To commemorate the 133rd Birth Anniversary of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar on May 28, 2016, a specially designed 'Veer Savarkar Jyot' (Eternal Flame in the Memory of Veer Savarkar) was unveiled by the National President of Bharatiya Janata Party, Shri Amit Shah on the premises of National Memorial Cellular Jail. The eternal flame erected by the Indian Oil Foundation at the Cellular Jail in Port Blair is a lasting tribute to Veer Savarkar's tremendous contribution to India's freedom struggle. This Jyot will be a permanently lit flame inside the premises of Cellular Jail with the help of LPG supplied by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. free of cost for this project.
Expressing his sentiments on his first visit to the Cellular Jail where Veer Savarkar and other freedom fighters had been subjected to immense torture and inhumane treatment and braved death with smiles on their faces, Shri Amit Shah said, these great souls deserve our profound respect and tributes, and the Cellular Jail is an epitome of ultimate sacrifice and courage that echoes the contribution of Veer Savarkar and his comrades towards the country's struggle for freedom. The unveiling of 'Veer Savarkar Jyot' is a historic moment not only for the Islanders but also for the countrymen as a whole, he added. Highlighting the life history and notable contributions of Veer Savarkar, Shri Amit Shah said, Veer Savarkar was not only a great revolutionary but also a great orator, scholar, prolific writer, historian, poet, philosopher and social worker who worked relentlessly for the upliftment of the Dalits.
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, MOS (Independent Charge), MoPNG, while addressing the gathering, appreciated the efforts for erection of the 'Veer Savarkar Jyot', which symbolically highlights the sacrifice of numerous freedom fighters who have selflessly worked and sacrificed their lives for India's freedom struggle. He said that this place would serve as a pilgrimage for Indians. He expressed gratitude for the support received from Hon'ble Prime Minister for the initiation of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY) across the country. The Scheme will ensure that the mothers and sisters from economically weaker section of the society are free from using fire wood for cooking. It will empower them with a smoke free environment by providing free LPG connection, added the minister.
Speaking on the occasion, the Lt. Governor, Lt. Gen AK Singh (Retd.) said Cellular Jail is a centre of pilgrimage for all Indians and the ‘Veer Savarkar Jyot’ will be an inspiration for the generations to come. The Lt. Governor further stated that the A&N Islands are ready to become the Maritime fulcrum in the South of the Prime Minister's “Look East – Act East Policy”.
Shri Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was one of the many freedom fighters incarcerated in the Cellular Jail at Port Blair during the freedom struggle. He was sentenced to 50 years' of jail, for his active role in India's freedom struggle and spent about 16 years in the Cellular Jail. The plaque commemorating stay of Savarkar at the jail was first installed in 2004 by Ram Naik, the then petroleum minister in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government. It was removed soon after UPA government came to power at the Centre. This event has restored the honour of one of the greatest freedom fighters of Bharat.
Earlier, the National President BJP, Shri Amit Shah, Minister of State (I/C) Petroleum & Natural gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan,
Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, Member of Parliament, Shri Bishnu Pada Ray placed wreath at the Martyrs’ Column, Cellular Jail. Dr. Bharat Balvalli rendered a melodious a song composed by Veer Savarkar in Hindi
which received accolades from the gathering.