Goa tourism department calls Marathas 'invaders' on Twitter, later apologises

PANAJI: The Goa tourism department on Friday referred to the Maratha warriors led by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as “invaders”, but deleted the tweet containing that reference soon after and also issued an apology.

The opposition Congress slammed the BJP government in the state for “insulting” the Marathas, even as Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said an inquiry would be launched into the tweet.

The tourism department’s official twitter handle @TourismGoa, while giving information about the Aguada Jail, which is a part of Aguada fort, referred to the Dutch and the Marathas as invaders.

“The Aguada Jail is part of the beautiful Fort Aguada which was built in the year 1612. This fort which once defended Portuguese stronghold against the Dutch and Maratha invaders is divided into two parts- The upper and the lower fort,” the tweet said.

Soon after tweeting it, the department deleted the the post and issued an apology.

“In our post about Aguada fort, the word “invader” was meant to be used for the Dutch. It was intended to be read ‘stronghold against Dutch invaders and Maratha rulers’ instead of the erroneous reference. We regret the error and apologise,” the department said in another tweet.

Ajgaonkar said this kind of error is unacceptable and he would initiate an inquiry into the incident.

“This kind of tweet should not have happened. I will immediately inquire into the incident. This is unacceptable,” the minister said.

Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat, who shared both the tweets of the department, said, “The irresponsible @BJP4Goa Government INSULTS Maratha’s led by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by calling the Great Warriors as INVADERS. @TourismGoa clarification makes propaganda of Salazars Portuguese Regime. Is this the MODIfied History @BJP4India now writing @goacm? @INCGoa.”

Aguada fort, located in North Goa, was built by the Portuguese in 1612.

The Portuguese, who ruled Goa for over four centuries, had turned a part of the fort into a prison.

The fort was built to guard and defend the Portuguese stronghold against the Dutch and the Marathas.