Prime Minister Narendra Modi named the 21 largest unnamed islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands after Param Vir Chakra awardees in a ceremony on Monday on Parakram Diwas. He also unveiled the model of the National Memorial dedicated to Netaji to be built on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep.
The largest unnamed island will be named after the first Param Vir Chakra awardee, the second largest unnamed island will be named after the second Param Vir Chakra awardee, and so on. This step will be an everlasting tribute to our heroes, several of whom had made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.
These islands have been named after the 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees, viz. Major Somnath Sharma; Subedar and Hony Captain (then Lance Naik) Karam Singh, MM; 2nd Lt. Rama Raghoba Rane; Nayak Jadunath Singh; Company Havildar Major Piru Singh; Capt GS Salaria; Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Dhan Singh Thapa; Subedar Joginder Singh; Major Shaitan Singh; CQMH. Abdul Hamid; Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore; Lance Naik Albert Ekka; Major Hoshiar Singh; 2nd Lt. Arun Khetrapal; Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon; Major Ramaswamy Parameswaran; Naib Subedar Bana Singh; Captain Vikram Batra; Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey; Subedar Major (then RifleMan) Sanjay Kumar; and Subedar Major Retd (Hony Captain) Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav.
WHAT THE PM SAID
Noting that it was a historical day, Modi 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.
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 underlined that the naming of the islands of Andaman and Nicobar is not only dedicated to the Paramveer Chakra awardees but also to the Indian armed forces. Recalling that our army had to face wars right from the time of independence, the Prime Minister said that our armed forces have proved their bravery on all fronts. “It is the duty of the country that the soldiers who dedicated themselves to these national defence operations should be widely recognized along with the contributions of the army”, the Prime Minister continued, “Today the country is fulfilling that responsibility and it is being recognized in the name of soldiers and armies.”
NETAJI SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE DWEEP
Keeping in mind the historic significance of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and to honour the memory of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Ross Islands was renamed as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep by the Prime Minister during his visit to the Island in 2018. Neil Island and Havelock Island were also renamed as Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep.