The Goa Inquisition

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The Goa Inquisition
AuthorAnant Kakba Priolkar
SubjectGoa Inquisition
PublisherBombay University Press
Publication date

The Goa Inquisition, Being a Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in India is a book published by Bombay University Press and authored by Indian historian Anant Priolkar. It provides the most comprehensive account of the Goa Inquisition held by Portuguese colonialists in Goa, India in the 16th century and details the wholesale massacres of Hindus, Muslims, Indian Jews and non-Catholic Indian Christians by the Portuguese inquisitors.


The book is divided into two parts.Part I, titled "The Goa Inquisition", is divided into ten chapters. The first two chapters detail the Spanish Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition in Europe providing background material and context that would lead to the inquisition in India. It explains the anti-Semitic hatred developed for Marranos Jewish people in Europe by the Inquisitors that would lead them to slaughter the Indian Jews during the Goa Inquisition. Chapter 3 begins with the advent of the Inquisition in India, with discussion of Dr. Dellon's account of the inquisition in Chapter 4.The chapters describe the wars that led to the establishment of Portuguese colonial rule in Goa, and the massacres of Hindus and Muslims during the war, typically involving mass-murders in villages, mass drownings of Muslims in rivers and other similar acts.Successive chapters in Part I describe the forced conversion of Hindus to Christianity by the Inquisition, the evolution of the policy of Christian persecution in India. The book details the organization and procedures of the Inquisition and the anti-Hindu laws that were passed in Goa during the inquisition banning Hindu religious ceremonies and customs, as well as reducing the Status of Hindus into second-class citizens by banning them from public gatherings and so on. The 9th chapter discusses the various methods of torture used on Hindus, Muslims and Jews by the Inquisition, such as burning by Sulphur, Water-torture, rape, the use of pulleys to stretch victims and the "strappado" method of torture. Chapter 10 discusses the Jurisdiction and Authority of the Inquisition of Goa.

Part II discusses the accounts of the Inquisition given by Dellon and Buchanan in two separate chapters.

Peer reviews[edit]

The book was very well-reviewed by his peers. Gerald M. Moser of Penn State University said that the book was an authoritative work on the event based on accounts of European travellers and Portuguese historians.[1] The book was written one year prior to the liberation of Goa from Portuguese occupation by India, so it "reopened old wounds, recalling the dismal record of European religious intolerance" in India "through the most pitiless inquisition of Christendom".[1] Priolkar did not exaggerate the intolerant zeal of the Christian Missionaries, nor did he try to understand it.[1]



  1. ^ a b c Review of The Goa Inquisition, Being a Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in India by Gerald M Mosser, Journal of American Oriental Society,84.4 (1964)