Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

Unsung Heroes Detail

Unsung Heroes Detail

Ratan Devi

South Andaman, Andaman & Nicobar Islands

August 05, 2022

Ratan Devi was born on 3 September 1935. She was the daughter of Martyr Prem Shanker Pandey, who was killed by the Japanese at Homfraygunj on 30 January 1944. Ratan Devi lived at Babuline of Port Blair.

During the Second World War in March 1942, Japanese landed at different spots of the Andaman Islands and forthwith occupied the entire Andaman Islands. The prominent residents were the key persons to initially constitute the Andaman branch of the Indian Independence League in April 1942 following the path of Rash Behari Bose. The League members worked with the objectives of organizing, strengthening, and collecting funds for the League. Under the aegis of the Indian Independence League (IIL), different sister branches were formed. Ratan Devi voluntarily joined the Cultural Wing of the Indian Independence League. She took part in the various functions of the Wing. They motivated the people through extensive public meetings, cultural shows, patriotic songs,  dramas, etc. These activities helped in uniting the islanders and igniting in them a strong sense of nationalism against British imperialism.

Under the supervision of senior members, Ratan Devi and other women and girls were active in all functions of the League. Meanwhile, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose arrived in the Andaman Islands on 29 December 1943. On 30 December at Gymkhana Ground of Port Blair, he hoisted the Indian flag for the first time in the history of India’s freedom struggle. On this occasion, Ichawati Nag on behalf of the Women’s Wing of the Indian Independence League (IIL) donated Rupees Five Thousand cash and gold ornaments directly to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Ratan Devi was accompanied by many other women in the activities of the Cultural Wing of the League. After his departure, Netaji sent Major General Arcot Doraiswamy Loganadan to Andaman. He arrived on 18 February 1944 in the Andamans as Chief Commissioner of Azad Hind Government of Andaman and Nicobar Islands appointed by Netaji. He was accompanied by his staff consisting of Major Mansoor Ali Alvi, Lieutenant Mohammed Iqbal, Lt. Suba Singh, and steno-typist Mr. Srinivasa Shastri. They established the Azad Hind Government to carry out civil administration in the islands. The Indian Independence League (IIL) members both male and female including Ratan Devi actively assisted in the functioning of the Azad Hind Government.

Top