08 May, 2021

Goa Diary

I sense resentment among locals against so many ‘outsiders’ flooding their state and buying ‘second homes’, driving up real estate prices.

Amit Haralkar
Goa Diary

No ship story

I first went to Goa in 1964, on my first major rep­orting assignment. The Portuguese had been thrown out three years earlier and an opinion poll was being held in the ‘liberated’ territory to determine whether Goans wanted to merge with neighbouring Maharashtra or be on their own as a Union Territory. Surprisingly, Goans chose to be on their own. The place enchanted me, as it has so many other Indians and foreigners. On another assignment in the early 1970s, I was chasing a story for the Reader’s Digest about a German ship carrying a cargo of valuable minerals that had taken refuge in Goa when World War II had broken out. (Portugal was a neutral country in that war.) British commandos were sent on a secret mission to scuttle the ship, which they did successfully.

The exploit was turned into a book and then a film called Boarding Party, shot in Goa and starring Roger Moore. I was told that minerals from that scuttled ship were surreptitiously salvaged and formed the basis of the subsequent rise...

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