New Delhi: The Modi government at the Centre has decided to rename three islands in Andaman and Nicobar - Ross Island as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep and Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep, news agency ANI reported.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to visit Port Blair on December 30 to mark the 75th anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s historic visit to the islands, is likely to make the announcement of name change.
Bose had hoisted the national flag at Port Blair on December 30, 1943, as he believed that Port Blair was the first territory to be freed from British rule. This was done after the Japanese captured that area during the time of the Second World War.
Bose had reportedly suggested back then that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands be renamed as Shahid and Swaraj dweep.
In a letter date November 11, Netaji’s relative and West Bengal BJP vice-president Chandra Kumar Bose had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that Andaman and Nicobar islands be renamed as a tribute to Netaji.
In March 2017, BJP lawmaker LA Ganesan had made a demand in the Rajya Sabha to change the name of popular tourist destination Havelock Island and said naming a place after a person who had fought Indian patriots in 1857 was a matter of shame.
Havelock Island is named after Sir Henry Havelock, a British general who served in India during the British administration. It is the largest island in the union territory.
Many places have been renamed recently under the Modi government. In Uttar Pradesh, BJP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath renamed Mughal Sarai to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Nagar, Allahabad as Prayagraj and Faizabad as Ayodhya.
After Faizabad and Allahabad were renamed, there was a growing clamour from within the BJP to change the names of more cities.
While campaign for the assembly elections in Telangana, Yogi Adityanath had said the BJP will change the name of Karimnagar district to Karimpuram if the party is voted to power. Yogi Adityanath and a BJP lawmaker in Telangana had said Hyderabad will be renamed as Bhagyanagar if the BJP wins.
Ahmedabad in Gujarat is also likely to be renamed Karnavati before the 2019 general elections, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said last month.
(With inputs from agencies)...