Andaman Cellular Jail by Navneet
Posted January 6th 2003 (Message 298 )
What ever prompted you to post this message on the Cellular Jail in Andamans. I do not think anyone in this group can be closer to this monument and this Island than Rambo himself.
I am sure when I wrote an article on accepting generation gap, I had touched briefly on Andamans Islands during Jap occupation.
I was born in Port Blair, Andamans Islandsand I was if fact born in the cellular jail building itself as soon after the war a couple out of the seven jail wings were converted to form a temp hospital. This was in 1946/47.
My dad infact was the Jailer as well as the Hospital administrator and he woprked for the Central Govt of India. He retired in 1957 as the Assistant Comissioner of Nicobar Islands.
Is there anyone in this group who has links with Andaman Islands ?? I would love to get in touch with them.
One of my unfulfilled dreams is to go back to Andamans to relive the memories. I lefty the place in 1955 to join St.Bedes High School at Madras. Recently we ran into a couple who had lived in Andamans and believe it or not lived in the same house we did and do remember that the name Sharmila which my older sister wrote on wet concrete surface in the back yard is still there.
Kind of spooky yeeeeow.
In July 1999, I visited the Alcatraz in SF Bay. Man it is nothing compared to the Andaman Jail. I must remember to pass this link to my Bengali friends who inevitably (After about four scotches and one ton of Luchis and kebabs, start discussions as to who the real father of the nationm is GANDHI OR NETAJI SUBAS CHANDRA BOSE. Dominic & Syngal dada, would like to hear from you two about this as topic as you were born before the Independence of India.
a memorable website on the Andaman Freedom Fighters. http://www.andamancellularjail.org/Default.htm
visit it if you get the time.
especially see the "Contact Us" list.
i am sure some of the freedom fighters who are still alive would love a letter from us. or even an email. you can send email to email@example.com.
there is also a list of some of the revolutionaires with photographs.
Dear Rambo and Navneet,
Yes, I always had a strong desire during my childhood to visit
this pilgrimage centre, the Kala Pani Jail. My dream got realised
when I joined Indian Navy on completion of my B.Tech in ECE from
KGP in '79. And I had the opportunity to visit Port Blair 4 times
and the last visit was in oct 2001. Everytime I made it a point to
pay my homage to thousands of martyrs. And the cell where Veer
Savarkar was kept and the light and sound show really inspires you
and tears roll down your eyes and you get angry to learn of the
atrocities by the British jailers.
We may or may not call Netaji as the father of the Nation. But he
was a tall figure those days and anyway ahead of Nehruji.
Sorry no debate on this pls.
Pleasantly surprised by a "Navy mate" in the net!
So I did visit "Andamans" on Ranjit as Commander "L"Aug 87 during Sri Lanka Ops.
Cellular jail is a must ,bears testimony alike all other jails of that era where all our freedom
fighters were incarcerated and killed to finally gift us "Mera Bharat Mahan"!
Now even the quality of inmates have fallen beyond repair!
IITM , elec, 70
Independent India does not teach enough about the violent part of the Independence movement in her schools. May be the reason is to exalt the non-violent one more. I am glad to learn more now, and sorry to say that I did not know enough earlier.
Since the wishes of those who were jailed there, and who were able to collectively state their wishes to the Indian Government, and the public, have not yet been fulfilled (as far as the library, and research in entirety to bring out all the facts go), what can we do to see them fulfilled? Can we ask international stalwarts like Nelson Mandela (who was also in South Africa's Andaman for many more years
than the Indians in Andaman but who probably faced less (?) ), and others to speak quietly to the Government of India?
Considering what our neighbour has been indulging in for many years against India, and saying about it, wouldn't they use this (which is our common history) as justification for their already calling their mercenaries freedom-fighters or say that what they are doing now is the same as what those jailed there did?
My wife, and her family did live in Port Blair for 1 or 2 years in early 70's when she was in the 1st or 2nd grade since her father, who was in the Military Engineering Services, was posted there. I do not know if atleast all the children who are in school there are taken to the jail area, and taught that part of our history. Is there a jail on any of those islands now?
1979 IITM B.Tech. EE (LC)