Unnamed Islands: On Parakram Diwas, the Prime Minister, Shri 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.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister greeted everyone on the occasion of Parakram Diwas and remarked this inspirational day is celebrated countrywide on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. 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.”
The Prime Minister informed that the naming ceremony of 21 islands from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is taking place today and they will now be recognised as the names of 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees. He further 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. The Prime Minister 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.”
The Prime Minister observed the 21st century of India which is remembering the same Netaji that was once lost in the pages of history after India’s independence. He highlighted the sky-high Indian flag which is hoisted today at the same spot where Netaji hoisted the Tricolour for the first time in Andaman and remarked that it fills the hearts of all countrymen with patriotism who visit the place.
He noted that the new museum and memorial which is going to be built in his memory will make the trip to Andaman even more memorable. The Prime Minister highlighted the Netaji Museum that was inaugurated at the Red Fort of Delhi in 2019 and said that place has become a source of inspiration for the people. He also noted the special events that were held in Bengal on his 125th birth anniversary and the day being declared as Parakram Diwas. “From Bengal to Delhi to Andaman, every part of the country salutes and cherishes the legacy of Netaji”, the Prime Minister remarked.
The Prime Minister highlighted the works related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose which should have been done immediately after independence and informed that they have been carried out in the last 8-9 years. He underlined that the first government of independent India was formed in this part of the country in 1943 and the country is accepting it with more pride.
He noted that the country paid homage to Netaji by hoisting the flag at the Red Fort on the completion of 75 years of the formation of the Azad Hind Government. The Prime Minister emphasised the demand to declassify files related to Netaji’s life for decades and noted that the work was done with full devotion. “Today, the grand statue of Netaji in front of our democratic institutions and Kartavya Path is reminding us of our duties.”, the Prime Minister said.
Noting that the countries which connected their imminent personalities and freedom fighters with the public in due time and, created and shared capable ideals, are the ones that went far ahead in the race of development and nation-building, the Prime Minister underlined that India is taking similar steps in the Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal.
Drawing an analogy with the Andaman and Nicobar Island of the past that gave a new direction to the freedom struggle, the Prime Minister concluded his address by mentioning that the region will also give a new impetus to the development of the country in the future. “I am confident, we will build an India that is capable, and will attain the heights of modern development”, the Prime Minister remarked.
Union Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah, and Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Admiral D K Joshi, Chief of Defence Staff, General Anil Chauhan were present on the occasion among others.