Andaman And Nicobar Islands

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Andaman and Nicobar Islands map
Suresh R Dash [1]

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The sources of this article

Except where attributed to some other source, the main source of this article is

INDIA 2012


Compiled by






C.V.R. Murty,a… M.EERI, Durgesh C. Rai,a… M.EERI, Sudhir K. Jain,a… M.EERI, Hemant B. Kaushik,a… Goutam Mondal,a… and Suresh R. Dasha/ Performance of Structures in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (India) during the December 2004 Great Sumatra Earthquake and Indian Ocean Tsunami/ Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur 208016, India/ Earthquake Spectra, Volume 22, No. S3, pages S321–S354, June 2006; © 2006, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute/

The A&N islands, located southeast of mainland India, are the Indian land masses closest to the earthquake epicenter. These islands are a narrow broken chain of about 572 picturesque islands, islets, and rocks extending along a general north-south direction between 14° N and 6.5° N latitude stretching over a narrow arc of about 800 km in the southeastern part of the Bay of Bengal

Of these, only about 36 islands are inhabited. The islands are grouped into two sets, with the 10° N latitude international shipping channel standing as the divider; islands above 10° N latitude are called the Andaman Islands, and those below 10° N latitude are called the Nicobar Islands. North, Middle, South, and Little Andaman islands are the most populated among the former islands; and Car Nicobar, Great Nicobar, Katchal, and Kamorta islands are the most populated among the latter. According to the 2001 census, the total population in the A&N islands is about 356,152; about 314,084 people live in the Andaman Islands, and about 42,068 live in the Nicobar Islands.


Early history and religion

Devdutt Pattanaik, April 9, 2022: The Times of India

Located where the Andaman Sea meets the Bay of Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar is a string of over 500 islands, of which only over 30 are inhabited. The northern islands are called Andaman and its original inhabitants comprise the “Negrito” tribes (Onge, Sentinelese, Jarawa) who came over 50,000 years ago as part of the Out of Africa migrations.

The indigenous Andamanese genes are, thus, the oldest in India. The Southern islands are called Nicobar, inhabited by “Mongoloid” tribes (Shompen, Nicobarese), who probably came later, with the Austroasiatic migrations from Southeast Asia.

These tribes are hunter-foragers, use stone implements, and are rather isolated from the rest of the world. Since the tribes prefer to isolate themselves, babies that are not born of inter-tribal union, or in other words, babies born through contact with outsiders, are killed or discarded. Such tribal isolationist behaviour is common around the world. Tribal Andamense lore speaks of a deity called 'Puluga', who created men from bamboo and women from clay, but abandoned humans after they disobeyed his food taboos. Dreams are used to communicate with spirits.

'Island of naked people’

Sri Lankan Buddhist chronicles, Dipvamsa (3rd-4th century CE) and Mahavamsa (4th-5th century CE), possibly refer to Nicobar when they speak of Naggadipa, ‘naked island’, perhaps the ‘island of naked people’ referred to by Chinese traveller I-tsing. As per legend, this island was visited by their founder-prince Vijaya when he travelled from his homeland of Kalinga to Sri Lanka.

Rajendra Chola I established contact with these islands 1,000 years ago as a naval base. A Tamil inscription dated then names this island as Ma-Nakkavaram, ‘great island of naked people’. About 800 years ago, European traveller Marco Polo referred to this island as 'Necuverann'. The Chinese mariners of the Ming period refer to Nicobar island as ‘Cui Lan island’ in their maps. Kanhoji Angre of the Maratha empire probably established a temporary base here in the 18th century and fought the Europeans. The old Prakrit and Tamil name of ‘naked island’ such as Nagadeepam may have led to the modern name Nicobar used by Europeans when they reached the islands 250 years ago. Diseases such as malaria made it difficult for them to settle on the island, though the Dutch, Austrians, and Italians tried.

The arrival of Europeans also spread fatal diseases amongst local tribes. The British finally established a naval base there in the 18th century. After 1857, the British decided to transport criminals there for whom they built the infamous Cellular Jail. The islands were briefly occupied by the Japanese during World War II, and they became part of India in 1950.

Forced (prisoners) and voluntary (indentured labourers, traders, refugees) migrations mostly from India (Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Bengal, Andhra) in the last 100 years has resulted in the local tribal population being reduced to a minority. Muslim traders from Lakshadweep, and later Gujarat, visited these islands and married local women, as did migrants from Burma, Malaysia and Indonesia. Islam was introduced by these traders.

