Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, in his first public address after returning from the US, today said the fight against colonial power in the state was yet not over.
He also expressed his government’s resolve to make the state free of plastic this year.
Parrikar, 62, who had been away in USA for three months for the treatment of a pancreatic ailment and returned home last week, attended a state-level function here to commemorate the Goa Revolution Day.
Goa Governor Mridula Sinha was the chief guest at the event.
“The struggle which began 72 years back (in 1946) resulted in the liberation of Goa in 1961 but I feel the fight is yet to get over,” Parrikar said addressing people at the Azad Maidan here.
He was referring to the issue of problems faced by people living in the evacuee properties at Mayem village in the state.
“The issue of Mayem (evacuee properties) is a part of this struggle (against colonial rule) and I am personally working to resolve it as soon as possible,” he said.
Mayem, a village with around 30,000 population located in North Goa district, about 20 km from here, has been declared as an evacuee property, owned by Portuguese nationals who left the place and settled in Portugal after the state’s liberation in 1961.
The Goans, living as tenants on the property, have been fighting for their rights.
Freedom fighter Chandrakant Pednekar also called for the need to free the land in Mayem village for the ownership of Portuguese people.
During the function, the chief minister also said that his illness and absence from the state delayed the government’s resolve to make Goa plastic free in 2018.
“We will work towards making Goa free of plastic this year. The state government’s resolve towards this was delayed due to my sickness but it will now gain momentum again,” he said.
Parrikar said he had himself seen how some educated people dumped plastic bags full of garbage on roadsides.
“The reason why even educated people behave like this is because they are educated but without knowledge,” he said.
On the occasion of the Goa Revolution Day, he called upon the people to “light the flame of knowledge”.
“The need is to have a revolution of knowledge in the state and not just education,” he said.
The Goa Revolution Day is observed as on this day in 1946, freedom fighter Ram Manohar Lohia had given a clarion call to fight against the Portuguese regime.
The movement later led to the liberation of Goa on December 19, 1961.
Parrikar returned to Goa last week on Thursday and resumed his official work from Friday.