government would coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to obtain these historical documents.

“The Portuguese government has nothing to lose on its side. It’s our own property; it should come to us. Everything we have that belongs to Portugal, we may have to give it away. It’s an exchange Phaldesai said.

“This is the correspondence made with Lisbon (by the Portuguese rulers in Goa) to block Shivaji Maharaj… There are many documents that will reveal the truth,” he added.

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