Andaman & Nicobar Island has a history long back since the era of Mahabharat and Ramayan, though now proofs but still myths that the the name Andaman was presumed to be derived from Hanuman, who was known to the Malays as Handuman. The name Nicobar seems to be a corruption of the South Indian term ‘Nakkavaram’ (Land of the Naked) as indicated in the great Tanjore inscription of AD 1050.
Also there are some facts indicating that the Cholas and Marathas used parts of the Andaman and Nicobar as a base, sporadic exploratory missions by European naval powers and fleeting references from travellers such as Marco Polo. In short this island group has seen several rulers before independence.
It was annexed by the Marathas in late 17th century, who consumed vast areas of India. Later, the British used it as a penal colony mainly to detain regular criminals or freedom fighters, hence the name kalapani or “black waters” and during World War – II, the island was occupied by the Japanese. The Japanese viewed local islanders as spies and many of them lost their lives as a result.
Interestingly, when Netaji Subash Chandra Bose (one of the most influential leaders in the Indian independence movement) visited these Islands as an ally to the Japanese and he was made to visit Cellular Jail but was consciously prevented from visiting the section where locals were jailed on charges of spying. On 29th December 1943, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose hoisted the flag of independent India on the island. He also established the first independent government here. Netaji renamed these islands as ‘Swaraj’ (Self-rule) and ‘Shaheed’ (Martyr). General Loganathan of the Indian National Army was appointed as the Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The headquarters of the Civil Administration was set up on 21st March, 1944 near the Gurudwara at Aberdeen Bazaar.
However through this vast majority of time, the various Andamanese people have been successful in maintaining their separated existence by diversifying into distinct linguistic, territorial and cultural groups. Finally, when India achieved independence in 1947, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands were incorporated into the Indian Union.