06 Dec 2022  |   08:33am IST

There’s still no data or inputs on temples destroyed during the Portuguese regime

Representation from historians, academics, and people to provide information on the ‘destruction of religious structures’ during Portuguese rule draws a blank
There’s still no data or inputs on temples destroyed during the Portuguese regime


PANJIM: The Goa Government’s plan to restore and reconstruct ‘religious and cultural centres’, supposedly destroyed during Portuguese rule has hit a reality check roadblock.

With no official data in hand, the government, which was banking on inputs from citizens, NGOs and historians, on these destructions, mainly identified as temples, has been left empty-handed.

The Department of Archaeology had, in October, invited representation or information from the general public, NGOs, historians, and others on such sites.

The representations with relevant documents or photographs were to be submitted latest by November 31.

“We have not received any information as sought. So currently, we are left with no data in hand,” a senior official said adding ‘we might have to initiate a fresh study to identify the sites or structures’.

Archives and Archaeology Minister Subhash Phal Desai said that department has no information related to religious structures demolished during the Portuguese rule.

The minister had even informed the State Legislative Assembly about the non-availability of information while maintaining that several historians have published relevant research on this topic which is available in the public domain.

The State government has made a budgetary allocation of Rs 20 crore towards the restoration of religious structures for the current financial year. “We might have to approach some historians, dig out documents or articles and also approach village panchayats to get information,” the official said.

In December 2021, speaking during the inauguration of developmental work at Mangueshi in Ponda, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant announced plans to rebuild the temples destroyed during Portuguese rule as part of the 60th year of Goa’s liberation. “Though such temples are not notified in any government record, references can be found in history books,” Sawant had said.

The statement sparked a major debate in the State.

In his Budget speech, Sawant said, “Our places of worship are symbols of our rich cultural heritage. During the Portuguese regime, there was a systematic effect to destroy these cultural centres. Considering tourism development, we have made a provision of Rs 20 crore for reconstruction and restoration of these temples and sites.”



Idhar Udhar