Govt to rename Ross, Neil & Havelock islands as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep respectively in tribute to the freedom fighter.
New Delhi: The Modi government is continuing with its name-changing spree, with the government now deciding to rename Havelock Island to Swaraj Dweep, Neil Island to Shaheed Dweep and Ross Island to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island.
The three islands are part of the Andamans.
While the proposal has been cleared by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the announcement will be made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his visit to Port Blair on 30 December, to mark the 75th anniversary of Bose’s historic visit to the islands.
“The government has decided to announce the change of name for the three islands —Havelock Island, Neil Island and Ross Island — as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose,” a home ministry official said. “It will be announced along with other plans for the islands during PM’s visit at the end of this month.”
On 30 December 1943, Bose had hoisted the national flag at the Gymkhana Ground (now Netaji Stadium) in Port Blair and announced that the islands were the first Indian territory to be freed from British rule. The islands at the time were captured by the Japanese during World War II.
Bose had then named Andaman Island as Shaheed and Nicobar Island as Swaraj and had appointed INA general A.D. Loganathan as its governor.
Decision a month after letter
The Modi government’s decision comes over a month after West Bengal BJP vice-president Chandra Kumar Bose, who is related to the freedom fighter, had written to the PM urging to him to rename the Andaman & Nicobar Islands as the ‘Shaheed and Swaraj Islands’.
In his letter dated 11 November, Chandra Kumar has described Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as “the first Prime Minister of United Free India”, who had hoisted the national flag at Port Blair establishing the Azad Hind government.
Thus, the letter states, the islands should be named in his honour.
“India is celebrating the 75th year of flag hoisting by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on December 30, 2018. It is very heartening to note that you (PM) would be hoisting the Tricolour at Gymkhana Grounds, Port Blair, exactly from the same location where the first Prime Minister of United India had unfurled the flag,” the letter reads.
“There has been a demand from the people of our great nation that the Government of India rename Andaman & Nicobar Islands as Shaheed & Swaraj Islands as named by Netaji.”