PM Modi Falsely Claims Mughals Ruled India When Portuguese Captured Goa

According to historical records, the Portuguese captured Goa in 1510, 16 years before Babur, the first Mughal emperor, ascended the throne in Delhi.

At an event to mark the Goa Liberation Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on December 19, claimed that when the Portuguese captured Goa, a large portion of India was under the Mughal rule.

"Goa came under Portuguese rule at a time when other major parts of the country were ruled by the Mughals. After that, India saw several political storms and changes in power but despite all the changes in time and politics, neither did Goa forget its Indianness, nor did India forget Goa," Modi said.

PM Modi's comments were carried by news agencies ANI and PTI and many news organisations without fact-checking the claim.

BOOM spoke to historians and checked records to find out that the Prime Minister is wrong.

According to various historical records, the Portuguese captured Goa in 1510, 16 years before Babur, the first Mughal emperor, ascended the throne in Delhi.

When Did The Portuguese Capture Goa?

Books and historical records point to 1510 as the year when Goa was captured by the Portuguese.

According to many historical records, the Portuguese captured Goa in 1510 with the help of Thimmoja (Timmayya), a pirate rumoured to be in the services of the Vijaynagara empire.

In his "Book of Duarte Barbosa", Portuguese historian Duarte Barbosa writes that the Portuguese under Governor of Portuguese India Afonso de Albuquerque attacked and captured Goa.

In "Indies adventure: The Amazing Career of Afonso de Albuquerque, Captain-general and Governor of India", Elaine Sanceau writes that de Albuquerque was on his way to fight the Egyptian Mamluk Sultanate in the Red Sea when he met Timmayya, an Indian pirate who served the Vijaynagara empire in Mirjan on February 24, 1510.

Timmayya advised de Albuquerque to attack the port city of Goa and establish a presence for the Portuguese empire in India. Timmayya, Sanceau writes, informed the Portuguese that Goa had been captured from the Vijaynagara empire by Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur. However, the port was being run by Turks and Persians who were building ships for the Egyptian Mamluk Sultanate.

Expanding on why Goa was left defenceless at that time, the author of the book notes that the inhabitants of Goa, nearly all Hindus, were "made to work like slaves" and "ground down by taxation".

Timmayya told de Albuquerque that Goa was an excellent port and rivalled Calicut on the west coast.

Soon after, the Portuguese under de Albuquerque easily captured the fort at Panjim. The capture of the port was well received by the natives.

In his "Goa-Kanara Portuguese Relations, 1498-1763", Bhagamandala Seetharama Shastry writes that the Adil Shah attacked the Portuguese in April-May 1510 and recaptured Goa. The Portuguese recaptured the port on November 25, 1510, and established their base in India.

The website of the Department of Information and Publicity of the Goan government also mentions that Goa was captured by the Portuguese in 1510.

Did Mughals Rule India During This Time?


The Mughal Empire was established in India after Babur defeated the Sultan of Delhi Ibrahim Lodi in the First Battle of Panipat.

According to the National Institute of Open Learning, Babur, a descendant of Timur and Genghiz Khan, decided to leave Samarkand and turn his attention towards India by 1517. He captured Sialkot in 1520 and Lahore in 1524 before bringing down the Delhi Sultanate in 1526.

According to Professor Najaf Haider of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Mughal empire was established only in 1526, well after the Portuguese captured Goa.

"The Mughals came to power in 1526 in north India. They managed to capture Gujarat in 1572 and only then move on towards western and southern India. The Mughals were not in power when the Portuguese captured Goa," Prof Haider told BOOM.

Claim :   Goa was captured by the Portuguese when the Mughals were in power in India.
Claimed By :  Narendra Modi
Fact Check :  False
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