Wednesday, December 30, 2009



Today is yet another historic day in the history of the great Indian Freedom Movement. It’s the 66th anniversary of the hoisting of the National Tri-color for the first time on the Indian soil by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

It was on this day i.e. December 30, 1943, that one of the greatest freedom fighters in the history of modern India, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose had hoisted the National Flag for the first time at the Gymkhana Ground, Port Blair, the current capital of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, declaring the Islands, the first Indian Territory freed from the British rule.

The Andamans, at one time, precisely during 1942, had fallen into the strong hands of the Japanese, when they had made a fantastic effort and overpowered the British. And it was during that time that Subhash Chandra Bose had paid a visit to the terrifying Cellular Jail, during his brilliant period of escapade to various places outside India.

While in Singapore, Rash Behari Bose had handed over the responsibilities of Indian Independence League to Subhash Chandra. It was here that he formally announced the establishment of Azad Hind Fauj, and was christened Netaji. After conducting several meetings, Bose visited the Andamans and Cellular Jail in 1943. The eerie muteness of the place reminded him of the torture and toil the prisoners had to face in the hands of the merciless British oppressors.

And it was here on 30th December, 1943 that Netaji had hoisted the Indian National flag, making the historic effort to make the Andaman and Nicobar Islands free from the yoke of the oppressing British.

During the Second World War, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands fell to the Japanese forces on 23rd March 1942, when the ships of the Imperial Japanese Navy swooped on the islands of Ross and Chatham which were the entry points to Port Blair. Within the next two days, the Japanese completed the occupation of Port Blair, arrested the remaining British officials and established their own administration. It lasted till October 1945. Subhash Chandra Bose visited Andamans in December 1943.

Netaji took over the direct command of the Indian National Army on 25th August 1943. He inspired his companions in these words: 

"Comrades, Officers and Men, with your unstinted supported and unflinching loyalty, Azad Hind Fauj (The Indian National Army), will become the instrument of India’s liberation.... With the slogan - “Delhi Chalo” (onwards to Delhi).... on our lips let us continue to fight until our national flag waves over the Viceroy’s house in New Delhi and Azad Hind Fauj holds the victory parade inside the ancient Red Fort of the Indian Metropolis."

The provisionary Government of the Azad Hind was formed on 21st October 1943. The event was announced solemnly at a meeting of Indian representatives from all over East Asia at Sathey Cinema Building in Singapore. A proclamation was issued under the signatures of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as the Head of State, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, who took the oath of allegiance to India in the following words: 

"In the name of God, I take this sacred oath that to liberate India and the thirty eight crores of my countrymen I, Subhash Chandra Bose, will continue this sacred war of freedom until the last breath of my life. I shall always remain a servant of India and look after the welfare of the 38 crores of Indian brothers and sisters. This shall be for me my highest duty. Even after winning freedom, I will always be prepared to shed the last drop of my blood for the preservation of India’s freedom."

The provisional government of the Azad Hind was recognized by Japan on 23rd October 1943, and was also recognized by Germany, Way, Manchuko, Philippines, Burma, National China, Hungry and Croatia.

On 8th November 1943, Netaji announced in a press release that the return of the Andamans to the Indians would be the first territory to be liberated from the British yoke. After mutual discussions, it was settled that the defence and foreign affairs would continue under the Japanese government, but the charge of other departments of the administration would be handed over to the Azad Hind Government.

At mid-day on 29th December 1943, Netaji accompanied by Sarvashri Anand Mohan Sahay, Captain Rawat - ADC and Col. D.S. Raju, personal physician of Netaji, landed at the Port Blair aerodrome in the Andamans. He was received by the Japanese admiral at Port Blair. The enthusiastic Indians and Burmese also accorded a warm reception to him. Netaji went around the historic Cellular Jail where the walls told him, in silence, the woes of the political prisoners who were tortured there. He also saw the courage and enduring spirit that braved the vehemence of the British authorities. Netaji paid glowing tributes to the noble sacrifices of the Indian heroes.

