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History of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

History of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Over the years, Andaman and Nicobar islands have become a popular holiday destination. It has become a complete crowd puller owing to its diverse tourist attractions. There are many factors that have helped it to rise in stature as one of the best locales for getaways in India. Some of them are pristine beaches with golden sands and turquoise sea tossed in the sun marine wildlife and verdant forests fed by the rain. With the tourism industry flourishing in the Indian Archipelago, it is surely must-visit venue for rejuvenation.

Many people of the modern era are unaware of its history and past events. They are oblivious of the fact that the islands are steeped in rich history with the British making penal colonies there for punishing criminals and conducting trade. The East India Company utilized the island and established a penal colony here where criminals were kept and condemned for the crime they had committed against the British East India Company.

Become Familiar with the Past of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Early Dwellers

According to the ancient archaeological evidence which dates back to 2,200 years and studies conducted by the genetic, cultural and isolation indicate that the islands might have been colonized as primaeval as the Middle Paleolithic. The native Andamanese people used to live on the islands in significant seclusion from that time until the 18th century CE.

The islands also witnessed the great maritime migration of mankind from the continent of Africa by means of the way of the backwaters of the Arabian peninsula, on the coastal regions of the Indian terra firma and towards Southeast Asia, Japan and Oceania.

British Period

If we look back at the history of the Emerald islands, it suggests that Marco Polo cam here from the West. Besides him, there was Kanhoji Angre, a Maratha admiral, settling in Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the early 18th century. The dominion and reign of Kanhoji Angre came to an end when the British and Portuguese military forces vanquished and drove him back.
If we date back to the year of 1789, the British brought about their colony in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. But, the island was derelicted by the British in 1796. However, in the 19th century, the British re-established their dominance in the island. It was during this time, they used Andaman and Nicobar as a punishable colony, and gave it a name 'Kalapani' or the Cellular Jail. Freedom fighters who were condemned of crime against the East India Company were brought to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they were given life sentence and were compelled to live in exile in the Kalapani.

The reign of the British was brought to an abrupt end after the Indian Independence, and with that, the 'Kalapani' paved the way for a congeries of beautiful islands. In the year of 1947, that Andaman and Nicobar Islands achieved independence from the British rule and became a part of the Indian Union. At present, Andaman and Nicobar Islands is considered to be among the seven union territories of India.

The Andaman Islands After the British Rule

Japanese occupation

After the British domination met its end, came a period when the Andaman and Nicobar islands were dominated by the Japanese. It happened after World War II. The islands were minimally put under the dominance of the Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind (Provisional Government of Free India) headed by Subhash Chandra Bose, who visited the islands during the war, and given names as Shaheed (Martyr) & Swaraj (Self-rule).

On 30 December 1943, when the Japanese used the Emerald islands as settlement, found an ally in the form of Subhash Chandra Bose. He hoisted and lifted the flag of Indian independence. General Loganathan was the Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, annexed the Indian National Army of which he was a member to the Provisional Government.

History states that before leaving the islands, the Japanese slay 750 innocent people which led to its downfall. As soon as the war ended the islands were given back to British control before it gained independence and became an autonomous state of India.

When World War II came to an end, the British government divulged plans to abolish the penal settlement. The government planned to utilize old occupants in an enterprise to encourage the development of fisheries, forest, and agricultural resources of the island. They also announced that the occupants would be acknowledged and given a way to return to the Indian mainland, or find a settlement on the islands in exchange. The penal colony was abolished on 15 August 1947 when India acquired Independence after a lot of struggles and ordeals.

The history of the Emerald islands throws a flood of light on its past which is primarily a famous beach holiday destination in India known for its luxurious sea-facing resorts. It depicts the events that took the history by storm. Surely the island has a lot more to offer than just beaches, museums, historical locations, rainforests, wildlife parks, and adventurous water sports.