Alvaro de Loyola Furtado
Alvaro de Loyola Furtado (died 23 August 1981), was a member of the Goa assembly and a parliamentarian. He was a founding member of the United Goans Party and also the leader of the United Goans. He was also a social worker, a historian, journalist, physician and humanitarian. He was described as a leader among men, a man of great integrity and honour. He was known to his friends as "Alu".
Birth and familyEdit
Loyola Furtado was born in Goa, in the village of Chinchinim. He was born into one of the prominent families of Goa: the Loyolas of Orlim. His great-grandfather José Inácio de Loyola was a fierce patriot, much before the mainstream Goa freedom struggle and the founder of Partido Indiano. His father, Dr. Miguel de Loyola Furtado, was also an eminent doctor. He was also an activist who edited the "A India Portuguesa" . His elder brother, Mario de Loiola Furtado, was the icon behind Goa's oldest publication the "A India Portuguesa" and is considered a legal luminary amongst Goan lawyers from the Portuguese era, although he died at the young age of 33.
After primary school he joined the Rachol Seminary. He moved to Bangalore for further studies and then passed Inter-Science with distinction from St. Aloysius College. He obtained his medical degree from Madras Medical College in 1941.
World War IIEdit
He was in active service in the Indian Medical Service in the South East Asia Command during World War II for four years. He was awarded the Burma Campaign Medal, the Long Service Medal and War Medal for his meritorious service.
After World War II, he returned to his native village and started a medical practice there. He served the poor and the rich without distinction, often waking up at unearthly hours. He was actively involved in the Tuberculosis Control Programme and rose to the post of Chief of 'Ordem dos Médicos da Índia Portuguesa'. Loyola Furtado was concerned about the decline of the Comunidades and in 1961 he wrote a paper advocating its continuance. As a member of the Goa legislature he moved various resolutions that covered Goan rural life.
Mayor of SalsetteEdit
During Portuguese rule, Loyola Furtado was the mayor of Salcette Municipality for two years where he worked pro-bono. He resigned as he felt that the Portuguese Administration hurt nationalist feelings.
Instituto Vasco da GamaEdit
At the Instituto Vasco da Gama, he wrote articles that led the Governor General Vassalo e Silva to reinstate to the comunidades full ownership rights and abolish rents (foro). Later, he resigned from the Instituto in protest against the Governor's interference in cultural institutions. The Portuguese administration had marked him as a member of the Margao Group of Autonomists and anti-Salazarists.
Loyola Furtado spoke fluent English, Portuguese, Konkani and Latin. He wrote various papers, mostly in Portuguese. Os Primordios de Inprensa e do Jornalismo em Goa e no Resto da índia was an essay on the history of printing and journalism in India. O Diréito de Propriedade Rústica nas Comunidades Aldeanas was a treatise on the Communidades (Ganvkaar) system in Goa and an advocacy of its continuance.
Role in Goa's Liberation MovementEdit
Loyola Furtado was a Goan patriot. He advocated autonomy for the Portuguese colonies in India. When India's independence was declared, the movement for Goa's freedom gained momentum. In July 1946, he took part in a public meeting that openly petitioned the Salazar administration to grant autonomy to the Estado da India. The meeting was presided by his grandfather José Inácio de Loyola. Laxmikant Bhembre proposed a committee to pursue autonomy. Loyola Furtado was one of the members of this committee. However their efforts did not move Salazar.
Loyola Furtado was a founding member of the United Goans Party headed by Dr. Jack de Sequeira. He successfully brought about the merger of four political parties that formed the UGP. He was also a member of the Congresso Provincial de Goa and also a member of the delegation that met Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to apprise him of the aspirations of Goans, for a separate political identity.
In the first Goa, Daman and Diu Assembly elections, Loyola Furtado contested from Navelim on the United Goans Party ticket and won. He led a revolt against the party president Dr. Jack de Sequeira in 1967 on the issue of the Goa Opinion Poll and formed a splinter group that came to be known after him as United Goans Party (Furtado Group). The remaining members came to be known as United Goans Party (Sequiera Group).
The assembly had been dissolved prior to the Opinion Poll to ensure a free and fair referendum. In the following election, the Furtado Group contested in six constituencies. They lost all seats.
In acknowledgement of his contribution, the people of Chinchinim have respectfully named the main road from St Sebastian's Chapel, Chinchinim, to the Assolna bridge in his honour.
Teotonio de Souza published a work "A Scholar's Discovery of Goa", Alvaro de Loyola Furtado: A Tribute from his Fellow Citizens in 1982 as a tribute to Loyola Furtado.
- COLACO, Dr FRANCISCO C; Xanno Moidecar (22 August 2006). "THE STATE OF GOA". Retrieved 23 May 2009.
- "Loyola-Furtado House-Chinchini". Houses of Goa Museum. Retrieved 23 May 2009.
- Prabhudesai, Sandesh (29 November 1999). "Goa has 'glorious' history of defections !". Goanews.com. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2009.