On the following day, 30th December 1943, the National Flag was hoisted by Netaji on the liberated Indian soil, an act first of its kind in the history of the oppressive British rule in India. All the ceremonies of retrieving the lost territory from the enemy were held with joy, pride and jubilation. The national anthem i.e. the anthem of the Azad Hind Fauj (The Indian National Army) was sung in chorus by all present, which added to the gravity of the occasion.

During the course of the day, the National Flag was hoisted at the Gymkhana Ground at Port Blair and atop the British Chief Commissioner’s residence in the Ross Island, the then capital of the Islands. Netaji expressed the hope that some day soon the same flag would fly on the Viceroy’s House in New Delhi.

In a press interview in the first quarter of 1944, Netaji had stated that by the acquisition of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the provisional government had become a national entity in fact as well as in law. The liberation of the Andamans had symbolic significance, because the British always used them as a jail for political prisoners. Part by part, Indian territory would be liberated, but it was always the first plot of land that held the significance. The Andamans were renamed as `Shaheed` in the memory of these martyrs and Nicobar as `Swaraj`.

The administration of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands was formally handed over to the ‘Azad Hind Government’ on 17th February 1944.

His historic visit to the island made a symbolic fulfillment of his promise that INA would stand on the Indian soil by the end of 1943.

A memorial stands today at the Andaman Club, Netaji Stadium, the erstwhile Gymkhana Ground as a testimony of his visit to the Islands and the indelible historic moment of the very first hoisting of the country's tri-color.

Salute to Netaji!!!

*** JAI HIND ***

Excerpts & stats courtesy:


  1. @Appu Yes! Thanks, for your fervent comments, both, here and on Facebook Fan-page, too! I look forward to your continued fervent participation. Cheers! :)

  2. Many thanks, dear Cyrus, for your warm wishes!
    Wish you & your family, too, a very happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year 2010...! Cheers! :)

  3. Just curious-
    was Netaji concerned about Japanese oppression? They were pretty brutal wherever they went.

  4. You'd be surprised to hear, dear Gurmeet that this comment of yours is, by far, the best comment that I've received for this post, till now. :) It shows how deeply you have studied the post and thought about the whole episode.

    You, in fact, are absolutely right and I agree with you, categorically. Reign of terror would be an understatement for the three-and-a-half year ordeal that the left out people had to undergo during the Japanese regime even in the Andaman Islands.

    The Japanese had, very deviously, kept the spine-tingling reality of their reign of terror and unthinkable atrocities, concealed from Netaji throughout the span of their occupation of the Islands. Even my own close relatives have been a victim of it all, here, at Port Blair.

    In short, Netaji was backstabbed by them. READ about the whole hair-raising saga of their torturous rule in this earlier post of mine -


    I look forward to your comment there, Gurmeet!

  5. @Gurmeet In case, you have any problems with the link above, kindly care to copy the following link and paste into your browser's address bar to go to the post...


  6. Happy Newyear shri, for u and your family members. Well, such a nice narration about Freedom struggle.Great From where you get all these pictures, Great work..JAI HIND and SALUTES NETAJI

  7. Thanks a lot, dear Reetha, for your kind appreciation and warm spirited wishes for the new year, as well! :)

    These are some very rare priceless pictures from the Andaman's Cellular Jail National Memorial museum, the Andaman & Nicobar Administration's official Archives and some from the collections of my old relatives here at Port Blair.

  8. Thank you, Mr.Vashishtha,

    will check out the link

  9. Thank you for shedding some light on a forgotton portion of India's fight for independence. Netaji did what he had to do to gain independence although I am not very convinced that he was unaware of the violence and the racist policies of Japan during WWII.

  10. You have a very interesting and relevant blog here...i found the contents well composed and presented

  11. @Gurmeet You're most welcome, dear Gurmeet! I await your comments after you've gone through the post. Thanks! :)

  12. @Hari Thank you so much, dear Hari, for your kind admiration! You are quite right, in fact, in saying that.

