In order to preserve this important event in history, a Sankalp Smarak was dedicated to the nation by Lt Gen Ajai Singh, Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN), exactly 78 years after Netaji’s arrival on 29 Dec 2021.
- The Smarak is a tribute not only to the resolve of the soldiers of the Indian National Army but also reminds us of the values enshrined by Netaji himself, “Nishtha, Kartavya aur Balidan” or “Commitment, Duty and Sacrifice” that continue to underscore the ethos of the Indian Armed Forces.
- On 30 December 1943, a national flag was hoisted for the first time on Indian soil, at Port Blair.
- It is also significant is that Netaji escaped British surveillance from Kolkata on 16 Jan 1941 and stepped back on Indian soil after nearly three years, at Port Blair Aerodrome on 29 Dec 1943 and unfurled a National flag the next day.
- Netaji’s visit to the islands as the Head of the Provisional Government of Azad Hind and Supreme Commander of Indian National Army marked a symbolic fulfilment of his promise that the Indian National Army would stand on Indian soil by the end of 1943.
- This historic visit also marked a declaration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as the “first liberated territory of India”.