The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the naming ceremony of 21 largest unnamed Andaman and Nicobar Islands after 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees today through video conference, On Parakram Diwas. During the programme, the Prime Minister also unveiled a model of the National Memorial dedicated to Netaji to be built at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister greeted everyone on the occasion of Parakram Diwas and noted that this inspirational day is being celebrated across the country to mark the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Noting that today is a historic day for Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Prime Minister said, “When history is made, it is not only remembered, appreciated and valued by future generations but also finds constant inspiration in it.
The Prime Minister informed that the naming ceremony of 21 islands from Andaman and Nicobar Islands which will now be recognized as the names of 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees is taking place today. He further added that the foundation stone of a new memorial to honor the life of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is being laid on the island where he stayed and noted that this day will be remembered by future generations as a significant chapter in Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal. The Prime Minister emphasized that the Netaji Memorial and the 21 newly named islands will be a source of constant inspiration for the young generation.
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.”