    But, you know what... what made these freedom fighters, like Netaji, unforgettable and ever-adorable Heroes and Greats is the 'BIG PURPOSE' and the tunnel vision towards achieving the same.

    These dare-devil patriots of Mother India bothered the least about such sufferings and torments of the fellow freedom-fighters because they wanted to free India from the clutches of the oppressive intruders, 'AT ANY COST'; because 'Freedom' that I and you, my dear friend, enjoy today, is priceless and they had learnt this fact of life, the hardest way possible, under the British Rule.

    Hence, Netaji, circumstantially, had to be astute enough to buy the support of the brutal Japanese in order to go for Delhi i.e. the ultimate Freedom.

  13. @Nalini Hebbar

    Thanks a bushel, dear Nalini, for your kind appreciation, indeed! It's, in fact, the very appreciation and rapt endorsement of readers and friends like you that triggers the goodies out of me on an ongoing basis.

    Such truly spot on comments are, in fact, music to the ears, and sight for the sore eyes for every avid blogger. Right! :)

    Thanks again!

  14. Hmm...truth be spite of the Andamans being a part of India, a good deal of Indians, including myself, know precious little about it.
    Its a commendable job ur doing nevertheless, highlighting the plight of a region and its natives on ur blog.
    It gives a good insight to those who know precious little about the islands.

  15. @Vyazz It's a well-known truth that these indelible significant facts about the Indian Freedom Movement and the Andaman Islands' key role in the same is not well-known to a great deal of Indians.

    And that's why I blog about the same...

    And your candid confession is a welcome one, dear Vyazz! Thanks a bushel, for the kind words of appreciation, indeed! See you back, here, soon. Cheers! :)

  16. "Give me blood, I'll give you freedom"
    Really nice posts and pictures.

    Salute to your spirits!
    Salute to Netaji! And thousands of unknown warriors!

    Deepa from

  17. awesome info here.... i just realised i know nothing about Indian independence..... Thanks... will follow all your posts... thanks for promoting my blog in Indivine.... I am happy that someone like you is going through my blog.

  18. @deepazartz Thanks very much, dear Deepa, for the elevating eulogy, indeed! Nice to have met the artist in you! Cheers! :)

    @Varun Thanks a bushel, dear Varun, for the kind admiration, the follow and the warmth! You're most welcome @Indiblogger, as you yourself are doing a good job at blogging. Cheers! :)

  19. Hello I want to congratulate to them by its site of the Web of the excellent looks like entertained and very good very to me it elaborated. I invite them to that they explore a little on my Web site lots in Costa Rica

  20. Pleasantly surprised to read about Netazi in your blog. Now a days, people hardly talk about our freedom fighters. I felt goose bumps reading your blog, like I felt when I read about Netazi for the first time way back in my childhood.

    And thanks for promoting my blog!

  21. @Talena Thank you! :)
    @Tanmoy Mitra Good to hear your mind-speak, dear Tanmoy! It's youngsters like you who can help things take a more positive form by talking the way you've just done, here. Reg. - promoting your blog - Well, I love to encourage anything positive and creative. So, cheers! :)

  22. ये एक बीमारी है जो बे इलाज है, कोम्मुनिस्ट नेताजी पर उंगली उठाते है लेकिन नेताजी का एक ही सपना ही था किसी तरह भारत को ब्रिटिश हुकूमत से आजादी, वो तो हिटलर से भी मिले इसके लिए लेकिन उन्हें सही रास्ता दिखा की जापान में मजबूती से तैयार इंडियन नेशनल आर्मी जो रस बिहारी बोसे जी ने बनाया था उसे नेतृत्व देकर भारत को आज़ाद करना, जो लोग नेताजी पर जापान की संधि पर ऊँगली उठाते है वो चाइना की अमेरिका के साथ संधि, स्टालिन की हिटलर के साथ समझौता उस पर कुछ नहीं बोलते, क्यों रुस इनका क्या लगता है शायद आका हो होगा इन लोगो का