The Dutch introduced Christianity and this was continued by English missionaries, which is why many Nicobarese are Christians today. The migrations to the island were intensified during World War II and during Partition. While most tribal populations follow their own faith, 70% of the rest are Hindus, 20% are Christian and 10% are Muslim, approximately.

New beliefs

Bhantu is a ‘low’ caste from Uttar Pradesh whose community members claim that their ancestors fought alongside Rana Pratap and that they were later denied their kshatriya status and access to lands, and so were forced to rely on dacoity to survive. They fought the British and about 300 were captured and sent to Cellular Jail in the early 20th century.

After release, some tried to return home, even exhuming bodies of the dead to cast their bones in the Ganga, but soon returned as they had no source of livelihood there. Back in Andaman, their allotted lands had been claimed by locals, so they had to resettle on other islands. There they married women from other castes and very few descendants still remember their dialect.

Hinduism amongst the Bengalis in Andaman, who migrated from East Bengal during the Partition, is not the Brahminical variety but the Bhakti variety that speaks of social equality and devotion to God (Hari, ie Vishnu-Krishna). It reveals practices found in the ‘low’ caste groups.

The Namashudra Bengalis refer to themselves as matua-panthi, the drunken group, or rather those drunk in the love for God, and their ritual involves communal singing of songs praising God (keertan). The communal singing leads to dancing and ecstatic trance. There is no temple; the sacred space is created through song and music. The lyrics composed by their gurus in the 19th century speak of the mystical yogic body, revealing influence of Tantrik-Baul-Buddhist traditions, and reject all association with land (desh) or lineage (kula).

Disregarding the importance of geographic pilgrimage (tīrtha), Matua ethics and doctrines suggest the idea of locating the holy place within and around oneself. There is belief that desire (kama) pulls the energy (kundalini) down but devotional songs (keertan), and movement of the left and right sides of the body (ida and pingala) through musical instruments and dance, raise energy up the spine, towards the opening of the third eye (ajna).

Modern Hinduism in the form of communal celebrations of Ganesha and Durga are getting popular, as is Hinduism spreading via Bollywood, television serials, gurus, and music industry.

Isolated from the mainland, the Hindus of Andaman and Nicobar Islands feel no obligation to be bound by casteism, or religious bigotry. Perhaps because much of the migration was from homogenous communities, which were poor and downtrodden anyway, and hence no incentive to sustain traditions of caste pride.

Inter-faith dining and marriage is also fairly common as is conversion. But Hindutva fears there may be more conversion out of Hinduism than into Hinduism, if one is not vigilant. Let us not forget that in 2018, an American evangelist youth tried to enter forbidden tribal territory secretly but ended up being shot dead by its inhabitants.

1942: The Japanese occupation

Adrija Roychowdhury, August 11, 2023: The Times of India

The Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Eastern shores of the country is the only part of India to have been occupied by a non-European power, that being the Japanese.

The Japanese occupation of the Andamans is perhaps one of the least talked about episodes of the Second World War.

Japanese forces landed in South Andamans on March 23, 1942 and in the next three to four hours gained complete control over the area. Japanese control over the Andamans coincided with the Indian National Army (INA)’s occupation over the area and the internal understanding between the two, ensured that the Japanese faced no resistance while trying to take over the Andamans.

The Bose-Japanese alliance

An important fact to be noted about nationalism in any colonised country, is that it was never a monolithic force. Internal divisions and disagreements among the nationalist leaders was a general feature of the anti-colonial uprisings anywhere in the world. In India, the Gandhi-Bose dichotomy is the best example of the conflicts present among the leaders regarding the precise route to be taken for achieving independence. While for Mahatma Gandhi, non-violence was the necessary strategy that would lead the country to the doors of freedom, for Subhas Chandra Bose, independence could never be achieved without resorting to revolutionary forces. The other aspect in which Bose differed from Gandhi, was in the faith he held in acquiring help from international powers for expelling the British from Indian soil.

