Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday renamed three islands of Andaman and Nicobar as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The three islands — Ross Island, Neil Island and Havelock Island — will now be called Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep, respectively, said Modi at a public function to mark the 75th anniversary of Bose’s declaration of the formation of the Azad Hind government in 1943.
Donning the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) cap, Modi addressed a public meeting at Netaji Stadium on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of the Tricolour by Bose in Port Blair.
“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,” he said.
“The country draws inspiration from Andaman. That is why the government has issued a notification and I am proudly announcing that henceforth, Ross Island will be known as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep. The Neil Island will be known as Shahid Dweep and Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep,” he said.
On this day in 1943, Bose had suggested that Andaman and Nicobar Islands be renamed as Shahid and Swaraj Dweep respectively. During the World War II, the Japanese had captured the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Netaji came here as the Azad Hind Fauz led by him was an ally of the Japanese force.
The PM also released a commemorative stamp, its first-day cover and a Rs 75 coin on this special day. While addressing the public, Modi announced setting up of a deemed university after Netaji.
Modi also hoisted a 150-feet-high national flag in Marina Park, South Point, and said the government is committed to creating an India, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose once dreamt of.
He announced a scheme to boost the employment opportunities for the youths of Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar islands in sectors like tourism, food processing, and information technology among others. He said the height of the dam over Dhanikhari river in Port Blair is being increased so that the people there do not have to face scarcity of water for the next 20 years.
Earlier in the day, the PM visited the Cellular Jail and paid tribute to those who were exiled and hanged as political prisoners in colonial India. He also paid homage to Tsunami victims at the Tsunami Memorial in Car Nicobar. He interacted with the people at a gathering in BJR Stadium in Car Nicobar and congratulated them for overcoming the impact of the natural disaster that wreaked havoc in the islands in 2004.
Modi assured them that his government is working towards providing better facilities to the people of Andaman, adding that foundation stones for a number of development projects relating to education, healthcare, skill development, transportation, energy, and sports were laid on Sunday.
He said their security is one of the top priorities and shared the government’s decision to erect a seawall to deal with the erosion problem. “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 seawall to deal with the problem, the foundation of which was laid today,” he said.
Talking about the initiatives taken by the Centre for the farmers in the region, he said minimum support price (MSP) of coconut husk has been increased from Rs 7,000 per quintal to Rs 9,000 per quintal. He stressed upon the importance of solar power use for the preservation of the environment. “While preserving the environment of the Car Nicobar, the possibilities of electrifying the place with solar power are being explored at the moment,” he said, adding that a 300-KW solar power generation unit will be set up on the island.
He also said that the central government has sanctioned Rs 7,000 crore for the welfare of fishermen across the nation.
Employment for youth, education for children, medical care for the aged and irrigation facilities for the farmers are the key elements that ensure of overall development of the nation, PM said.
(With PTI inputs)