Vasco da Gama is often venerated by the liberals in India. He has often been touted by this ignorant and Hinduphobics Secularists think. And, they hold him in high esteem as the first “emancipator” of lower castes from Brahmanical tyranny. Remember, he was the first Christian to establish power in India.
The truth, however, was very different!
Excerpt from the book (Mappila Muslims: A Study on Society and Anti Colonial Struggles by Husain Raṇṭattāṇi) lays out the atrocities that Vasco da Gama unleashed unprovoked. It is a matter of discussion as to how many folks returning from Mecca were killed 400 or 700, but what is not debatable is that half of them were women and children!
Further, he was a barbaric imperialist fueled by the desire to spread Christianity and loot the others who unleashed unspeakable horrors on the innocents in Kerala. As the Paris-based Historian J B P More states in his interview with Shobha Warrier.
On October 27, 1502, he seized 50 Malabaris at sea, got their heads, legs and hands cut off and sent ashore in a boat with a message in Arabic, asking the Zamorin to make curry out of the severed limbs.
Not satisfied with this, he bombarded Calicut from the sea for three consecutive days and razed it to the ground, killing several hundred people in the process.
All these crimes have been recorded by Portuguese chroniclers and have gone unpunished.
He had been ordered by the Portuguese ruler to “capture the wealth and land of the barbarians, Moors, and pagans” apart from proclaiming Jesus. They mixed with the local people and created a mixed-race that would be loyal to them and help them. They achieved all this by proselytization and forcible conversions.
Accolades for this achievement have long obscured the messianic motivation for the 1498 voyage, “to invade, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens (Muslims) and pagans and other enemies of Christ; to reduce them to perpetual slavery; to convert them to Christianity; [and] to acquire great wealth by force of arms from the Infidels,” as sanctified by various Papal Bulls, together called “the Doctrine of Discovery” (Dum Diversas, 1452; Romanus Pontifex, 1455; Inter Caetera, 1493). (source:Vasco da Gama’s Voyages to India: Messianism, Mercantilism, and Sacred Exploits by S. M. Ghazanfar)
Here is a link to the paper – Vasco da Gama_s Voyages to India.
The Indian kids have always been misinformed by ideologically compromised so-called historians in our school texts that Vasco da Gama was some kind of intrepid explorer. Far from it. He was a barbaric monster who wanted to proselytize Christianity and loot, plunder, kill and enslave the non-Christians, especially Muslims and pagans (which was shorthand pejorative for Hindus).
We need to revisit the history that has been thrust upon by the imperialist monsters on humanity and make it closer to reality.