From the beginning of the Second World War itself, Bose had reached the conclusion that supporting Britain’s enemies would be the most definite way of ensuring the exit of the European power from India. Accordingly, he reached out to the Axis powers for assistance in getting rid of the British. Historian T R Sareen notes that Bose was neither interested in Nazism or Fascism. However, he believed that support from the Fascist regimes would be the best opportunity for overthrowing imperial hegemony.

By the early 1940s, Japan had made significant victories in Southeast Asia and Bose realised that it would be most appropriate to take their help. The Japanese on the other hand were interested in collaborating with the INA on account of the fact that Indians could provide valuable information about British Indian troops stationed at the Thai-Malay border.

With Japanese victory over Singapore and Burma, the Axis power came remarkably close to Indian shores. When they made their way to the Andamans, the islands served as a penal colony with a cellular jail where the British sent its prisoners. The Japanese were able to take over the islands from the British with much ease and then asked the prisoners to join the INA which most of them did. Once freed from the British, Subhash Chandra Bose convinced the Japanese to hand over the islands to him and consequently hoisted the tricolour there on December 30, 1943. He also named the islands Shaheed (martyr) and Swaraj (self-rule).

The alliance between the INA and the Japanese ensured that the latter could occupy the Andamans with little or no resistance at all. Soon after, however, things turned bitter as the East Asian force erupted over the island’s population with the kind of barbarity unheard of before. Consequently, while the administration of the islands was known to be in the hands of the INA, real power came in the hands of the Japanese once they managed to make their way there.

The barbarity unleashed by the Japanese in Andamans

Since the time the Japanese set foot on the islands, they went on a rampage, killing and looting whatever they could lay their hands on. One of the first victims of Japanese savagery was Zulfiqar Ali who happened to have fired an air gun at them. In response, the Japanese went about killing, raping and burning whatever came before them till the time the villagers could produce the young boy the following morning. On being found, Zulfiqar was dragged out, beaten, kicked and tortured till he died. The memorial to the bravery and sacrifice of Zulfiqar still stands on Port Blair, reminding the world of the Japanese atrocities in India.

The Punjabi poet, Diwan Singh was in the Andamans during the period as member of the INA. When he tried protecting the local population from the wrath of the Japanese, they arrested him and he was beaten up and tortured for close to 82 days before he died on January 1944. During the same period, 44 others were also shot dead by the Japanese for allegedly being the spies of allies. The incident, referred to as the Homfreyganj massacre is widely considered to be the harshest atrocity incurred by Indians under the Japanese.

Despite the scale of atrocities carried out by the Japanese, not a single record exists of intervention on the part of INA leader, Subhash Chandra Bose. While some historians are of the opinion that Bose did not pay heed to the miseries of the local population, there are others who believe that he was not made aware of them due to the efforts of the Japanese to stop complaints from reaching his ears. Whatever was the case, Bose clearly earned disrepute among the residents of Andaman due to his lack of initiative to help them out.

It is estimated that close to 2000 Indians in the Andamans died as a results of Japanese brutality. Finally, the islands were captured by the British in October 1945.

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

Area : 8,249 sq km

Population : 3,56,152 (2001 census)

Capital : Port Blair

Principal Languages : Hindi, Nicobarese, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu


The Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is situated between 6° and 14° North Latitude and 92° and 94° East Longitude. The islands located north of 10° north latitude are known as Andaman Group of Islands while islands located south of 10° north latitude are called Nicobar Group of Islands. The climate of the islands can be defined as humid, tropical coastal climate. The Islands receive rainfall from both the south-west and north-east monsoons and maximum precipitation is between May and December.

The original inhabitants of the Islands lived in the forests on hunting and fishing. There are four Negrito tribes, viz., the Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa and Sentinalese in the Andaman group of Islands and two Mongoloid tribes, viz., Nicobarese and Shompens in the Nicobar group of islands.


A total area of 8068.71 hectare. under agriculture and plantation in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands was damaged by Tsunami / Earthquake. Out of that paddy and other field crops is 2177.70 ha. and 5891.01 ha. under plantation crops. Area under permanent submergence is 4206.64 hect. with paddy and other field crops. Paddy, the main food crop, is mostly cultivated in Andaman group of Islands, whereas Coconut and Arecanut are the cash crops of Nicobar group of Islands.

Field crops, namely, pulses, oilseeds and vegetable are grown followed by paddy during Rabi season. Different kinds of fruits such as mango, sapota, orange, banana, papaya, pineapple and root crops are grown on hilly land owned by the farmers. Spices, viz. pepper, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon are grown under multitier cropping system. Rubber, red oil, palm and cashew are grown on a limited scale in these Islands.


