A young man along with few others inspired by the ideals of what would be known as ‘French revolution’ staged a revolt in the Portuguese colony of Goa. Today it is famously known as Pinto’s revolt, this enduring tale of a group that tried to uproot the Portuguese from the Goa soil. Question arises, was the revolt out of love for Goa or motivated by self interest?
One of the main reasons for these men to revolt was due to the unequal treatment meted to them by the Portuguese in regards to their European counterparts. Locals were never given higher positions, which enraged them chalk out a plan to throw the Portuguese out of Goa.
According to sources, Pinto’s revolt earned its name from the house that was used by these conspirators belonged to the Pinto clan. That is why the conspiracy is known by that name. It was planned in the prominent village of Candolim in Goa.
The conspiracy involved the members of clergy and military along with others. The gravity of the situation has to be understood as these men were people who were involved deep in the Portuguese administration.
Some of the conspirators were Fr. Caetano Vitorino de Faria, the mastermind, Fr. Caetano Francisco do Couto, Fr. José António Gonçalves of Divar, Judge José da Rocha Dantas e Mendonça and Fr. José Custódio de Faria, also known as Abbé Faria.
This attempt wasn’t an unplanned. The conspirators were visionary so to say. Not only did they plan to overthrow the Portuguese but also sustain it by aligning themselves with Mysore state. They had even negotiated with Tipu Sultan for that matter.
The plan was to launch a Coup d’état against the Portuguese rule in Goa, once achieved; Tipu Sultan would invade and take over Goa. Thus even if Portuguese tried to take back Goa at a later time, it would be difficult.
But the plan was revealed to Portuguese before it could be materialized. 47 people were arrested and later punished; these included 17 priest and sevan army officers. 15 of them were executed next to the old mint house in Panjim that exists even today.
The ones that evaded capture managed to escape to British India and survived. Some went across the sea to foreign lands. Abbe Faria who escaped to France later became an active member in the French revolution.
It is very important to understand if this scheme had succeeded. Probably the Portuguese rule would have ended much earlier and the history would have been very different from what we know today.