History Of 18 June Road And 31st January Road
Category : Articles
Location  : Goa

Prajal Sakhardande,
Head of History Department.
Dhempe College,Miramar,Goa

In my article titled "History and Heritage of Mala-Fontainhas", dated 18th January, 2004, I have linked the date 31st January to the liberation of Portugal from Spain. The name 31st January Road at Fontainhas has always intrigued me. People in Panaji have always been curious to know as to what this date stands for. Finally eminent scholars, Mr. Percival Noronha and Prof Vasco Pinho come to our aid and they give the following account. Mr.Noronha writes that the name 31st January Road was given to one of the oldest artery in Panaji which runs from the junction of ‘Dom Joao de Castro road' to Fonte Fenix. The said name was assigned to this road soon after a revolt in Oporto in Portugal on 31st January, 1891.

A anti-monarchical wave was passing through Portugal and her colonies in the late 19th century. Republicanism was gradually setting in Portugal and her colonies. This anti-monarchical and pro-republican wave within a period of 19 years resulted in the establishment of the republic in Portugal on 5th October 1910.

Shri Noronha states that 31st January 1891 event was the precursor to the events to come and hence the Portuguese republican government after 1910 named the street in Fontainhas - Panaji as 31st January.

Like the 31st January road, the 18th June road name arouses a tremendous curiosity in the minds of students, tourists and the general public which uses the road.

On 18th June, 1946 at Margao, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and Dr Juliao Menezes launched the civil disobedience movement against the dictatorial salazarist regime. Salazar, the dictator of Portugal had curbed the civil liberties of Goans. Hence the torch of freedom from the Portuguese rule was lit on 18th June 1946 at Margao to gain back the lost civil liberties which finally culminated in the liberation of Goa on 19th December, 1961.

 The 18th June Road name commemorates that historic ‘Goa Revolution Day'. The 18th June Road is a very Popular and busy road today.

 These roads have kept alive our links with history. They offer us an insight into the history of Goa. We should also keep alive the memories of our martyrs who died for the cause of Goa's freedom. I strongly feel that we should have a road in Panaji named after Sardar Karnal Singh whose sacrifice for Goa's freedom is unparalleled in history.

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