Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the renaming of Andaman and Nicobar’s three islands on Sunday. The new names honour Indian nationalist, Subhash Chandra Bose
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi renamed three islands of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago on Sunday. The change was made as a tribute to Indian nationalist and political leader, Subhash Chandra Bose, popularly known as ‘Netaji’.
Ross Island, situated 3 km east from the capital city of Port Blair was renamed as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep, while Neil Island, famous for its sanctuary of turtles, was renamed as Shaheed Dweep. Andaman’s Havelock Island, with forested interiors that is home to rare birdlife, was renamed as Swaraj Dweep on Sunday. The three retitled islands are the archipelago’s most popular tourist attractions.
The Prime Minister also inaugurated several energy, connectivity, health, education and tourism projects in the region. Further addressing an audience at the multi-purpose Netaji Stadium in Port Blair, PM Narendra Modi asserted, “When it comes to heroes of the freedom struggle, we take the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with pride. The first Prime Minister of the Azad Hind government, Subhash Babu had made India’s independence resolution on the soil of Andaman”.
During World War II, the Indian nationalist leader Subhash Chandra Bose led the India National Army or as it was commonly known, the Azad Hind Fauj to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Indian armed force was a Japanese Ally during Japan’s capture of the archipelago.
On December 30, 1943, the Indian political leader suggested the renaming of Andaman and Nicobar islands to Swaraj Dweep and Shaheed Dweep.
Indian Prime Minister, who wore an Azad Hind Fauj cap for his address on the 75th anniversary of flag hoisting by the Indian nationalist leader in Andaman said, “The historical event of 30th December 1943 has been completed today after 75 years”.
The address witnessed several phone flashlights, switched on to honour Subhash Chandra Bose. PM Narendra Modi also released a commemorative stamp and a Rs. 75 coin to honour the nationalist leader. He further revealed his plans to establish a deemed university in the region, named after Subhash Chandra Bose.
Reinforcing the value of the archipelago as a treasured part of India, Indian PM said, “Often, people make a distinction between mainland and island. For me, the entire India is mainland. Port Blair is as much mainland for me as Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai”.
Moreover, addressing the climatic concerns of Car Nicobar post the devastating 2004 tsunami, the PM affirmed, “The people here have been demanding a solution to the problem of sea erosion for a long time. I am glad to announce that the government has decided to erect a sea wall to deal with the problem, the foundation of which will be laid today”.
Prior to his address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Cellular Jail, popularly known as ‘Kala Pani’. The site, constructed between 1896 to 1906, was used to exile many Indian freedom fighters in Colonial India. The PM also hoisted the Indian flag on a 150-feet high mast in the Marina Park, Port Blair.