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 people. Modi, on the occasion of Netaji’s 126th birth anniversary, also named 21 islands of the Union Territory after Param Vir Chakra awardees.
“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,” the Prime Minister said. The freedom fighter had hoisted the Tricolour in the archipelago on December 30, 1943.
PM Modi 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.
“It gives me immense pleasure to announce the naming of 21 islands after Param Vir Chakra awardees and to inaugurate the model of a proposed memorial at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island (previously known as Ross Island). “One should see the naming of 21 islands as ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ and the memorial will infuse feelings of patriotism in the hearts of people,” he said. PM Modi also mentioned that islands named earlier in the day after Param Vir Chakra awardees “will be the land of inspiration for generations to come”.
The Prime Minister said that attempts were made to “downplay” Netaji’s contribution to the freedom movement, but the entire country, right from Delhi and Bengal to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is paying tribute to the great hero today, preserving history and heritage associated with him. “Attempt was made to suppress Netaji’s contribution towards freedom struggle, but the entire nation is remembering him today. Netaji will be remembered for his fierce resistance to the colonial rule. I am deeply influenced by his thoughts,” PM Modi said.
He also pointed out that demands to make Netaji’s files public were made by many for long, and it was his Government which eventually declassified the files.
Following is the list of the islands:
Dhan Singh Island after Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Dhan Singh Thapa
Tarapore Island after Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore
Karam Singh Island after Lance Naik (Hony. Captain) Karam Singh
Bana Island after Naib Subedar Bana Singh
Ekka Island after Lance Naik Albert Ekka
Khetrapal Island after 2nd Lt Arun Khetrapal
Pandey Island after Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey
Hoshiar Island after Major Hoshiar Singh
Shaitan Island after Major Shaitan Singh
Jadunath Island after Nayak Jadunath Singh
Yogender Island after Subedar Major (Hony. Captain) Yogendra Singh Yadav
Hamid Island after Company Quartermaster Havildar (CQMH) Abdul Hamid
Rane Island after 2nd Lt Rama Raghoba Rane
Ramaswamy Island after Major Ramaswamy Parameswaran
Batra Island after Captain Vikram Batra
Joginder Island after Subedar Joginder Singh
Salaria Island after Captain G S Salaria (then Major)
Piru Island after Company Havildar Major Piru Singh
Somnath Island after Major Somnath Sharma
Sekhon Island after Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon
Sanjay Island after Subedar Major (then RifleMan) Sanjay Kumar.