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PM Modi names 21 islands in Andamans on war heroes, says they symbolise “India first” doctrine

PM Modi attends programme to name 21 islands of Andaman & Nicobar Islands after Param Vir Chakra awardees

The memory and lionisation of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as a national hero loomed large, as PM Modi spoke via videoconference at the unveiling ceremony.  The event was held on Parakram Diwas, celebrated each year on January 23, Netaji’s birthday.

The naming of the unnamed islands highlighted Subhash Bose’s pioneering effort of unfurling the national flag of a free India in the Andaman’s in 1943—an inspirational event which contributed significantly to the eventual transfer of power four years later.

In recognition of Bose’s massive contribution to India’s freedom struggle, whether it was in the form of the formation of the Indian National Army (INA) in Burma or triggering the naval mutiny, which convinced the British to leave India, or inspiring millions to fight for a united modern and progressive India, PM Modi unveiled the model of the National Memorial dedicated to Netaji to be built on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, earlier known as Ross Islands.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah was also present at the ceremony in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


“Today, on Parakram Diwas, I pay homage to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and recall his unparalleled contribution to India’s history. He will be remembered for his fierce resistance to colonial rule. Deeply influenced by his thoughts, we are working to realise his vision for India,” PM Modi had earlier tweeted.


The Prime Minister stressed that after years of neglect, his government had fully recognised Netaji’s pivotal role in India’s freedom movement, and imparting it a new identity.  In view of the historical significance of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and to honour the memory of Netaji, 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 Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep. In recognition of Subhash Bose as a symbol of the rise of a New India, the Modi administration in September had unveiled the statue of Bose at India Gate, the heartbeat of the Republic.

During his address, the Prime Minister stressed that the naming of the islands was meant to amplify the national vision of “Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat ” and the spirit of  “India First”—the primacy of the nation in all endeavours.

“Just like an ocean connects different islands, similarly, the feeling of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ ignites the spirit of Bharat Mata and India First,” PM observed.

The Prime Minister said that “India First was the only resolution for all 21 Paramveers; today in the naming of these islands, their resolution has become immortal forever”.

The largest unnamed island was named after the first Param Vir Chakra awardee, Major Somnath Sharma, who was martyred on November 3, 1947 while repulsing Pakistani infiltrators near Srinagar Airport.

“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,” PMO statement earlier said.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the potential of the Andamans, which had already been linked to the mainland submarine optical fibre cable was huge, whether it was in raising national consciousness or for promoting tourism on a mega-scale. He added that today’s event threaded the numerous steps that were being undertaken to usher in “Amritkal”—the 25 year period that will culminate in 2047, when India becomes a fully developed nation, completing 100 years of its independence.

Also Read: PM Modi to name 21 islands of Andaman & Nicobar after India’s war heroes