Recorded forest is 7,171 sq km of the total geographical area of the islands. Many types of forests are found in the islands, such as tropical wet evergreen, tropical semi-evergreen, moist deciduous, littoral, mangrove and swamp forests. A large variety of timbers are found in the Andaman group of Islands. The most valuable timbers are padauk and gurjan. These species are not found in Nicobar.


There are 96 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 9 National Parks and 1 Biosphere Reserve in these Islands. Mammals - out of 55 terrestrial and 7 marine mammal species reported so far, 32 species are endemic. Birds - as many as 246 species and sub -species of birds are reported to inhabit these Islands and of these 99 species and sub-species are endemic. Reptiles - there are 76 terrestrial reptiles found here, of these, 24 species are endemic. Marine Life - Islands harbour more than 1,200 species of fish, 350 species of echinoderms, 1,000 species of molusscs and many more lower forms of life. Among vertebrates dugongs, dolphins, whales, salt water crocodiles, sea turtles, sea snakes, etc., are common. Coral and Coral reefs - so far 179 species of corals belonging to 61 genera have been reported. Reefs are mostly fringing type on eastern coast and barrier type on the western coast.


There are 1833 registered MSMEs and Handicrafts Units. Two units are 100 per cent export oriented units in the line of Fish/Prawn processing activity. Apart from this, there are shells and wood based handicraft units. SSI units are engaged in the production of paints and varnishes, mini flour mills, soft drinks and beverages, steel furniture and fixtures, readymade garments, steel gate grills and structures. MSMEs handicraft units are also engaged in shell crafts, bakery products, ricemilling, furniture-making, etc. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation in the Public sector has spread its wings in the field of Tourism, Fisheries, Industries and Industrial financing and functions as authorized agents for Alliance Air/Jet Airways/Air Deccan.


The Motor Transport Department of A & N Administration operates from 13 stations in Northern and Southern group of Islands. The department has a total number of 205 buses in operation mainly in rural area of A & N Islands. Computerized ticketing for ATR express service has been implemented w.e.f. 15 August 2007 where advance tickets can be obtained.


Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been recognised as an eco-friendly tourist’s destination. As a tourist paradise, these Islands have something very special to offer like historic Cellular Jail, Ross Island and Havelock Island.

The Andaman tropical evergreen rain forests, beautiful silver sandy beaches, serpentine mangrove-lined creeks, marine life abounding in rare species of plants, animals, corals, etc., provide a memorable experience to the tourists. There is tremendous scope for enjoying nature in the beach resorts, water sports and adventure water sports, adventure tourism like trekking, Island camping, Nature trail, Scuba Diving, etc.

Tourism Department runs guest houses in various parts of the Islands for comfortable accommodation to tourists visiting these Islands. The important places of tourist interest are Anthropological Museum, Marine Museum, Water Sports Complex, Gandhi Park, North Bay, Viper Island, Ross Island, Chidiyatapu, (Bird watching), Red Skin Island, Corbyn’s cove Beach, Islands like Neil Island, Havelock Island, Cinque, Little Andaman, Diglipur (Ross and Smith), etc.

As regards the connectivity, the islands are well connected to the mainland by air and sea. Indian Airlines, Air Deccan, Jetlite operates to Port Blair from Kolkata and Chennai. There are regular passenger ship services from Chennai, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam.


Lt. Governor : Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Bhopinder Singh, PVSM, AVSM

Chief Secretary : Shri Shakti Sinha

Jurisdiction of High Court : Falls under the

Jurisdiction of Kolkata High Court


S.No. District Area (sq km) Population Headquarters (Census 2001)

1. South Andaman 3181.401 2,08,471 Port Blair

2. Nicobar 1,841 42,068 Car Nicobar

3. North and Middle Andaman 3226.599 1,05,613 Mayabunder

Bases, stations

2019: air station in Andaman & Nicobar upgraded

Naval air station in Andaman & Nicobar Islands upgraded, gets extended runway, January 25, 2019: The Times of India

Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba commissioned INS Kohassa, an upgraded version of the existing naval air station (NAS) at Shibpur in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with an extended runway to allow basing a few Dornier aircraft, helicopters and drones there.“ NAS Shibpur was established in 2001 as a forward operating airbase for enhanced surveillance in North Andaman. The close proximity of Coco Islands (Myanmar) and the wide expanse of India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) makes the base a very vital asset,” an official said.

