It was really a memorable day of August 15 when Indian national flag was hoisted by our first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru on the Red Fort after we forced the English to leave the country. Pondicherry, Karkala and Chandranagar were annexed into Indian territory the same day, however, some areas of the country which were captured by the Portugese remained with the Portugese. On August 2, 1954 the brave cadets of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) freed them by dint of their great valour and sacrifice. This story of India’s victory march to Independence is really very interesting as well as inspiring. However, Goa; Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu which were ensconced between the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra still remained under the Portuguese rule.
When the Congress government was formed in the country after independence the then Prime Minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru didn’t do much to liberate some parts of the country, then the brave cadets of RSS came into action under Rajabhau Wakankar. After seeking them senior RSS functionary Vishwanath Narawane who knew as many as 14 languages chalked out a plan at Silvassa. But they needed huge fund for procuring weapons to fight the foreigners who had still captured some parts of the country. This task was handed over to the then famous Marathi singer as well as composer Sudheer Phadake.
Sudheer Phadake in association with Lata Mangeshkar organised musical concerts and collected fund. Rajabhau went on to meet the then Sarsanghachalak Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar. He took his blessings and briefed him about their future plan. This oufit was nicknamed ‘Muktavahini’. It was on the night of July 31 1954 when they collected at the Pune Railway Station where they formed different groups and reached Silvassa via Mumbai. In a pre-planned way they staged an attack on the police station, court and jail simultaneously. Seeing that situation is alarming, Portugese got frightened and surrendered. The brave cadets reached the main building from where the entire Portuguese administration was conducted. After a little resistance they took the Chief Administrator Fidalgo and his wife hostage However, they were allowed to go after they entreated for a while. An Indian tricolor was unfurled in the morning of August 2, 1954 on the main administrative building. However, the bravery shown by 116 RSS cadets, who got the area free from the clutches of Portugese in a single night, seems really unrealistic today.
The then leaders of the oufit Baburao Bhide, Vinayak Rao Apte, and Babasaheb Purandare, Dr Shridhar Gupte, Bindumadhav Joshi, Major Prabhakar Kulkarni, Srikrishna Bhide, Nana Karejkar, Tryambak Bhatt, Vishnu Bhonsle, Smt Lalita Phadke and Smt Hemvati Natekar played a prominent role in it.
Here it is remarkable to note that the Congress government offered them a lot of facilities as well as monthly pension but since the then Prime Minister of the country Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru came to know that RSS had a role, they were not recognised as freedom fighters. However, it was only during the tenure of the then Prime Minister of the country Atal Behari Vajpayee that they were recognised as freedom fighters.
-Rajendra Kumar Lalwani