A Twitter user Savitri Mumukshu with username – @Mumukshusavitri wrote an informative thread where she stated the story of the immoral & cruel practices used by the Portugese to forcibly convert Hindus & usurp their ancestral lands under Christian control, which are not mentioned in our history books.

We know about the horrific tortures of the Goan Inquisition, but the story of the immoral & cruel practices used by the Portugese to forcibly convert Hindus & usurp their ancestral lands under Christian control, are not even mentioned in history books.

On March 23, 1559, the Portugese government of Goa issued a barbaric order declaring that any Hindu orphan must be forcibly handed over to the College of St. Paul of the Society of Jesus to be baptized, educated and indoctrinated into Christianity.

The law was part of a well planned devious strategy to force helpless Hindu orphans into converting to Christianity. Orginally, the decree applied to orphans who had no parents, or living relatives, but soon Hindu children with parents were kidnapped to be baptized forcefully.

The Inquisitors terrorized Hindus saying orphans were being hidden or removed to prevent baptism. The real reason for their eagerness to snatch away orphans was not to save their souls but a twisted strategy to take over all the land & property belonging to Hindus.

On March 31, 1677, the King of Portugal acknowledged a petition by Hindus of Goa, complaining that the “Father of Orphans” was kidnapping fatherless Hindu boys from their mothers & baptizing them by force, to take over the estates they would inherit after their father’s death.

The helpless Hindus were horrified that their orphans were being forcibly snatched along with their estates to be forcibly baptized. Several disputes arose continuously between Shivaji & the Portugese due to forcible abduction & conversion of Hindu orphans for their estates.

Soon the cruel Portugese took away even those children whose fathers were still alive. In a letter addressed to the Viceroy on March 21, 1709, the Portugese King referred to stunned Hindus crying about such incidents. Imagine the helplessness of Hindu parents in such an era.

Portugese Inquisitors could forcibly enter houses anytime & snatch away children to baptize them. When parents desperately tried to prove their kids were not orphans, the Portugese refused to accept Hindus as witnesses. New converts refused to help out of greed & fear.

On March 26, 1559, a decree declared sons & grandsons could only inherit estates if they converted. On July 27, 1559, it was declared that daughters could only inherit by converting. If a Hindu died without heirs or a will, their estate automatically became Portugese property.

Panic spread among Hindus as it meant that their children would not inherit their estates unless they converted. The insidious plan left Hindu parents with no other option other than to flee or have their children baptized so that they could still retain their rightful estate.

A Hindu wife, whose husband refused to convert, could separate from her husband, convert & get half his estate, even while he was living. This was to lure Hindu wives into converting even if their husbands didn’t, but it is doubtful if any Hindu wife claimed such benefit.

Sons & daughters whose father was still alive, could grab 1/3 of their father’s estate, to inherit the rest after his death, simply by converting to Christianity. This rule was devised to divide Hindu families by greed & push them into the Christian fold.

The situation became so desperate that Hindus started sending their children outside Portugese territories to save them from forced baptism. On July 11, 1718, the Viceroy issued an order to forcibly stop Hindus from doing so, under threat of violent imprisonment & punishment.

Hindus who sent away their children to prevent conversion, were punished by having their estates usurped & corporal punishment. If a Hindu family had no surviving male heirs, the widow or remaining female children could inherit property only if they converted to Christianity.

Desperate & helpless, surviving females had no choice but to convert. If they refused, any surviving relative could inherit the property, just by converting to Christianity. Many of them converted due to fear of sexual abuse or worse at the hands of the barbaric Portugese.

As children were snatched away from families to be baptized, their share of land was brazenly given to Christian control. Desperate Hindus began embracing Christianity to keep their children. The Portugese created such unjust laws that there was no option left but to submit.

In particular Brahmins were so persecuted that they had to flee, leaving their estates behind. They were desperate to save their faith & children from forcible conversion. Those who stayed, suffered relentless torture & separation from their children to finally convert.

Brahmins were the targets of worst torture, to force their children into conversion. If they refused, the Inquisitors cut off their Shikhas, the holy tuft of hair on a Brahmin’s head in order to humiliate & endanger their caste status & then just take away their children.

The story of how the Hindus of Goa were forced to submit their children to conversion is one of the most horrifying sagas of history. Baptism of orphans was just an excuse. The real agenda of the Portugese was to gain control over Hindu property & minds of future generations.

This plan enabled the Portugese Christians to usurp & convert all of Gomantaka, ancient land of temples, into a land of churches. Every rule of humanity was broken to forcibly enslave, convert & steal from Hindus to satisfy the insatiable greed for Hindu land, wealth & souls.

References:
The Goa Inquisition by Anant Kakba Priolkar

Early Catholic Missions to India by James F.B. Tinling

An Account of the Inquisition at Goa in India translated from the French of M. Dellon.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.