“Short-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft and helicopters operating from there can undertake EEZ surveillance, anti-poaching missions and search and rescue missions. NAS Shibpur was identified by Niti Aayog as one of the ‘early bird’ projects as part of the holistic island development plan. The Navy is ready to facilitate civil flight operations from NAS Shibpur. The runway extension to 10,000 feet is planned to facilitate operations of wide-bodied aircraft,” he added.

Cellular Jail

S. Balakrishnan , Cellular Jail "Daily Excelsior" 13/8/2017

“Oh, my dear Motherland, why are you crying?

The rule of foreigners is about to end!

They are packing up!

The national shame and misfortune will not last long!

The wind of freedom has begun to blow,

Old and young are yearning for freedom!

When India becomes free,

‘Hari’ will also enjoy his freedom!”

Who is that ‘Hari’ who wanted to enjoy his freedom? Shri Babu Ram Hari was from Qadian, Gurdaspur District of Punjab, and Editor of ‘Swarajya’, who was awarded sentence of transportation to Cellular Jail in Andamans for 21 years for penning three editorials considered ‘seditious’ by the British colonizers.

Lives were thus mercilessly plucked by the British rulers as offerings for upholding the cause of India’s independence. The dreaded Cellular jail was one such sacrificial altar. Equipped specially for solitary confinement in individual cells (hence aptly named Cellular Jail), this jail is indelibly linked with India’s fight for freedom.

Indian Bastille

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose rightly described it as the ‘Indian Bastille”. In a statement issued on 8th November 1943, after the Andamans were won by the Japanese during World War II, Netaji remarked, “Like the fort of Bastille in Paris which was liberated first during the French Revolution setting free political prisoners, the Adnamans, where Indian prisoners suffered, is the first to be liberated in India’s fight for independence”. (Later, however, the Islands were recaptured by the Allies.)

Penal Settlement

For prisoners convicted of high crimes in colonial India and Burma, the British established penal settlements at Benkoelen (the first ever in 1787), Malacca, Singapore, Arakan and Tenasserim. The Andamans was the last in the series and also the first to be established on Indian soil. However, much earlier in 1789 itself such a penal settlement was started in Port Cornwallis, North Andaman, but was abandoned after seven years.

The idea was revived in the wake of the First War of Indian Independence (1857) which the British chose to call the ‘Sepoy Mutiny’. To deport and imprison the so-called mutineers, deserters and rebels, the far-off Andamans was chosen. On 10th March 1858, the first batch of 200 ‘grievous political offenders’ touched the shores of Chatham Island within Port Blair harbour in South Andaman. The second batch was of 216 from Punjab province. As on 16th June 1858, the settlement position was – Total received-773, Died in Hospital-64, Escaped and not recaptured-140, Suicide-1, Hanged after recapture-87, Left-481. By 28th September 1858 about 1,330 prisoners had landed. Between 1858 and 1860, about 2,000-4,000 freedom fighters had been deported to Andamans from different parts of India. Sadly, many of them perished under the most agonizing living and working conditions. Neither of those who escaped into the jungle could escape death. Later, criminal convicts were also sent there for penal servitude. A century later, on 15th August 1957, a Martyrs’ Column was dedicated in Port Blair to commemorate those heroes who died unsung and unknown.

Cellular Jail

Fearing that political prisoners would spread revolutionary ideas among other prisoners and also mingle within their group, the British rulers decided on solitary cells in a far off place. Thus was completed the notorious Cellular Jail in 1906 whose solitary cells finally rose to a total of 693! As the freedom movement picked up, 80 revolutionaries from Poona were deported in 1889. As the freedom struggle saw a resurge, 132 were deported (1909- 1921), followed by 379 (1932-38). Political prisoners involved in various conspiracy cases were deported to Cellular Jail. Some of such cases include Alipur Bomb Case (also known as Maniktola Conspiracy Case), Nasik Conspiracy Case, Lahore Conspiracy Case (Ghaddar party revolutionaries), Banaras Conspiracy Case, Chittagong Armoury Case, Dacca Conspiracy Case, Inter-Provincial Conspiracy Case, Gaya Conspiracy Case and Burma Conspiracy Case, etc. Besides these, Wahabi rebels, Mopllah agitators of Malabar Coast, Rampa revolutionaries of Andhra, Manipur freedom fighters, Tharwardy peasants of Burma were also located to the Andamans.

