New Delhi/ Port Blair, Jan 23: Twenty-one large unnamed islands of Andaman and Nicobar were named on Monday after Param Vir Chakra awardees in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Parakram Diwas. He also unveiled the model of the National Memorial dedicated to Netaji to be built on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, earlier known as Ross Islands.

Addressing the event, the prime minister noted that many messages are contained in the naming of the 21 islands, including that of 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat'.

“Today, the 21st century is seeing how Netaji Subhash, who was tried to be forgotten after independence, the country is remembering the same Netaji every moment,” PM Modi said.

“For decades, there was a demand to declassify the files related to Netaji. The country also did this work with full devotion,” he added.

Union home minister Amit Shah was also present at the ceremony in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Speaking at the event, Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative to name islands after Param Vir Chakra awardees will ensure they are remembered forever.

The largest unnamed island was named after the first Param Vir Chakra awardee, Major Somnath Sharma, who was martyred in action on November 3, 1947 while repulsing Pakistani infiltrators near Srinagar Airport.

The 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees, after whom the islands have been named are: 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.

“This step will be an everlasting tribute to our heroes, several of whom had made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the sovereignty and integrity of the nation,” the Prime Minister's Office said.

The National Memorial dedicated to Netaji will have a museum, a cable car ropeway, a laser-and-sound show, a guided heritage trail through historical buildings and a theme-based children's amusement park, besides a restro lounge.