AN UNKNOWN FREEDOM FIGHTER

We do remember our freedom fighters. Each one of them has done a lot for the liberation of Goa. I have come to know about one of them who has remained unknown, though he has been living as a man for others.

Professor Carlos da Cruz was a man of character, dedicated, sincere, selfless, who fought for the human rights till his death. He was a man of silence, but a man of action: silent action. He continued to live in silence in the memory of our people. He was a man of calibre. Even stones should be telling about the moral greatness of this man. Carlos Luís Martinho Nazário da Cruz was born on July 28, 1907 in Chandor (Chandrapur), Salsete, Goa. His parents were João Napoleão Víctor da Cruz and Amélia Ritinha Clara Lobo e Cruz. He excelled in several fields: he was a professor/teacher, journalist, freedom fighter, selfless social worker. It is interesting to know about his life so that our youth may emulate him.

He studied in the National Lyceum of Panjim (Nova Goa). He was not allowed to finish his studies, because he revealed his independence of spirit. He completed his Escola Normal and did the examination of law, without having finished the 5th year of Lyceum. He was clever and passed his exams with flying colours. He was sent to the backward village of Arambol, where he toiled and moiled for the poor people. He started a night school for the workers. It was the first night school in Goa. He taught them human rights and etiquette. He was writing constructive articles for journals. He was sending articles for «Anglo-Lusitano», but they were not published. Then he began his own paper «Oriente» and continued to fight against injustice perpetrated by the Portuguese Government aginst Goan people. He was transferred to Silvassa, capital of the district of Dadra and Nagar-Haveli (which was belonging to the Portuguese till 1954). He continued to teach and impart the knowledge of the Portuguese language and culture to the simple people. He observed inhuman conditions of the people and worked for them. The people were adivasis, indigenous and primitive. There was a lot of corruption there. He began publishing another journal «Sandalcado», under the name of a river that flows between Great Daman and Small Daman. He was dismissed from the service, nonetheless he continued to work and to fight for the rights. He was imprisoned by Portuguese authorities twelve times, he was really a “saviour” for those people. He came to know other Goan revolutionaries, like Dr.Tristão Bragança Cunha, and became an active member of the Committee of the Goa Congress. He was also in contact with the nationalist leaders like Ram Manohar Lohia. He was writing to Jawaharlal Nehru on political events of Goa. On August 2, 1954, Nagar-Haveli was liberated and became part and parcel of India. The Government of India named him Public Prosecutor of Nagar-Aveli. Even in this post he worked for the uplift of the adivasis.

He died suddenly at the tender age of 51 years, after a brief illness, on August 25 of 1958. While he was ill, he heard the National Anthem and got up from the bed and gave one rupee for his burial. He died poor without leaving one pie. He devoted himself for the uplift of the masses.

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