On Parakram Diwas, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi participated in a ceremony to name the 21 largest unnamed islands of Andaman & Nicobar Islands after 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees today via video conferencing. During the programme, the Prime Minister also unveiled the model of the National Memorial dedicated to Netaji to be built on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep.
The Prime Minister noted that today is a historical day for Andaman and Nicobar Islands and said, “When history is being made, the future generations not just remember, assess and evaluate it, but also find constant inspiration from it.”
He added that the foundation stone of a new memorial in honouring the life of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is being laid at the island where he stayed, and remarked that this day will be remembered by future generations as a significant chapter in the Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal. He underlined that the Netaji Memorial and the 21 newly named islands will be a source of constant inspiration for the young generations.
Throwing light on the history of Andaman and Nicobar islands, the Prime Minister informed that the Tricolour was hoisted for the first time here and the first independent government of India was formed. He further added that Veer Savarkar and many other heroes like him had touched the pinnacle of penance and sacrifice for the country on this very land.
He said, “The voices of that unprecedented passion along with immense pain are still heard from the cells of the Cellular Jail today.” The Prime Minister lamented that the identity of Andaman was associated with the symbols of slavery instead of the memories of the freedom struggle and said, “Even the names of our islands had the imprint of slavery.”
The Prime Minister recalled his visit to Port Blair four-five years ago to rename the three main islands and informed, “Today Ross Island has become Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, Havelock and Neil Islands have become Swaraj and Shaheed Islands.”
He noted that the names, Swaraj and Shaheed were given by Netaji himself but no importance was given even after independence. The Prime Minister interjected, “When the Azad Hind Fauj government completed 75 years, our government reinstated these names.”