Christians and Spices: A Critical Reflection on Indian Nationalist Discourses in Portuguese India
Dale Luis Menezes
Indian nationalist discourses in Portuguese India have a direct relation with the political developments in British India. I use the terms ‘British India’ instead of ‘India’ and ‘Portuguese India’ instead of ‘Goa’ (and the territories of Daman and Diu on the coast of Gujarat), in order to critically re-think the writing of history from an Indian nationalist and post-colonialist perspectives. The post-colonial reality of Portuguese India under the Indian nation-state after 1961 does not readily fit into the imagination of Indian nationhood. Nor does it fit easily into the theoretical perspective emerging out of a reading of the British colonial archive. This is due to the fact that modes of colonialism of the Portuguese and the British differed from
each other. Since the perspective of British India ultimately became the norm, there have been attempts to fit the ill-fitting history of Portuguese India into the British Indian mold. This has serious repercussions for understanding the history of Portuguese colonialism. It also has repercussions for understanding the political representation and identities of the various communities living in Portuguese India under Indian nationalism and the Indian nation-state.
Goa, Indian nationalism, Portuguese Empire, colonialism.