Saluting war heroes : The Tribune India

Saluting war heroes

Tribute to Andamans’ historical & strategic importance

Saluting war heroes

21 islands of Andaman & Nicobar named after 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees. PTI



THE Union Government deserves appreciation for naming 21 islands of the Andamans after Param Vir Chakra awardees. Befittingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement on the occasion of the 126th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the legendary freedom fighter who had hoisted the Tricolour in the archipelago on December 30, 1943. The PM also unveiled the model of a Bose memorial to be set up on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island, which was previously known as Ross Island. It was on December 30, 2018, that the PM had announced the renaming of Ross Island, Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep) and Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep) to honour Bose’s memory and acknowledge the Andamans’ contribution to the freedom struggle.

The 21 islands have been named after valiant soldiers such as Major Somnath Sharma (the first Param Vir Chakra awardee), Major Shaitan Singh, Lance Naik Albert Ekka, Major (later Colonel) Hoshiar Singh, 2nd Lt Arun Khetarpal, Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, Captain Vikram Batra and Grenadier (later Subedar Major and Hony Captain) Yogendra Singh Yadav. Most of these heroes made the supreme sacrifice during various wars that India has fought since Independence. This special homage is also a glowing tribute to the armed forces’ all-important role in defending the nation’s borders over the decades.

The government’s laudable gesture has turned the spotlight on the Andamans, which are best known not only for their wonderful beaches but also for the Cellular Jail, where India’s freedom fighters were incarcerated by British rulers. Home Minister Amit Shah has stated that the PM is working on making the islands self-reliant. This is a huge challenge as the archipelago needs better Internet connectivity and a robust road network. The development of infrastructure is necessitated by the Andamans’ strategic importance in view of their proximity to the Indo-Pacific region. Established in 2001, the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) is India’s sole integrated theatre command. Its operational preparedness is vital for national security amid the military threat posed by China. Bolstering the ANC is also a prerequisite for carrying out much-delayed theatrisation of the defence forces. 

#narendra modi #Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

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