Union Home Minister Amit Shah praised the Centre’s decision to name 21 Andaman-Nicobar islands after Param Vir Chakra awardees, saying that no country in the world has undertaken such a task of honouring the soldiers who fought for it.

Home Minister Amit Shah was speaking at a programme to name 21 Andaman and Nicobar Islands after PM Modi’s 21 valiant Param Vir Chakra awardees. “Today, this initiative of PM Modi, under which 21 big islands of Andaman-Nicobar Islands have been associated with names of our Paramveer Chakra winners and effort to perpetuate their memory as long as this earth lasts, will increase the army’s enthusiasm,” Shah said. He stated that the decision acknowledged and valued the Islands’ connection to India’s Independence Movement.

“All decisions taken under the strong leadership of PM Modi certainly acknowledge and appreciate the connection that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have with the Indian Independence Movement,” Shah said. He also stated that the naming of the islands is very inspiring to the Armed Forces.Shah went on to say that the cellular jail is more than just a prison; it is a place of pilgrimage for those fighting for freedom.

“Cellular Jail is not just a jail, it is a great place of pilgrimage for the freedom struggle. “This part of the country was the first to be honoured with independence, and it was honoured by the leader himself by unfurling the tricolour,” Amit Shah said.

Home Minister Amit Shah stated that the 21 islands have not been named, but the Prime Minister has lit 21 lamps to honour the bravery of 21 heroes. Shah also claimed that there have been efforts to forget Subhash Chandra Bose, adding that brave people do not rely on others to remember them. “It is unfortunate that many efforts were made to forget Subhash ji, but those who are brave are not dependent on anyone for their memory. “We installed a statue of Subhash Babu on the duty path and celebrated his birth anniversary as ‘Parakram Diwas,'” Shah explained.

In a ceremony held on Monday to commemorate Param Vir Chakra awardees, Prime Minister Narendra Modi named the 21 largest unnamed islands of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands after them. PM Modi also unveiled a model of the Netaji National Memorial, which will be built on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, formerly known as Ross Islands. Major Somnath Sharma, the first recipient of the Param Vir Chakra, was killed in action on November 3, 1947, while repelling 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 PMO said in a statement.

Netaji, who was born on January 23, 1897, was a pivotal figure in India’s freedom struggle. The Azad Hind Fauj was founded by Subhash Chandra Bose. While there is some debate about Bose’s death in a plane crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945, the Central Government confirmed his death in an RTI (Right to Information) request in 2017. On the 125th anniversary of Netaji’s birth, the Prime Minister unveiled a hologram statue of the freedom fighter at India Gate in Delhi last year.