• Monday, January 30, 2023

HEADLINE STORY

On Netaji Subhas Bose birth anniversary, Modi names 21 largest Andaman & Nicobar islands after Indian heroes

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi pays homage to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on Parakram Diwas, in New Delhi, on Monday, January 23, 2023. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday (23) named 21 largest islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands after the recipients of the country’s prestigious Param Vir Chakra award at a ceremony on the occasion of Parakram Diwas, which is observed on January 23 every year since 2021 to commemorate the birth anniversary of iconic freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

On the occasion, Modi also virtually unveiled the model of the National Memorial to be built on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep (island) in the Andamans, which was earlier known as Ross Islands.

Indian home minister Amit Shah was present at the ceremony in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in person.

The largest unnamed island was named after the first Param Vir Chakra awardee, Major Somnath Sharma, who lost his life in action on November 3, 1947, while fighting 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,” the prime minister’s office (PMO) said in a statement.

Keeping in mind the historical significance of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and to honour the memory of Bose, Ross Islands was renamed as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep by PM Modi during his visit to the Island in 2018.

Neil Island and Havelock Island were also renamed Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep, respectively.

“Giving due respect to the real-life heroes of the country has always been accorded the highest priority by the Prime Minister. Going ahead with this spirit, it has now been decided to name the 21 largest unnamed islands of the island group after 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees,” the PMO’s statement added.

During the day, Modi, along with the speaker of Lok Sabha or the Lower House of Indian parliament, Om Birla; leaders of parties in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the Upper House; current and former parliamentarians and other dignitaries paid floral tributes to the portrait of Bose in the Central Hall of Parliament House.

Born on January 23, 1897, in Cuttack in today’s Odisha, Bose played a crucial role in India’s freedom movement. His death, however, remains an mystery in the pages of history as debate continues till date over the controversy that he had died in a plane crash in Taipei in August 1945.

Last year, Modi unveiled a hologram statue of Bose at India Gate in New Delhi on the occasion of Bose’s 125th birth anniversary.

(With ANI inputs)

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