Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday virtually unveiled the model of a proposed memorial dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, to be set up in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and said it will infuse feelings of patriotism among the people.
On the 126th anniversary of Netaji’s birth, Modi also gave the Union territory’s 21 islands new names in honour of recipients of the Param Vir Chakra. PM Modi said, “Today, it is a proud moment for me as I address the people of Andamans because this is the land where Subhas Chandra Bose unfurled the national flag for the first time in 1943.”
He noted that the islands — named after famous soldiers including Major Somnath Sharma, Lt Colonel (then Major) Dhan Singh Thapa; Subedar Joginder Singh; Major Shaitan Singh; Company Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hamid, 2nd Lt Arun Khetrapal and Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon — will be a source of inspiration for generations to come.
The PM added that although efforts had been made to minimise Netaji’s contribution to the liberation fight, the entire nation—from Delhi and Bengal to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands—is today honouring the great hero by conserving the history and culture that are connected to him.
He also emphasised that numerous people had long called for the declassification of Netaji’s files, and it was his government that did so. He said that Netaji would be remembered for his tenacious opposition to colonial control.
The proposed memorial will be built on Ross Island, which was renamed Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep in 2018. PM Modi unveiled the memorial’s model on Monday. In addition to a lounge, it will have a museum, a cable car ropeway, a laser and sound show, a guided heritage walk through old buildings, and a children’s amusement park with a theme.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah earlier praised the move to christen the 21 islands and expressed hope that it would inspire the nation’s military personnel. He added that the Union territory’s cells jail, where many freedom fighters were held captive, is no less than a “pilgrimage place.”
The list of the islands named after PVC awardees:
1. Dhan Singh Island after Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Dhan Singh Thapa
2. Tarapore Island after Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore
3. Karam Singh Island after Lance Naik (Hon Captain) Karam Singh
4. Bana Island after Naib Subedar Bana Singh
5. Ekka Island after Lance Naik Albert Ekka
6. Khetrapal Island after 2nd Lt Arun Khetrapal
7. Pandey Island after Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey
8. Hoshiar Island after Major Hoshiar Singh
9. Shaitan Island after Major Shaitan Singh
10. Jadunath Island after Nayak Jadunath Singh
11. Yogender Island after Subedar Major (Hon Captain) Yogendra Singh Yadav
12. Hamid Island after Company Quartermaster Havildar (CQMH) Abdul Hamid
13. Rane Island after 2nd Lt Rama Raghoba Rane
14. Ramaswamy Island after Major Ramaswamy Parameswaran
15. Batra Island after Captain Vikram Batra
16. Joginder Island after Subedar Joginder Singh
17. Salaria Island after Captain G S Salaria (then Major)
18. Piru Island after Company Havildar Major Piru Singh
19. Somnath Island after Major Somnath Sharma
20. Sekhon Island after Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon
21. Sanjay Island after Subedar Major (the RifleMan) Sanjay Kumar.