Life in the jail

Life in the Cellular Jail was most inhuman and barbaric, especially for the early prisoners. With little food and clothing, the political prisoners were compelled to do gruelling manual work. Unused to such hard manual labour, they failed in their daily work quota resulting in further severe punishments. The intention was to humiliate them and shatter their will power. They were set upon to manually press oil, dehusk coconuts, pound coir, make rope, cut hills, fill up swamps, clear forests, lay roads, etc. The most feared was ‘picking oakum’, the ‘art of rope making’ out of Ramban grass with high acidity content that caused continuous itching, scratching and bleeding!

Hunger strike

When Congress ministries were formed in seven provinces of India in July 1937, the demand of Cellular Jail political prisoners for repatriation to mainland gained momentum. As their repeated appeals and agitations did not yield result, 183 of them went on a 37-day hunger strike from 24 July 1937. This created a wave of support and their counterparts in the mainland jails also went on hunger strike. Demonstrations were held all over India. The British bowed down and the first batch of freedom fighters left Andamans on 22 Sept. 1937. The last batch had also left by 18 January 1938. Criminal convicts, however, were deported till the penal settlement was abolished in 1946.

National Memorial

Many charismatic personalities were imprisoned in this Jail. Savarkar brothers, Motilal Verma, Babu Ram Hari, Pandit Permanand, Ladha Ram, Ullaskar Dutt, Barin Kumar Ghosh, Bhai Parmanand, Indu Bhushan Roy, Prithvi Singh Azad, Pulin Das, Trailokyanath Chakravarthy, Gurumukh Singh, among others. The list is long and distinguished. To remember and venerate the invaluable sacrifice of our freedom fighters interned in Cellular Jail, this was dedicated as a National Memorial on 11 February 1979 by the then Prime Minister, Shri Morarji Desai. The museum and the Sound & Light show there depict the hard life which, in essence, is their sacrifice so that we could live in independence and peace. Cellular Jail is in UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Site as there are no sites comparable to it at national level.

Once a dreaded place, Cellular Jail is now a national monument, an embodiment of sacrifice, a place to remind that freedom does not come that easily.

(The author is a Chennai based independent journalist.)

Names of islands

2018-19: 3 islands to get desi names in tribute to Bose

December 25, 2018: The Times of India

Havelock Island will be renamed Swaraj Dweep, Neil Island as Shahid Dweep and Ross Island as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island
From: December 25, 2018: The Times of India

The Centre has decided to rename three islands in Andaman & Nicobar — Ross Island as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island, Neil Island as Shahid Dweep and Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep — coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Bose having hoisted the national flag in Port Blair.

Sources said the home ministry has almost completed formalities for the change in nomenclature and the new names will be announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Port Blair on December 30. Modi, who will be accompanied by home minister Rajnath Singh, will hoist a 150-metre flag in Port Blair apart from releasing a commemorative stamp and coin on the occasion.

After the Japanese captured the islands during WWII, Bose, who led the Indian National Army that had allied with Japan, hoisted the national flag in Port Blair on December 30, 1943. He declared the islands as the first Indian territory freed from British rule. He then suggested Andaman be renamed as Shahid Dweep and Nicobar as Swaraj Dweep, something the Modi government is now taking forward by renaming Neil Island and Havelock Island .

21 islands have been named after Param Vir Chakra awardees

The islands have been named after

Major Somnath Sharma,

Subedar and Hony Captain (then Lance Naik) Karam Singh,

2nd Lt Rama Raghoba Rane, Nayak Jadunath Singh, Company

Havildar Major Piru Singh,

Capt G S Salaria,

Lt Col (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 S

ubedar Major (Honorary Captain) Yogendra Singh Yadav.

See also

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

Andaman And Nicobar Islands: Fauna

Andaman And Nicobar Islands: Flora

Andaman And Nicobar Islands: Natural calamities

Andaman and Nicobar Islands: Parliamentary elections

Andaman and Nicobar Islands: Tribes

Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

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