India and Portugal inks agreement to promote Cooperation in the Field of Archives

In news:

A Protocol of Cooperation was signed between the National Archives of India and the Minister of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in the field of archives on 17th May, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal.

As a first step under this agreement, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) handed over to the National Archives of India digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence).

‘Moncoes do Reino’

* These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes that cover the period from 1568 to 1914 and form the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives.

* The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and is important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia, their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers and their relations with neighbourings Kings in South Asia and East Asia.

* In 1777, these 62 volumes, consisting of over 12,000 documents, pertaining to the period from 1605 to 1651 were shifted from Goa to Lisbon where these were subsequently printed in under the title ‘Documentos Remetidos da India’(Documents sent from India) by the Academy of Science at Lisbon between 1880 and 1893. The original volumes had remained in Lisbon ever since.

* After 240 years, this gap in the record series in the collection of the Goa State Archives was filled when on 17 May 2017.

* Ever since the very successful visit of the Portuguese Prime Minister to India in January this year, there is a lot of synergy between the two countries in diverse fields ranging from technology to education and from civil aviation to football – to name a few. Cultural being an important part of the lives of our people is an important area where cooperation in the areas of shared heritage and legacy is greatly cherished by one and all.

History of Portuguese in India:

20 May 1498 Vasco da Gama landed in India. The first viceroy, Francisco de Almeida, established his headquarters in Cochin (Kochi). After 1510, the capital of the Portuguese viceroyalty was transferred to Goa. Until the 18th century, the Portuguese governor in Goa had authority over all Portuguese possessions in the Indian Ocean, from southern Africa to Southeast Asia. In 1752 Mozambique got its own separate government and in 1844 the Portuguese Government of India stopped administering the territory of Macau, Solorand Timor, and its authority was confined to the colonial holdings on the Malabar coast of present-day India.

At the time of the British Indian Empire’s dissolution in 1947, Portuguese India was subdivided into three districts located on modern-day India’s western coast, sometimes referred to collectively as Goa: These were Goa; Daman(Portuguese: Damão), which included the inland enclaves of Dadra and Nagar Haveli; and Diu. Portugal lost effective control of the enclaves of Dadra and Nagar Haveli in 1954, and finally the rest of the overseas territory in December 1961, when it was taken by India after military action. In spite of this, Portugal only recognised Indian control in 1975, after the Carnation Revolution and the fall of the Estado Novo regime.

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