Navy ranks to be renamed in line with Indian traditions, says PM Modi

PM Modi at Navy day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced the Navy will name its ranks in line with Indian traditions and asserted the country is moving forward abandoning the slavery mentality. He expressed his government’s commitment to increasing the numerical strength of women in the armed forces and hailed the appointment of a female officer to command a naval ship for the first time.

Paying tributes to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for his vision and warfare strategy, he noted the 17th century Maratha king knew the importance of naval power. The PM was speaking at a Navy Day event held at Malvan in coastal Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, around 500km from Mumbai.

Earlier in the day, Modi extended greetings on Navy Day, saying the commitment of navy personnel in safeguarding India’s seas is a testament to their unwavering dedication to duty and love for the nation.

“We are emphasising on increasing the number of women in the armed forces,” he said at the event in Malvan held in the backdrop of the iconic Sindhudurg Fort built in the 17th century by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and which reflects India’s rich maritime history.

Modi lauded the Navy following the announcement that a woman officer would be commanding a Naval ship for the time time.

“The Indian Navy is now going to name its ranks in line with Indian traditions,” the PM announced on the occasion.

He also declared that epaulettes adorned by naval officers will now highlight the heritage and legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as the new ones will be similar to the naval ensign.
Modi recalled unveiling the Naval ensign last year.

The legendary Maratha Empire founder knew the importance of naval power for a country and built a strong maritime force during his reign, said the PM.

Taking inspiration from Chhatrapati Shivaji, India has left behind the mentality of slavery and racing forward on all fronts, he asserted.

The world is seeing India as a ‘Vishwa Mitra’ (universal friend), the prime minister said.

Modi emphasised that the country’s history it is not about slavery, defeats and disappointments alone, but also comprises the glorious chapters of India’s victories, courage, knowledge and science, art and creative skills, and maritime capabilities.

As India is moving towards development, the prime minister emphasised regaining the lost glory and highlighted the government’s impetus to the ‘Blue Economy’.

He referred to the port-led development under the ‘Sagarmala’ project and said the country is moving towards harnessing the full potential of its oceans under the ‘Maritime Vision’ programme.
The BJP-led government at the Centre has made new rules to promote merchant shipping, leading to the number of seafarers in India increasing by more than 140 per cent in the last nine years, Modi said.

Modi said India is giving an unprecedented support to port-led development. “Merchant shipping is also being encouraged. India is moving towards utilising the potential of its oceans,” he said.

Modi asserted measures like the India Middle East European Corridor, announced during the G20 Summit in New Delhi in September, will recreate the lost spice route.

Shortly before taking part in the Navy Day event, Modi unveiled a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Rajkot Fort in Sindhudurg district.

Modi later witnessed ‘operational demonstrations’ conducted by Indian Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and Special Forces from the Tarkarli beach.

The small coastal town of Malvan witnessed an impressive demonstration of the Navy’s prowess. The Navy deployed an array of its assets — frontline warships, submarine, aircraft and helicopters for the manoeuvres.

The elite Marcos commandos jumping off from aircraft from a height of 8,000 feet, air show by Navy’s air assets, with amber sky in the background and sun setting in the ocean, added the punch to the overall demonstrations.

The Navy’s majestic show was followed by an impressive performance by its band, and later a laser display from the mid-sea Sindhudurg Fort.

Warships INS Vikramaditya, INS Kolkata, INS INs Kochi, INS Visakhapatnam, INS Chennai, INS Brahmputra, INS Beas, INS Betwa, INS Tabar, INS Subhadra INS Vinash and INS Vipul were part the drill.

The Navy also deployed submarine Khanderi, helicopters Chetak, Kamov 32, Seakind 42B, and Dornier, P8I surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft, Light Combat Aircraft and Mig29K during the display of its operational prowess and capabilities.

Every year, December 4 is celebrated as Navy Day to acknowledge the role of the maritime force and commemorate its achievements in ‘Operation Trident’ during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.


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