Kaustubh Naik will present a paper titled, ‘Navigating the ambivalence – O Bharat and the Hindus of Portuguese Goa’ at the International Congress on Politics and Culture in Colonial Periodical Press, to be held at the New University of Lisbon, Portugal. The Congress will be held from 22-25 May, 2017 and the concept note of the Congress is available here.
Naik’s paper looks at the end of constitutional monarchy in Portugal and its subsequent transition into a Republic in 1910 as a critical moment in the history of Portuguese Goa, as it enfranchised Goan Hindus into the state administration, albeit in a restricted manner. Among other implications of this moment, perceived as a step towards freedom, the printing and circulation of Marathi periodicals in Goa saw a surge post 1910. Marathi periodicals in Goa have been regarded as the proof of the cultural inertia of the Goan Hindus, who shielded themselves from so called ‘westernization’. These periodicals, post-1910, emerged as sites that were representative of the efforts of the Goan Hindu communities that were repositioning themselves in an ambivalent political future that loomed over the initial half of the 20th century in Portuguese Goa. As an illustrative case for this observation, this paper will focus on the writings published in O Bharat, the longest running multilingual periodical (1912-1949) published from Portuguese Goa. Through critical analysis of these writings, this paper seeks to foreground the manner in which the Goan Hindu communities were mediating the Indian nationalist discourses originating from the British India while simultaneously grappling with the autonomy of the Portuguese Republic.