Tristão de Bragança Cunha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Tristão de Bragança Cunha (Konkani:त्रिस्तांव ब्रागांझ कुन्ह्य ; 2 April 1891 – 28 September 1958), alternatively spelled as Tristao de Braganza Cunha, was a prominent Indian nationalist and anti-colonial activist from Goa (then part of Portuguese India). He is popularly known as the "Father of Goan nationalism", and was the organiser of the first independence movement to liberate Goa from Portuguese rule.

Biography[edit]

Cunha was born on 2 April 1891 in the village Chandor in Goa. He completed his school education in Panjim and then went to Pondicherry to French College for his B.A. and then to Paris. There he studied at the Sorbonne University and obtained a degree in electrical engineering. In Paris, Cunha entered the circle of Romain Rolland and helped publicise the Indian independence movement generally, and the case of Portuguese India in particular, in the French-language press.

Cunha returned to Goa in 1926 and he set up the Comissão do Congresso de Goa (Goa Congress Committee) in Goa in 1928 to organise the Goan intelligentsia against Portuguese colonial rule. Pressured by Portuguese authorities, Cunha transferred operations to Bombay and in 1938, affiliated his organisation with the Indian National Congress. He continued publicising the Goan case in a stream of articles and books, denouncing Portuguese rule. Among his publications were booklets Four Hundred Years of Foreign Rule and The Denationalisation of Goans (1944). Cunha was an advocate of Goan identification, political as well as cultural, with greater India.

In 1946, Cunha helped organise the famous assembly in Margão, inviting the INC speaker Ram Manohar Lohia to address what was arguably the first and largest mass gathering yet, setting in motion the Goa liberation movement. Along with the other organisers, Cunha was arrested by the Portuguese authorities in 1946. He was kept in dark damp cell at Fort Aguada. He was the first civilian to be tried by a military tribunal. He was court-martialed and sentenced to eight years imprisonment. He was deported to the Peniche prison in Portugal.

After his release from Portugal in 1954, Cunha returned to Bombay. Cunha formed and headed the Goa Action Committee, to help co-ordinate the numerous Goan liberation organisations that had emerged by this time. He published a newspaper called "Free Goa".

He died on 28 September 1958, Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan was one of the pallbearers. The Government of India issued a postage stamp in his honour.

References[edit]

External References[edit]

  • [2] Glória ao Herói no Quarto Aniversário da Morte de Tristão de Brangança Cunha – Poem by Visnum Porobo Sincró commemorating the fourth anniversary of Cunha Bragança's death (Portuguese)