Visiting Portuguese-controlled Goa was a surreal experience. India had imposed an embargo on the province, and even torn up rail tracks. We journeyed by bus and boat, then trudged through no man’s land, carrying our belongings, to enter Goa. No literature calling for civil rights was allowed in by the Portuguese, and no gold, liquor or money was allowed out.
Going, gone: Indian troops enter Goa
The government had suppressed civil rights, but flooded the place with cheap imports, and handed out mining contracts indiscriminately. We had Dutch cheese, pink salmon and all the foreign luxury cars—we even had Mercedes and Volkswagen taxis—but it was an artificial economy. With the liberation of Goa a year later, in 1961, civil rights were retrieved, but the mining industry still casts a long shadow, denuding the hills, and leading to a great deal of environmental damage.