The Portuguese Empire included major colonies like Brazil, Angola and Mozambique. They also had colonies in other countries, including Goa in India. The Portuguese conquerors married local women resulting in new mixed races like Luso Indians, Luso-Americans, Luso Africans, Luso Asians etc.
Luso Indians gave India two interesting personalities- Henry Vivian Derozio and Casimiro Monterio.
My country! In thy days of glory past
A beauteous halo circled round thy brow
and worshipped as a deity thou wast-
Where is thy glory, where the reverence now?
Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last,
And grovelling in the lowly dust art thou,
Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee
Save the sad story of thy misery!
Well-let me dive into the depths of time
And bring from out the ages, that have rolled
A few small fragments of these wrecks sublime
Which human eye may never more behold
And let the guerdon of my labour be,
My fallen country! One kind wish for thee!
– Henry Vivian Derozio, To India- My native land
Derozio was one of the India’s first nationalist poet. He was intellectual who influenced his students with his ideas. The students called themselves Derozians and started Young Bengal Movement, they started questioning orthodoxy and beliefs of Hindu religion. This helped in reform of Indian society.
Derozio became teacher in Hindu college at very young age of 17 years. He died at the age of 22 years due to cholera. So, within a short span of 5 years he could influence society with his ideas. He wrote poems on pathetic condition of India, which was once a great nation.
Why hang’st thou lonely on yon withered bough?
Unstrung for ever, must thou there remain;
Thy music once was sweet — who hears it now?
Why doth the breeze sigh over thee in vain?
Silence hath bound thee with her fatal chain;
Neglected, mute, and desolate art thou,
Like ruined monument on desert plain:
O! many a hand more worthy far than mine
Once thy harmonious chords to sweetness gave,
And many a wreath for them did Fame entwine
Of flowers still blooming on the minstrel’s grave:
Those hands are cold — but if thy notes divine
May be by mortal wakened once again,
Harp of my country, let me strike the strain!
-Henry Vivian Derozio, The Harp of India
Derozio died in 1831. Almost a decade later in Goa, a son was born to Portuguese father and native Goan mother. He was called Casimiro Emérito Rosa Teles Jordão Monteiro. Unlike Derozio , he was neither an intellectual nor did he have any love for his native land India. In 1961 Jawaharlal Nehru decided to make Goa, he got support from Goan nationalists.During this period Casimiro was member of Goan Police who tortured Goan nationalists. Casimiro took active part in torture.
When Goa became part of India, Casimiro joined as secret service agent of police in Portugal. Portugal then was ruled by economist turned dictator called António de Oliveira Salazar. Salazar was keen to keep whatever had remined of Portuguese Empire. They had already lost their most important colony Brazil in 1822. Inspite of Salazar’s efforts Goa became part of India. They were now keen to retain two other key colonies – Angola and Mozambique.
Salazar’s authority was challenged by another leader General Humberto Delgado. Task of eliminating Delgado was given to Caisimiro. Casimiro shot Delgado and killed him. He also strangulated Delagado secretary, a Brazilian woman called Arajaryr Moreira de Campos.
In Mozambique, Portuguese authority was challenged by nationalist leader Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane. Both Eduardo and Casimiro were born in same year i.e. 1920. Eduardo started nationalist movement called FRELIMO- Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Mozambique Liberation Front). FRELIMO operated from Tanzania.
Casimiro managed to get in to Tanzania and sent a parcel with bomb to Eduardo. The bomb exploded when it was opened by Eduardo and killed him.
After Salazar’s regime was overthrown, Casimiro shifted from Portugal to South Africa. He died in South Africa in 1993.